McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl believes the team need to be more “risky” as they look to continue their Formula 1 recovery.
After four difficult years for the Woking outfit, 2019 is finally showing signs of a revival with the team P4 in the Constructors’ Championship and seemingly now firmly at the front of the midfield pack.
Despite the improvements, McLaren still remain adrift of the top three, and Seidl has encouraged a “risky” approach throughout 2019 to ensure their progress continues.
“What is the most important thing for me is to see continuous development, and continuous improvement for the team back home and back here [at the track],” he told Autosport.
“For me what is important is that we take our time to make sure we go into detail, in terms of the methods and tools we are using to develop this stuff.
“Because this is the foundation in the end for an aggressive development that is required when you have a gap like we have [to the leading teams].
“We need to build up this confidence again inside the team and to be brave enough to take risky or adventurous concept decisions.
“That is something that other teams with a lot of experience and confidence like Mercedes can do.
“It is important to be good in categories like pitstops, race strategy, and we [are] already showing now that we can take the fight to the big ones because it is clear that the gap on the performance side is something that will take time.”
McLaren haven’t won a race since Brazil 2012, and after such a baron spell, the biggest low being their flawed engine partnership with Honda from 2015-17, Seidl knows it will take time to wash away those memories.
“If you have such bad years like McLaren had, then somehow you are against the wall,” explained Seidl.
“I think with all the changes that have happened over the last five years, not having stability inside the team, it doesn’t help.
“I am a guy who encourages people to take risks and to protect them when something goes wrong.
“You have to accept that mistakes will happen and while you should try to prevent them in the first place, you should make sure they don’t happen a second time.
“With the position we are in, we need to take risks. But in order to do that, you have to have certain confidence again inside the team, a certain culture and spirit and that is something we have to build up again together.
“I am not saying it is bad [at the team]. I was really impressed when I started with all the good results this year, how positive the atmosphere was, and how good the momentum was which was there, and it is important now to go in that direction.”