McLaren: Chassis upgrade token system is ‘unfair’

Jamie Woodhouse
McLaren Racing Point

Racing Point underperforming in 2020, McLaren overperforming says Ross Brawn.

McLaren principal Andreas Seidl says the team will continue to push the FIA for a resolution to the 2021 token system which they feel is “unfair”.

Next year there will be a token system in place for teams to use to upgrade their chassis. It’s a way of controlling costs due to the pandemic with the new rules now delayed until 2022.

But McLaren aren’t happy with the loophole which allows customer teams like Racing Point and AlphaTauri, who are using 2019 Mercedes and Red Bull hardware respectively, to upgrade to the 2020 versions next year without using a token.

The FIA have already stated that they will not be altering article 22.8.5.b of the technical regulations, which allows teams to make token-free upgrades on customer parts, unless all 10 teams were united against it.

But McLaren are not happy with that and are searching for further clarification from the FIA. quote Seidl as saying: “As we have communicated, that some teams can do this token-free, we think is not correct, is not fair.

“But that’s part of the discussion we’re having with FIA and we need to see how that goes in the next weeks.”

This isn’t the first time recently that McLaren and the FIA have disagreed on something.

The Woking outfit were originally among the teams set to appeal against Racing Point’s 400,000 Euros fine and docking of 15 points due to their use of Mercedes-inspired brake ducts, arguing it was too lenient.

But they later withdrew from the appeal and Seidl was clear that this subject is totally seperate from the token issue.

“We lodged our intention to appeal last weekend in order to simply gain more time, in order to understand the details and in order to also understand what Formula 1 and the FIA wants to do with the overall topic,” he confirmed.

“In the end, if you look back at all the discussion in the last months since Racing Point put this car on track for the first time in Barcelona the most important thing for us was a clear commitment, an agreement from FIA and Formula 1 there, that they definitely want to prohibit extensive car copying in the future.

“We got this agreement with the announcement of Nikolas [Tombazis, FIA head of single-seater matters] last Friday in Silverstone and with further information we received on Tuesday.

“Based on that, for us, we got everything which is important for us as McLaren for the existence of our team in the future and for also making sure we can be competitive in the future. That’s what we wanted to get.”

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