McLaren boss Andreas Seidl has stressed that his team can still beat Ferrari to third in the standings despite the Italian squad’s recent form.
McLaren and Ferrari have been embroiled in a close fight for third in the championship throughout the course of 2021.
McLaren claimed victory in Italy, and followed it up with a strong display in Russia, but trailed Ferrari in Turkey and in the United States, with Charles Leclerc fourth on both occasions.
As a consequence McLaren’s advantage over Ferrari has been cut to 3.5 points.
“It’s a reality, they’ve made a good step forward with their package and probably also down to the upgrade they introduced on the power unit side,” said Seidl.
“That gave them a good advantage, especially in these last two races, compared to us. So that is the reality we are in.
“But at the same time it is simply important to focus on ourselves. We know there are no more upgrades coming anymore on the car side, power unit side for our package.
“We know there are tracks coming that will probably play a bit more to the strengths of our car, but there is tracks coming at the end of the season where we will struggle compared to Ferrari.
“So it’s simply important that we extract each weekend the maximum from the package as it is with clean races and then hopefully that’s enough to battle them until the last lap in Abu Dhabi.”
Despite having its advantage cut in the standings Daniel Ricciardo was able to finish fifth, two spots ahead of Carlos Sainz.
“I think we need to be absolutely happy with the outcome because I think we have maximised everything that was possible for us, or even more,” said Seidl.
“To be ahead of one Ferrari, while both Ferraris have been clearly quicker than us all weekend, so that’s a good achievement.
“It’s something which we wouldn’t necessarily expect, accepting that Ferrari was simply a lot quicker this weekend than us. It was a well-handled race by the team, by both drivers and we achieved what was on the cards for us.”