Under reconstruction in recent years, the stable Mclaren continues to grow well since it currently occupies third place in the constructors' championship. During the Italian Grand Prix, the team even had the second fastest car on the grid, and for a while was able to hope to return to victory in the face of the breathless duel between Carlos Sainz at Pierre Gasly. Under the leadership of Andreas Seidl, the team got back on the right track but still has to do a lot to hope to fight again with the top teams.
The regulatory turning point of 2022 will be an opportunity not to be missed, but the McLaren director also insists on the need to evolve the infrastructure of Woking. The team has started to build a new wind tunnel, which is now outdated. In the meantime, it is that of Toyota in Cologne which is used, this transitional solution being however insufficient according to Seidl to feed all future ambitions.
"We naturally have a very clear plan in place as to what we think needs to be done in the team over the next few years in order to get back to the front lines in F1", underlines the German. "This involves different aspects at the level of the organization, the staff, but also the structure. I am very satisfied with the progress that we have already made. And I am very happy and convinced that we have all the necessary talent at McLaren. "
"The biggest deficit that we currently have compared to the big teams that are Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, but also Renault to a certain extent, is on the infrastructure side. This is a subject on which I am redoubling my efforts. with Zak [Brown], because I think we have more potential in the team than what we currently do, and he comes up against a limit. At some point you have to be on a level playing field. with the others in terms of infrastructure. "
"I'm talking about the wind tunnel, which we don't have at the factory. I'm talking about the simulator, which is outdated, the CFD which is no longer up to date, and also our production infrastructure, which is also obsolete. . But we have a clear plan for what we need to put in place in the years to come. It takes time. So you have to be realistic about what we can accomplish and put it all together, with the new regulations coming into effect. technical, sporting and financial force in 2022. I am convinced that we have done everything right and we also have an excellent duo of drivers, which is a very important asset to fight against the best. "
Racing Point still favorite for third place
Wind tunnel and simulator upgrade projects began several months ago in Woking, but were nevertheless delayed in the spring due to the coronavirus crisis. For now, McLaren is fighting with its resources and doing it well, even if third place in the championship is not an end in itself. The team is 16 steps ahead of Racing Point, whom Seidl still considers the favorite for this envied position behind Mercedes and Red bull racing.
"In terms of the pure potential of the single-seater, I think it's still Racing Point [which is third]", he warns. "Especially when we go back to normal circuits [after Spa and Monza]. But at the team level, with our two drivers as well as the development that we are still doing on the car this year, I really think we can fight against them. That's what we'll try to do until the last race. "
“Racing Point will be strong, and we've seen that Ferrari, on different circuits, can be in the game. I believe the fight will remain close for all of us. At the end of the day, it's about maximizing every weekend. of Grand Prix, to do the right laps in qualifying, to have the best possible outcome in the race in terms of strategy, pit stops. Compared to other teams, we have the luxury of having two very, very strong, and that's a great asset. They always do well in important moments and that gives us good starting positions for Sunday. That's why we were able to finish fourth in the constructors' championship the year last, and that's also why we're third now. "