McLaren keen to regain testing momentum

Jon Wilde

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl is keen to regain the “momentum” they generated in pre-season testing when the 2020 season gets under way in Austria on July 5.

The Woking-based constructor finished fourth in the 2019 World Championship and returned to the podium for the first time since 2014 when Carlos Sainz was awarded third place in the Brazilian Grand Prix following Lewis Hamilton’s demotion.

Sainz is about to embark on his second and final year with McLaren before moving to Ferrari and will again join British youngster Lando Norris in trying to maintain the team’s upward curve.

Team boss Seidl hopes to close the gap further to the top three – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – while holding off the challenge of similarly ambitious rivals Racing Point and Renault.

In a video on McLaren’s official website, he said: “We know from winter testing that we definitely made a good step over the winter. We had a good test.

“At the same time, the competition around us did a great job as well, so it’s important now to get back to the momentum we had over the winter as quickly as possible.

“Get back into this competition mood, this fighting spirit, and then hopefully we have a good start. We are really pumped up now to get back to Austria and see where we are.”

Seidl admitted he had enjoyed the extra ‘family time’ granted by the lockdown caused by the global health pandemic, but is now eager to get going.

He added: “Knowing now that in less than two and a half weeks we go racing again, one thing that was clear in this two and a half month break is there’s a reason why we wake up every morning as racers.

“The longer the break was and the longer we were away from racing, at least for me, and I know also from a lot of team members, the desire to go back to racing and to go back to competition, to measure ourselves against the best in the sport, became bigger and bigger every day.”

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