McLaren rule out Austria-like improvement with “noticeable” Miami F1 upgrades

McLaren expect a "noticeable" improvement from their Miami upgrade package.

Oscar Piastri (AUS) McLaren MCL38 makes a pit stop. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai,
Oscar Piastri (AUS) McLaren MCL38 makes a pit stop. Formula 1 World…

McLaren boss Andrea Stella believes the benefits from McLaren’s significant Miami F1 upgrades will be “noticeable” but ruled out an Austria-like level of improvement.

Like many teams, McLaren are set to introduce upgrades over the next few races as we head into the European season.

All of the focus will be on McLaren and Mercedes in Miami, with both teams talking up the impact of their upgrades.

While McLaren have started the 2024 F1 season solidly, they appear to have taken a step back relative to Red Bull and Ferrari.

McLaren took a major step forward in the middle of 2023 with their Austria package.

The Woking outfit went from midfield contender to regular podium finisher, particularly in the hands of Lando Norris.

The team are hoping for a similar result this year as they look to finish in the top three more regularly. 

Explaining McLaren’s upgrades for this weekend, Stella said: “These upgrades will not be as big, as the two that we had delivered last year in Austria and Singapore.

“But it should be a decent step. Like it should be noticeable. I cannot say much more than that. Because otherwise we talk about numbers. I would like to keep confidential.

“But let’s say not as big probably as Austria and Singapore. But noticeable.

“If things correlate with our expectation with the wind tunnel numbers for instance and with the computer simulation.

“It’s always a big if, because even if the heat rate of this correlation has been good over the last 12 months there’s always possible surprises.”

McLaren were shocked by their Chinese Grand Prix level of performance as Stella predicted “damage limitation” ahead of the weekend.

Stella remains confident McLaren can catch Red Bull within the next year.

“We lost some ground because we gained so much ground before while they were not developing,” he added. “That’s why we have to look at things over the long period and over that long period we are on a strong trajectory.

“If we keep this strong trajectory for the next 12 months, why not? We may reach Red Bull.”

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