McLaren ‘aware of potential’ Mercedes engine issues

Michelle Foster
McLaren MCL35M

McLaren are aware that they could face “potential issues” with their new Mercedes engine but they hope to resolve any niggles during pre-season testing.

This season McLaren have returned to Mercedes engines, reuniting with the company that powered them to the 1998, 1999 and 2008 World titles.

McLaren, though, decided to part ways with Mercedes after the 2014 championship, fearing that a customer team would never be permitted to take on the works team for the titles.

But after brief relationships with Honda and Renault, McLaren are back with Mercedes.

The team has just three days in pre-season testing to resolve any issues that may arise with their new engine partner.

Team principal Andreas Seidl said, as quoted by GPFans: “Obviously, we are aware of the challenge we are in at the moment especially given the limited testing that takes place in Formula 1 and the lateness of the official test.

“But, I have to say, with everything I have seen so far, I am confident we will be ready for the test and the first race.

“We have seen, especially in these difficult circumstances under this pandemic, some great teamwork between our guys and the guys from Mercedes in Brixworth.

“But at the same time, it is also clear, that switching power unit over the winter has been a big challenge, and we are aware of the potential issues that could bring with it going into this first test.

“But we have a lot of experience in changing power unit recently. The Mercedes guys are very experienced as well, so I feel prepared.”

The McLaren drivers have already had a taste of the Mercedes power unit, putting in the laps in the MCL35M at the Silverstone circuit earlier this month.

It was the first on-track outing for the new partnership but, even with three of days of testing still to follow, Seidl concedes it will be a steep learning curve come the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

“For the first races we will go into together with Mercedes, that it is a new partnership, we will learn together especially during these first race weekends when the pressure is up for the first time to deliver,” he said.

“It’s simply a process you can’t shortcut, but we were aware of that when making the decision to go for Mercedes.

“I am looking forward to that challenge and I’m sure we will be able to manage that challenge together.”

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