New McLaren Formula 1 team principal Andreas Seidl says the MCL34 responds to updates, unlike its predecessor.
The British team struggled to tame their wild and unpredictable 2018 challenger, but 2019 has seen a huge step forward with 22 points from the opening five rounds earning them best-of-the-rest P4 in the current Constructors’ standings.
McLaren brought a number of upgrades to the Spanish Grand Prix where Carlos Sainz recorded a points finish despite complaining of having “no pace”, leaving Seidl very pleased with how the MCL34 responded to the changes.
“I wouldn’t call it a radical concept change – it is an evolution of the car and it is not the first time we’ve got new parts on the car at the track,” Seidl explained to Crash.net.
“I think the good thing is this year we have a car that is actually reacting to the updates we are bringing because as I gathered from the guys back home and the racing guys here the issue last year was whatever they did the car simply did not react to the updates.
“That is positive that it is reacting now. It is giving a positive feeling inside the company at the moment. We all know it is a development race inside the midfield where we are fighting at the moment. It is about having a car which you can develop over the season and this is what we tried to give for each race.
“When we put the car on track straight away we saw that the update was working with the numbers we were measuring which were aligned with everything we had seen back home which is good so the car is reacting to what we bring.”
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) May 13, 2019
The Spanish GP marked Seidl’s first race weekend with McLaren, and he is now looking forward to outlining a “clear mission” with CEO Zak Brown as the team tries to continue its journey up the field.
“It just feels good now to finally be part of the team,” he said. “I had to wait some months before I could finally join. It’s good to get started in Woking.
“Zak introduced me to the team and I got a really warm welcome. So I’m trying now at the moment just to get to know as many people as possible.
“There’s great support from Zak, great support from Jonathan [Neal], Gil [de Ferran] and so on to get going as quickly as possible. Just happy to be finally part of this great team.
“I think it’s important now that I take my time also to really get into the details of what is existing at Woking, how the team is working, and then obviously working closely together with the key players in the team to get ready for the future.
“It’s important to work out a clear plan and clear mission with Zak about how we approach the next years. Then I think when we look ahead, there are some big challenges coming, especially for a team like us.
“It’s also a great opportunity, and that will be the focus now in the next weeks and months for me.”