McLaren battle Aston Martin at Abu Dhabi GP: Who wins at Yas Marina?

McLaren lead Aston Martin by 11 points in the constructors' championship heading into the 2023 Abu Dhabi GP


Oscar Piastri believes that McLaren will bounce back to form after a tough 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix to secure third place in the constructors’ championship ahead of Aston Martin at the Abu Dhabi GP.

McLaren qualified 16th and 19th in Las Vegas and only managed to score two points as Piastri finished 10th with the fastest lap, whilst Lando Norris crashed out of the race on the second lap. The long straights exposed the MCL60‘s weakness with drag and aerodynamic efficiency.

It was the team’s lowest scoring weekend since the Italian GP in September, following the major upgrades introduced at the Austrian GP which catapulted the Woking team to the front of the grid.

“I think definitely I think we’ve got the pace to be able to do it [beat Aston Martin],” Piastri said to media.

“I think the sentiment is quite similar to what George [Russell] was saying that if we go out and do what we’re capable of and what the car’s potential is, then we should be okay.

“But we’ve still got to go out there and do our job to get the most out of what we’ve got. Hopefully we can be quick, fighting well and truly at the front end and then the result will take care of itself.”

The Yas Marina Circuit is a different style of track to the Las Vegas Strip Circuit, with more corners and a greater demand on downforce.

Oscar Piastri, and Lando Norris at 2023 Las Vegas GP | McLaren F1 Team

McLaren have been particularly competitive at circuits with high-speed corners such as Silverstone, Suzuka and Interlagos and the Abu Dhabi track is off a similar vein, so could offset any drag penalties from the straights.

“I think we should be much more competitive,” Piastri said. “I think being at a new circuit [Las Vegas] at a drag range that we’ve struggled out through the year.

“We knew it would be a tough one for us. I think our pace, the pace that we had in the race, was much more representative of what we had available through the whole weekend. We just got a few things wrong in qualifying in particular.”

Fernando Alonso during 2023 Las Vegas GP | Aston Martin F1 Team

Stroll expects McLaren resurgence

Following the eighth round of the Formula 1 season in Canada, Aston Martin led McLaren by 137 points but now they’re chasing a deficit to the papaya-coloured cars and they need a big result in Abu Dhabi to overturn the points difference.

One positive for Aston Martin is they have seemingly managed to get on top of their car problems since the United States GP, recording strong points finishes including a podium at the Brazilian GP, bolstering their chances of leapfrogging McLaren in the last F1 race of the season.

“Over the last few months I think we learned from mistakes,” Lance Stroll said to the media. “[We] kind of got back to our stronger ways over the last few weeks, which has been good.

“[It’s a] tight battle now in the championship with McLaren. They’re going to probably be quick this weekend. I think they had an off weekend in [Las] Vegas, but I do expect them to be good.

“They’ve been good throughout the whole second half of the year. So we’ll see what we can do though.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
- Advertisment -


Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Driver Ratings — 2024 British GP

Lewis Hamilton finally ended his long wait for a race victory at the Formula 1 2024 British GP as...
George Russell leads the field into Turn 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Winners and Losers from the British GP

Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious in one of the most memorable races in recent Formula 1 history, which begs the...
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton masterclass proves he can take fight to Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton basked in the glory of his long-awaited victory at the British Grand Prix, celebrating in front of...
Max Verstappen looks on at the 2024 Austrian GP | Chris Graythen / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen rues ‘poor’ British GP as Red Bull battle rare issue

Max Verstappen conceded it was a "poor afternoon" for Red Bull at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix...
Lando Norris with engineers at 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

Are McLaren becoming ‘new Ferrari’ after another strategy blunder?

Lando Norris' media appearances after the British GP were a genuinely tough watch, with reporters seemingly counselling the 24-year-old...
Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes Max Verstappen on the podium after the 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Lewis Hamilton: British GP win more crucial to Mercedes than Russell victory

Lewis Hamilton explained why he felt his victory at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix on Sunday was...
Carlos Sainz at the 2024 Austrian GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

F1 2024 British GP – Fastest Lap

Carlos Sainz snatched the fastest lap at the 2024 British GP at the final opportunity as an all-time classic...
Lando Norris during 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

F1 Standings after 2024 British Grand Prix

An emotional 2024 British Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton take a record-breaking win at Silverstone, outsmarting Lando Norris and...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren during the 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 2024 British GP: Driver of the Day

There is a reason why the British Grand Prix remains the hottest attraction on the Formula 1 calendar and...
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

Hamilton outsmarts Verstappen and Norris to clinch record-breaking British GP win

Lewis Hamilton finally celebrated on the top step of the podium after a dramatic finale to the Formula 1...
- Advertisment -