McLaren boss Andreas Seidl has said that the budget cap imposed this year means teams will have to go “all in” when it comes to development.
Formula 1 teams in 2022 have faced an extraordinary challenge: build an entirely new car whilst also keeping costs under a strict budget cap.
At the beginning of the season, it looked like McLaren may have failed that challenge. A combined six points from both drivers in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia had Zak Brown and co at the McLaren Technology Centre scrambling for a solution.
The work did pay dividends though and their fortunes changed in Australia with a podium for Lando Norris. They now find themselves fourth in the Constructors’ Championship and as teams begin to bring upgrades to their car, team principal Andreas Seidl has warned there are many factors which need to be considered.
“When you bring updates throughout the season, you have to consider a wide variety of parameters and circumstances,” Seidl said, as reported by Motorsport-Magazin.com. “The budget ceiling and the limited CFD [computational fluid dynamics] and wind tunnel time on the one hand, and the question of when exactly to bring big steps on the other.
McLaren need to bounce back from Miami
McLaren came away from Miami with no points, so they need to get back on track in Barcelona.
“That makes a difference between the time before and after the budget limit.”
The budget limit has a particular impact on development with teams unwilling to spend money on parts only to find them not as effective as they might have hoped. Instead, Seidl says the teams are going “all in” when it come to research and development.
“This year you have to go all in and research in different directions. And then when you realise that a certain direction brings a certain level of performance, then you continue there,” he said.
Having enjoyed an upturn in form in Australia, the team regressed once more in Miami with Daniel Ricciardo ending P14 and Norris DNFing following a crash with Pierre Gasly. Seidl is confident though that the next race in Barcelona will favour McLaren’s package.
“The track [in Spain] should fit our package better again, since we tested it before the start of the season,” he said.
“Of course some time has passed since then, but like everyone else we’ve been working on our car and have come to a much better understanding than we did at the tests in Barcelona or Bahrain that our cars are still quite young.”