McLaren: 'Sensational' partnership with Mercedes crucial to progress

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McLaren F1 chief Andreas Seidl credited the Woking-based outfit's step up in performance this season in part to the "sensational" start of its partnership with Mercedes.

After a four-year association with Honda that proved disastrous for both McLaren and the Japanese manufacturer, the papaya squad switched its engine allegiance to Renault from 2018 to 2020 with markedly improved results.

But McLaren's decision to revive its collaboration with Mercedes, the indisputable power unit reference in F1 since the dawn of the hybrid era in 2014, has allowed the sport's second most successful team to consistently fight and lead F1's midfield, and even threaten the supremacy of Mercedes and Red Bull at the top of the pyramid, as it proved in spectacular fashion at Monza last month.

Although every department at Woking has contributed to McLaren's development and success, Seidl praised the collaborative work conducted at the outset between his team and Mercedes.

"First of all, the lap time of a car is of course the result of an overall package, and the power unit plays an important role in that," said Seidl last week in Sochi.

"When we decided to go with the Mercedes engine, there was a clear reason for it – we wanted to have the power unit that won the World Championship in the rear of our car."

Beyond the success of the ongoing collaborative process, Seidl highlighted how the importance of the inception of the combination which enjoyed a flying start.

"I’m just very happy when I look at the first months of this relationship, how it started," added the McLaren chief.

"I think both teams at Brixworth and Woking did sensational work over the winter, even under the COVID restrictions, to integrate this power unit into our car.

"We were really ready from the first test, without any reliability problems."

As McLaren inches closer to F1's top contenders and inevitably battles the works team of its engine supplier, does Seidl fear that its engine supplier could hamper its forward march?

The German emphatically dismissed the occurrence of such a devious prospect, just like neither Lando Norris or Daniel Ricciardo would never step aside to help Mercedes.

"I am convinced…this will not stand in our way in the fight for championships in the future," said the German.

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