Lando Norris, McLaren, Hockenheimring, 2019

McLaren expect further gains from earlier start on 2020 F1 car

2020 F1 season

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McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl expects the team to make further gains in the 2020 F1 season because it was able to start its next car earlier in the year than the current one.

The team’s development process has been disrupted in recent seasons. Work on last year’s car was affected by the decision to switch from Honda power to Renault. And its current technical team was not in place when work on the MCL34 began.

However Seidl noted next year’s car “will be the car under the leadership of James Key” and said the team has been able to begin work on it earlier.

“With the technical regulations staying the same I would say also for us next year will be more an evolution than a revolution,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “We have good base now and again we learned a lot so far with that car, we know what the weaknesses are. That’s obviously something you want to address for next year.

“But I think for us the where we think the next step will come in terms of car performance is simply that we started this time, the first time since quite a while, again with a normal timing of doing a car. We started straight after the winter testing with the initial concept phase for next year’s car. Different to previous years.

“Just that fact together with having now clear technical director in place gives me a lot of hope and I’m optimistic that we can make the next step.”

McLaren has made the largest year-on-year gain in lap time of any team this year. But they do not expect to suddenly catch up to the ‘top three’ teams in 2020.

“We still need to be realistic,” said Seidl. “As I said several times there’s no magic. To get to the front is still huge, the longest maybe. The aim is to get somewhere in between next year.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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3 comments on “McLaren expect further gains from earlier start on 2020 F1 car”

  1. i remember starting early on their 2004 car worked like a charm

    1. Hakk The Rack
      29th August 2019, 9:57

      2004 was an evolution of unraced 2003 car.

    2. Literally each and every other team has had unsuccessful cars from time to time over the years. Picking that one out is a bit pointless, really.

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