McLaren’s latest upgrades seem to have been key in closing the field at the top of the timing sheets, and they will have some new, track-specific parts for Monaco next weekend. But they need to nail their execution across every facet of racing – unlike in Imola, where an error in warning Oscar Piastri of approaching cars led to his grid penalty for the race.

Having had two cars starting in the top three might have made all the difference on Sunday, as it would have provided a buffer to Charles Leclerc, who at times was the quickest car and who caused the timing of Norris’ pit stop with McLaren covering off the risk of a Ferrari undercut. That cost Norris valuable seconds, as he came out behind Sergio Perez and had to clear the Red Bull.

READ MORE: Horner praises ‘phenomenal’ turnaround by Red Bull at the end of ‘stressful’ Imola GP

But whether a later stop for Norris would have made any difference in his pursuit of Verstappen will remain an unknown, as Stella made sure to take responsibility for Piastri’s penalty, which cost the Aussie a chance of a podium.

“We take responsibility for Oscar not finishing on the podium as the reason of the impeding has to do with our operation, it doesn’t have to do with Oscar making any mistake at all, it was a situation created by the team. I’m sure he will have more opportunities in the future.”

McLaren sit third in the constructors’ championship behind Red Bull and Ferrari heading into Monaco next weekend.


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