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Andrea Stella: McLaren took advantage of race situation at Canadian GP

McLaren performed above expectations at the Canadian Grand Prix thanks to not having to deal with pressure from behind, according to team principal Andrea Stella.

Lando Norris, initially trailing George Russell and Max Verstappen by around eight seconds, made a dramatic comeback to overtake both drivers.

As Oscar Piastri closed in on Russell and Verstappen, Norris managed to pull ahead, creating a lead of over seven seconds.

Stella attributed this performance to McLaren's early race advantage, which allowed both drivers to better preserve their Intermediate tyres compared to their rivals.

Stella noted that the strategy was not focused on the competition but was influenced by an imminent shower forecast. This approach allowed McLaren to maintain their tyre performance during the race's opening laps.

"We knew that it would not have been easy to make it to the rain expected around lap 30, it would have been difficult for the intermediate tyres to survive that long," Stella said.

"So because we had no pressure, we started to save the tyres very, very early, even when [it] kind of wasn't necessary, trying to find the cold patches or wet patches to make sure that the tyres stayed in good condition for when the track would have been more challenging.

"There's no magic, it's just the position we were in the first stint meant that we could apply this strategy with no loss - because we didn't have pressure from behind."

However, McLaren's bid for victory was thwarted when Logan Sargeant's stranded Williams brought out a Safety Car.

Norris was not instructed to pit during that crucial lap, unlike the cars behind him, who took the opportunity to switch to a second set of Intermediates. As a result, Norris emerged in third place after pitting.

Despite the setback, Norris believed McLaren missed a probable win. However, Stella acknowledged that Mercedes' superior pace in drier conditions later in the race would have made securing victory a challenging feat.
 

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