McLaren’s performance at the Austrian Grand Prix proved that the team’s impressive pace was “not just a one-off”, according to its new Formula 1 boss Andreas Seidl.

The British squad locked out the third row of the grid and recorded a two-car points finish in France, before following that up with another strong double points haul in Austria, with Lando Norris claiming sixth, while teammate Carlos Sainz turned in a stunning recovery drive from the back of the grid to finish eighth.

McLaren has strengthened its grip on fourth place in the constructors’ championship as a result, having pulled 20 points clear of nearest midfield rival and engine suppliers Renault.

“It was good for us to confirm that Paul Ricard was not just a one-off,” Seidl said.

“We are clearly, I think, overall fourth quickest team again here [in Austria]. It was good to extend the lead of the midfield world championship by 20 points.

“I think no one expected inside the team last year that we could after finishing the season as the ninth fastest car to make such a step.

“Again, it simply shows that a lot of the changes that have been triggered already last year are paying off. The team did a good job in bringing these cars, this year’s car on track. They understood a lot.”

Seidl also paid tribute to the influence former drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne had on the development of the MCL34, due to their feedback of last year’s car.

“I think we should also pay a lot of credit to Fernando [Alonso] and Stoffel [Vandoorne], pointing out what the weaknesses are and which direction they had to develop the car, which pays off now.

“And now, obviously the target is for us, this year to still keep going with the development of the car. Of course now we want to make sure we can keep this position for a while. But still we have seen it can also change quickly again.

“It’s still a tight battle. I mean the gaps that we had, it’s nothing over a race distance. So it’s important to, again, not to get too excited about it. To keep out head down and keep focusing on the weaknesses we still have on the car.”

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