While everyone was talking about how close the Ferrari drivers were to crashing in the closing stages of the Italian GP, in the middle stages it was the McLaren drivers that did collide. While there was no major damage to either car, McLaren team principal, Andrea Stella, said it was “unacceptable.”
Stella didn’t mince words when he told the media, “There should never ever be contact between two McLaren cars. There was a contact, which doesn’t fit the way we go racing at McLaren.
“What is important is to have clear parameters as to what you deem acceptable and what you deem unacceptable. It’s not an emotion thing, it’s just like you do with other things.
“You deal with racing in a similar way. This is very clear that for any driver, there’s something bigger than them. It’s the team.”
Did Piastri misjudge his emergence from the pit lane on colder hard tyres? Stella has considered it a possibility.
“It’s always a little tricky when you leave the pits, especially on hard tyres. It could be that certainly Oscar was trying to see where he could place himself so that he could keep the position.
“But on colder tyres, this could be slightly more difficult than he might have anticipated. We could absolutely concede that this is just a little misjudgement.
“Both drivers were aware that there must be no contact between two McLarens and it was just an issue with the execution – we all have issues with execution.”
Hang on? Didn’t McLaren perform an undercut strategy for Norris that led to this scenario? Yes, but the team comes first says Stella.
“If the contact is due to the fact there was pressure because of the undercut, then we have something to review. Because it means drivers put their team at risk because of affirming themselves. This is not acceptable.”
Stella said that the pair are allowed to race but have to do so within specific parameters that doesn’t include colliding.
“My role is to give them principles and a clear parameter within which they can race,” Stella said. “This is what we want to see – it is exciting to see like the Ferraris today.
“In terms of how you stay within the parameter, it’s not for us to say because we are not the drivers. It’s actually within them to have the skillset to say, ‘The tyres are a bit cold, maybe I need to take more margin.’ They need to appreciate that there is no way the line should be crossed.”