McLaren looked very fast at the Red Bull Ring, where it challenged the reigning champion, Mercedes. Despite that, Andreas Seidl said that the team must be realistic about its form.
Lando Norris put his McLaren in P2 during qualifying, and he also kept both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at bay in the early stages of the race. He was later overtaken by both of them. However, when Lewis slowed down due to some problems, Lando re-took the third position.
The pace was incredibly strong on Sunday, and McLaren increased the gap to Ferrari in the constructor championship. Despite that, Seidl is not completely sure that the team can have that pace at every Grand Prix.
“I think we need to be realistic, it was a track that suits our car” explained Seidl.
“What was good to see is that I think, compared to last weekend, with the developments and with the fine-tuning we did with the set-up as well, we made a step forward in terms of performance, both in qualifying and in the race.
“That allowed us to be in a position today to battle some of the top cars.
“But I don’t know exactly which issues for example Mercedes had or Lewis had, which gave us a chance to then score a podium purely down to our performance, which is great.”
Seidl also admitted that the characteristics of the Austrian venue helped McLaren to show a great pace. However, it should not be like that on every other track.
“There’s no point to see things that aren’t there,” he said.
“You need to be realistic and, if you see the race for example last weekend and we’re here at the same track one weekend later, then we had no chance to battle these four cars. There was a huge gap.
“So we knew that we would have a better car compared to last weekend, but we couldn’t expect that we could fight them like that.
“At the same time, we don’t know which problems they experienced: especially Mercedes.
“We know exactly where we stand as a team, we know what the deficit is. We know what the deficit also still is at the team’s side in terms of infrastructure and so on. So it’s not a surprise that we are where we are.
“We are on a journey. We have a clear plan of how we want to reduce this deficit and that takes some years, but the good thing is we make steps.
“We’re ambitious, but there is no magic and I simply think it’s always good to have a sense of realism, and not get carried away with results like Austria, which are great and give good energy to the team.
“But it doesn’t change the picture, the realistic picture we have in terms of where we are.”