Max Verstappen’s dad sympathises with Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes called out

Max Verstappen's dad sympathises with Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes called out

McLaren boss Andrea Stella admits he fears a ‘violent’ reality where his team create false expectations ahead of 2024.

Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri enjoyed excellent seasons in 2023.

But Stella is cautious about raising expectations ahead of the new campaign in case those ambitions are not met.

“Ultimately in Formula One, we have the luxury of it being quite quantitative,” he said.

“You see what kind of progress you are making in the wind tunnel and the computer simulations and you kind of know that a certain [development] rate will mean two tenths, half a second, seven tenths better at the start of the season.

“Realistically, we know that if you want to retain your competitiveness going into next season, you need to have half a second in hand. Otherwise, it’s like what we have seen at the end of a season, it looks like you’re moving backwards. It’s just because you are steady and everyone is catching up.

“So, we will first of all look at the data. We already know pretty much this data, which I won’t comment on. And then based on that, we will position the entire team internally and externally.

“We don’t have to create false expectations because then reality comes to you in a violent way and we don’t want to find ourselves in this position.

“At the same time, we don’t want to downplay too much and then find we weren’t ready to fight at the front and we didn’t make good decisions because of that. So just to stick with the data, be realistic, be honest. That’s our philosophy.”