Seidl ensuring McLaren keeps its feet on the ground


McLaren F1 boss Andreas Seidl says there's "still a long way to go" before F1's second most successful team revives the luster from its glorious past.

McLaren's step up in performance this season, after many lean years, coupled with its consistency has solidly positioned the Woking-based outfit at the head of F1's competitive midfield.

While happy with the papaya squad's progress and results in 2019, Seidl insists it’s a first step towards establishing a "positive trend" and a direction for the future.

"What we’re doing now is putting together a clear plan of how we want to approach the future as a team," explained the German, speaking to Formula 1's Lawrence Barretto.

"This happens in parallel to the racing season going on. I’m happy with where we are now - we have 70 points now, last year we had 62 at the end of the season.

"But it’s important not to get carried away by that. There is still a long way to go. There is no magic. It’s important we continue this positive trend as a team."

Formula 1 will resume at Spa next weekend, with the second half of the season forcing teams to continue their current development programmes while progressively switching resources to next year's car.

Contrary to last year, when the team had a change of engine supplier to contend with, McLaren has implemented a timely shift to its 2020 design, but it will also keep the updates coming for its MCL34.

"We switched quite early, with some people focusing on next year’s car already," he says.

"It’s back to more of normal timing in terms of initial concept phase, after years where we had things like a power unit change which was quite late or personnel changes.

"This year’s car was also started far too late. Looking ahead, I’m quite optimistic we can make the next step with the car for next year, but at the same time, we have to stay realistic."


Another change brought about by Seidl's leadership is the ability for McLaren's engineers to maneuver more freely in terms of bold new ideas.

Where the thinking heads often worked within tight constraints in the past, broader creativity and risk taking is welcomed as far as Seidl is concerned.

"It’s important for me that my people also clearly are aware of the support they get from me, and also the freedom – that is always something I had with my bosses in the past," he added.

"This is where I can perform best and make my contribution.

"It is really working well. We all have the same common approach of how we want to bring the team back up again, which is obviously very good.

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL34 leads team mate Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) McLaren MCL34.

"The situation we are in now, we need to catch up, so we need to encourage people to take risks, but at the same time, also accept that from time to time, stuff will go wrong.

"We need to make sure you don’t have a blaming culture in the team, that you have this spirit of always going the extra mile.

"What is also very good is that I have the support from Zak’s side and the shareholders’ side and the freedom to bring in my style, how I want to lead the F1 operation."

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