2020 McLaren will be judge of ’18 restructure

Jamie Woodhouse
Carlos Sainz Lando Norris McLaren


McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl believes the 2020 car will be the first indication of how successful the team’s 2018 restructure was.

After the Woking outfit split with engine supplier Honda, they underwent an overhaul of the management and structures within the team.

Among the biggest appointments were James Key as Technical Director, while Seidl took up the position of team principal, officially starting his role in May.

Stability is coming back to the team as the dust settles on the changes, and Seidl has identified next season as the point where it will become clear if the alterations have worked.

“This year’s car, which is a good step forward compared to last year’s car, has been started late after all the issues that were there within the team,” Seidl told Motorsport Week.

“I think the full extent of all the changes that have been initiated already inside the team last year we will only see next year, because it’s the first car again which is somehow in the normal rhythm of the development.

“When do we normally start, I think as soon as we put the car on track in winter testing you see some strong and weak points straightaway.

“That’s the first time you start thinking ‘okay what you can still develop for this year’s car’ or are there things around which we want to tackle for the year after?”

McLaren managed only P6 in the Constructors’ Championship last season, and it would have been P7 if it wasn’t for Force India’s expulsion from the standings.

However, this season they are the early midfield pace-setters in P4, and while Seidl is happy with MCL34, he also warned that is is still “early days” for himself.

“We have a car that is reacting to the development that we bring to the track,” he explained.

“There’s a lot of positive momentum and positive spirit inside the team, which made it a lot easier to get started for me.

“Again it’s still early days for me, only six weeks for me so far, three weeks on the road, three at the factory, so I still need time to understand everything in the factory.”

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