McLaren: F1 pecking order 'impossible' to predict after first test

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says it’s “simply impossible” to predict the Formula 1 pecking order after the first test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL36.
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL36.

All 10 teams spent three days trying out their new challengers in anger in Barcelona last week as preparations for the 2022 season got underway.

While it was difficult to take too many conclusions away from the Spanish venue, Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren appear to be in the best shape going into the season.

Lando Norris topped the first day of running, while Charles Leclerc led the way on day two.

Mercedes made the most of Pirelli’s softest compounds to take a 1-2 on the final day, Lewis Hamilton ahead of new teammate George Russell.

Reflecting on McLaren’s progress in Barcelona, Seidl was delighted the MCL36 performed immediately when hitting the track last Wednesday.

“We are focused on ourselves and executing the program that we want to complete at this test and the next test,” Seidl said on Friday in Barcelona. “So far I’m just happy with how these first days went. A huge compliment also to the team back home, at the factory and here at the track to get us to that point. 

“A massive task over the winter to get this car together and up and running, and get everything ready for here. It is great for everyone to see that the car works straightaway out of the box.”

Seidl picked out Ferrari for making a “very strong impression” during the Barcelona test but conceded it’s still too early to form a clear pecking order.

“What that means in terms of pecking order I think it is simply impossible to say. At the moment we saw already today that the usual suspects are coming back up the order in the ranking,” he added. “From our point of view, Ferrari made a very strong impression from the first run onwards. And that is where we are. 

“At the briefing at night listening to the driver's comments, and speaking to James and Andrea, we have a solid platform to go into this final test day and to go to the next test and the first race. But at the same time, there are still a lot of developments happening in the next weeks and months. 

“There’s still a lot more to understand about our car. But I am happy with where we are right now, and looking forward to the next weeks before we then finally hit the track in Bahrain and know where we are, at least for the beginning of the season.”

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