McLaren team boss Andrea Stella says the extensive upgrade package it’s set to unveil over the coming rounds can be the start of his side “turning around the season”.

Following admissions over the winter it had failed to hit development targets on its MCL60 car, McLaren has endured a poor start to the campaign, scoring only 19 points across the opening eight races.

But after introducing upgrades in Azerbaijan at the end of May, McLaren is set to unveil a series of updates across the three rounds before the summer break.

The series of modifications will begin at this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix and will change almost every aerodynamic part of McLaren’s 2023 launch-spec machine.

“Austria is a track in which we have done well in the past, I think six, seven corners, four of them are high speed, which we should be competitive on,” he said.

“Then Austria is, like I said already for some time, our first step [of] bringing upgrades. I think this can be more important than how suitable the track is, the characteristics of our car.

“Ultimately for us it is a milestone in terms of possibly turning around the season, not only thanks to what we bring to Austria, but also what will follow in the next races.

“Our focus then will not be the characteristics of the track but on the car itself, so only if we have one session [before qualifying in Austria], we will be able to validate and then to be in a more competitive situation.”

Oscar Piastri (AUS) McLaren MCL60. 18.06.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Race Day.

When pressed to reveal the extent of the package that will be launched at the Red Bull Ring, Stella states the new parts seen this weekend will be the “most consistent”.

The Italian also estimates that 50% of the revised package will be seen in Austria with the remainder split equally across the following two rounds at Silverstone and the Hungaroring before the summer shutdown.

“I’m banking on this package, but across the pretty much three races in which we will introduce it, these should be a few tenths of a second [that] should be noticeable from a lap time point of view,” he emphasised.

With the Sprint format returning in Austria, McLaren will only be afforded one 60-minute practice session to dial in the new parts ahead of qualifying on Friday evening.

However, the British squad has cause for optimism based on its track record in the circuit situated between the Styrian hills.

Both cars finished in the points at last year’s race, while Lando Norris is somewhat of a Red Bull Ring specialist having taken two podiums in successive years in 2020 and ’21.  

Meanwhile, current McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri won in Austria on his Formula 3 debut in 2020 to set the Australian on his way to becoming champion that year.

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