McLaren explains gaps between F1 qualifying and race pace – Motorsport.com

As its 2021 midfield rival Ferrari competes for wins again, McLaren has set a step backwards in 2022, heading into the summer break in fifth position in the constructors’ championship behind Alpine.
The Enstone squad, with which McLaren is now also involved in an off-track tussle over Oscar Piastri’s services, has generally had the measure of its Woking rivals across F1 2022’s first batch of 13 grands prix.
But as McLaren is struggling to keep up with Alpine and F1’s three top teams over a race distance, the team’s leading driver Lando Norris has qualifying particularly well in recent races.
Norris qualified fourth in Hungary, three tenths ahead of both Alpine cars, following a fifth place start in France and P6 on the grid in Britain, beating one of the Mercedes cars on both occasions.
When asked why McLaren manages to perform strongly in qualifying only to fall back during the race, Seidl explained qualifying can mask some of the car’s deficits as it manages to extract the most from the Pirelli tyres over one lap.
“I think in general if we compare our competitiveness in quali compared to the race, I guess in quali the deficits our car in the end still has to these top three cars. I would say mainly on the downforce side, obviously, you can mask quite a lot with the grip tyres are having on one lap in qualifying,” he explained.
“But then over the race distance the lack of performance or downforce is obviously eating into the tyres. And I guess that’s why you then see the bigger gap over the race distance.”
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
McLaren trails Alpine by just four points going into the summer break, largely thanks to Norris’ 76-point haul which sees the young Briton seventh and best of the rest in the drivers’ championship.
Seidl said McLaren’s recent upgrades have helped keep it in the fight for P4, although he acknowledged the three top teams are still miles away even if McLaren can occasionally beat a Mercedes in qualifying.
“In terms of race pace, I guess compared to Alpine for example, we were in good position [in Hungary]. Definitely in a better position compared to the previous weekend in [France],” he added.
“I think thanks to the upgrade that we brought to France, which we further optimised for here in terms of usage, thanks to the work the team has also put in in terms of learning from what we have seen in Paul Ricard, I guess we made a good step forward here.
“Now it’s simply important to keep going and keep further improving the car because when you see the lap time difference, which is still there also in qualifying, it is clear that [the top teams] simply have a much stronger car.”
F1 team principals: Who are they and what do they do?
Hamilton: I’ll end my F1 career before I’m completely burnt out
Wolff: Audi as new entrant could deliver extra value for F1 grid
Mercedes F1 must remain cautious after Hungarian GP ‘perfect storm’
The art of compromise an F1 race engineer has to master
The reasons behind Ricciardo’s McLaren Formula 1 struggles
McLaren set to end Ricciardo’s 2023 F1 deal to make way for Piastri
The key considerations Ricciardo must weigh up ahead of a crucial chapter
Zhou focused on Alfa Romeo stay in F1 2023 silly season
Zhou Guanyu says his focus lies with retaining his Formula 1 seat at Alfa Romeo for 2023 ahead of talks about his future after the summer break.
The consequences of Aston Martin’s radical F1 rear wing design
Formula 1’s 2022 technical regulations have been described as overly prescriptive as the rulemakers look to stifle specific developments in order that their overall goals are achieved – but here’s a plot twist.
Hamilton: I’ll end my F1 career before I’m completely burnt out
Lewis Hamilton intends to remain in Formula 1 while he still has “fuel in the tank” but says he won’t push until he is “completely burnt out” before retiring.
McLaren explains gaps between F1 qualifying and race pace
McLaren Formula 1 team boss Andreas Seidl has explained that being able to mask the car’s lack of downforce in qualifying is behind the large discrepancy between qualifying and race pace.
Why few would blame Leclerc if he leaves Ferrari in future
OPINION: Ferrari’s numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere – just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior.
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez’s path to a top F1 seat
After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay
Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbon fibre?
Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? Pat Symonds considers the alternatives to carbon fibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting
The traits that fuelled Alonso’s unexpected Aston Martin F1 move
Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing.
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships
OPINION: Ferrari’s Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week’s Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans after Vettel decision
OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last.
Why all signs point to F1’s Monaco special relationship continuing
OPINION: With more potential venues than there are slots in future calendars, rumours have been circulating that the Monaco Grand Prix could be a casualty of F1’s expansion into new markets. But Mark Gallagher thinks this is highly unlikely.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like