McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl revealed in a recent interview that McLaren had to use a lot of resources after preseason Bahrain testing. McLaren spent a lot of time and money fixing the initial problems in their new MCL36. The team discovered a brake problem at the Bahrain tests and so started out the year at the back of the grid.
They couldn't use their resources to increase the performance of their car since the car itself was not in a good condition. The team did fix their issues and started finishing higher after the first few races, but the time lost couldn't be recovered.
Andreas Seidl talked about the problem, saying:
"In the end we had to use a lot of resources to fix the issue that you would have preferred to use straight away for performance development, especially in this period of the season."
New regulations in 2022 meant that every team went back to the drawing board and designed new cars for the coming seasons. This meant that McLaren were left behind while other teams continuously developed their cars. It was only because of their own rapid development that they caught up to the other teams in terms of performance.
After 16 rounds of the championship, the English outfit is currently fifth in the constructors' championship, only 18 points behind Alpine in fourth. Lando Norris is pulling all the weight in the team and has consistently placed in the top 10. Daniel Ricciardo, on the other hand, is having a down season, unable to keep up with his young teammate.
The performance deficit between the two has led to the team being behind Alpine in the standings. Alpine has two consistent drivers in Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon, who have enabled them to score points and keep fourth place in the championship.
McLaren happy with the recovery they made since the start of the season
McLaren boss Andreas Seidl also said that the team feels very positive about the recovery they made after the issues that plagued them during the first half of the season:
"I think we’ve made good steps forward in the areas we had weaknesses last year. At the same time, obviously, we see that we are less competitive over the balance of the season compared to the last two seasons for us. But I think in the end, it was a fresh start this year."
There is a chance that they can finish fourth in the championship and earn the 'best of the rest' title if they can continue to improve. They are only 18 points behind Alpine and Lando Norris is in good form, so the result seems achievable for the English team.