Andrea Stella has warned McLaren it must be “wary” of a potential
late-season resurgence from Aston Martin in their Constructors’
Championship battle. After a fast start to the season, Aston Martin
had fallen away since the summer break, which coincided with
McLaren becoming the second-fastest team behind Red Bull, and
scooping seven podiums in the six races since the Italian Grand
Prix, with Oscar Piastri also winning the Qatar Sprint. This strong
harvest of points catapulted McLaren up the table, overtaking
Aston, who had been hamstrung by Lance Stroll not scoring points as
well as upgrades not delivering. However, in the Sao Paulo GP, the
AMR23 appeared to be back on form as Fernando Alonso took third and
Stroll fifth for the team’s second-best result of the season,
following a three-four in Australia. This 25-point haul was six
more than McLaren managed through Lando Norris’s second place and
fastest lap, to reduce the gap to 19 points with just the Las Vegas
and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix left, with Team Principal Stella keen to
keep an eye on the fellow Mercedes customer. Stella “wary” over
Aston Martin threat “On our side, we do have to acknowledge that
Aston seems to be back to the place they had to start the season,”
Stella told media including RacingNews365. “For us, it is a
consideration in the championship, and we need to be very wary that
they can score strong points in the last few races.” Stella also
touched upon just where the MCL60 package is still weaker than the
class-leading Red Bull RB19, and also expressed surprise Mercedes
was not in the mix during the recent Sao Paulo Grand Prix. “At the
moment, the difference is not in dirty air, but mainly in terms of
lap time on used tyres,” added Stella. “Like we have seen, on the
new tyres, we can fight for pole position, but as soon as the tyres
degrade, it would appear like Max and Red BUll, they just have less
degradation. “If you can limit that, after 10 laps in a stint, it
is tenths of a second, so that is where they are superior at the
moment. “This is where we think the difference is made and we can’t
do very much with this car. “It has improved since the Singapore
upgrade, in terms of tyre management, but it is not enough to
compete, especially when the degradation is high like [in Sao
Paulo], where we saw other cars degrading quite a lot, like
Mercedes. “That was a bit of a surprise, because when you have
these high levels of degradation, it is also when Mercedes seems to
do well, so we were surprised [why it was not competitive].”

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