Perhaps not even the most optimistic fan of McLaren We expect such an amazing second half in the 2021 season of Formula 1. Back in the early part of the year, the legendary Woking team was expected to go head-to-head with Ferrari and pinch a few podiums here and there. But Daniel Ricciardo and, above all, Lando Norris, exceeded expectations, achieved impressive results after the summer break and put the orange team in the middle of the battle with mercedes NS Red Bull. The so-called “Formula 1 A” isn’t a reality yet, but McLaren is on track to be a part of it soon.
First of all, the numbers. Although the weather has cooled, they reflect what a fantastic second half for McLaren has been like so far. When a cut is made to account for only the last four races, the British team scored 71 points. Less than Mercedes, which scored 94.5 points, but very close to Red Bull, who scored 73.5 goals in this period.
Now for the facts. Except for the Dutch Grand Prix, where McLaren did poorly over the weekend as a whole Zandvoort He scored only one point with Norris 10th, and the team was very competitive on the other tracks: Spa-Francorchamps, Monza and Sochi. At the Belgian Grand Prix Lando was emerging as a superb candidate for first place and would have probably been among the first on the grid had it not been for the huge crash due to wet asphalt at Eau Rouge. In the end, he won other than the race that started at the front, in this case, Max Verstappen.
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The Italian Grand Prix was very consistent with McLaren. Of course, some facts helped the team this weekend Monza: Engine replacement penalty for Valtteri BottasBad stops for Mercedes and Red Bull and the controversial accident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, for example. But even when the two title contenders were in battle, Ricciardo – who took the lead directly in the race at the start – led the race on merit and Norris maintained his excellent performance from start to finish..
same Being a surprising feat, it was a historic one and two wins with all merit. This race represents a breaking of the fast that has continued since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Two weeks later, at the Russian Grand Prix, McLaren stunned again. Norris was always among the top in the rating, who had practically no Max Verstappen and seemed to have the face of Mercedes. But the track dried up in Q3, Hamilton made a mistake at the pit lane entrance, and Lando and Ricciardo were right when switching from medium tires to spots. The British prodigy took the big opportunity and got the first pole of his career.
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Sunday was that story that is still on the retina. Norris started on the bend, and passed it Carlos SainzGive Ferrari, but had enough speed not only to beat his ex-teammate and stay ahead for 30 laps. Moreover, he retained the lead despite the increased pressure from Hamilton in the last laps. Only rain, at the end of the race, was able to snuff out Lando’s first – and deservedly – victory..
It is very clear that McLaren took a very big leap in the last races of the championship with results that were not just a matter of chance. The team performed well enough to move forward and take advantage of the opportunities that arose. In Formula 1 or in life as a whole, that’s what it’s all about.
The superb start of the team led by Zach Brown and Andreas Seidl recalls the Red Bull campaign in the second part of the 2009 season, that of the dual publishers in which the Brawn GP was the great champion. The fat the trans team got in the first races of the championship was so great that it made it impossible for the Taurus people to fight for the title. Jenson Button won the Driver’s World Cup, but Sebastian Vettel He managed to beat Rubens Barrichello and take second place.
The scenario is a little different now. Equally, McLaren is still at the same level as Mercedes and Red Bull, but it is heading towards it as it is in the process of transitioning from ‘Formula 1B’ to ‘Formula 1A’. It is a completely different case, for example, than the other team that won unexpectedly this year, and Alps, With Esteban Ocon in Hungary.
There are a few points to highlight in McLaren’s impressive growth this season: the perfect fit with the Mercedes engine, which returns success to a very successful partnership between 1995 and 2014; Ricciardo is finally getting to work after the very disappointing first part of the tournament. Norris, who hit an incredible four podiums in 2021, showed that it’s not just a promise, but an incredible reality with the potential to become world champion in just a few years.
McLaren is definitely back, holder of eight world titles in Constructors and another 12 in the Drivers’ World Championship. This is a huge encouragement for motorsport enthusiasts who have in mind the team that has built a history victorious over time.
What’s next, especially around 2022, is unknown, because everyone will be going into the dark about the order of forces due to the new regulation. But McLaren has already shown that it has a recipe for the path to success going forward and dreaming of big things, once again, in Formula 1.
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