McLaren’s big win over Red Bull last week in Miami might have sparked new life into the 2024 championship, but team boss Andrea Stella is aware that an awful lot more work lies ahead of his squad if it’s to maintain the momentum.

Lando Norris claimed his maiden race win in the race by a big margin over Max Verstappen. He was helped by the fortunate timing of a safety car mid-race, but after the restart stormed away demonstrating real pace and composure.

Norris had already shown strong form over the weekend, although a minor mistake in Sprint qualifying and getting caught up in an accident at the start of the race somewhat obscured his full potential until race day.

His team mate Oscar Piastri was also in strong form despite not having the latest package of upgrades to the MCL38. Unfortunately the young Australian suffered damage in a collision with Carlos Sainz and ended up out of the points.

Stella knows that Verstappen had been held back by floor damage in the race that might have made a big difference to the outcome, and that McLaren still needs to make further gains if it’s to be a regular contender for race wins this season.

“Yes we improved the car. We know in the numbers how much we improved it and its material, you should see it in lap time,” Stella told the media after last week’s race, as quoted in and Autosport.

“But for Red Bull this race was a little bit of a struggle,” he continued. “Is the pace we saw a representation of the future? I’m not going to put my signature on this statement!

Race winner Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren celebrates with the team.
05.05.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Race Day.
 -, EMail: © Copyright: Staley / XPB Images

“I think Red Bull didn’t get the most out of their package in Miami,” he continued, pointing out the big margin their rivals had enjoyed in races before Miami.

“In Japan we were six tenths away in qualifying off Red Bull. In China again we were a few tenths away,” he said. “It would be completely unrealistic to think that what we have seen here is the updated picture of competitiveness.”

Piastri will also get the latest upgrades including a revised floor for the next Grand prix in Imola which will give the team more data to evaluate their progress to date before moving on with the next stage.

“If you want to fight consistently Red Bull, we need to deliver another package like the one we have delivered here,” he insisted, looking at another significant package to come later in the year.

But for right now, “We take this positive, we take this encouragement,” he affirmed. “If anything it’s even more energy to develop possibly even faster than what we are doing.”

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