McLaren boss wants more aggressive engineering culture
McLaren’s new team principal Andreas Seidl is looking to lay the foundations of a more aggressive engineering culture within the British team.
Seidl joined the team in May having previously headed Porsche’s world championship-winning LMP1 program.
Over the last two months, the German has entrenched himself within the team, and come up with a frank assessment of where he believes it needs to head in order to return to winning ways.
“What is the most important thing for me is to see continuous development, and continuous improvement for the team back home and back here,” he explained.
“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.
“We need to build up this confidence again inside the team and be also 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.”
McLaren’s performances have taken a step forward already in 2019 with the squad on target to eclipse the points it scored across 2017 and 2018 combined.
It’s been a rocky period for the once mighty team, with significant management and ownership changes coupled with a switch from Mercedes to Honda, and now Renault power.
While promising to rekindle the success they enjoyed together in the 1980s and early 1990s, the three years spent with Honda proved especially demoralising.
According to Seidl, all of those influences have combined to have a negative impact on the team’s morale and confidence.
“I think with all the changes that have happened over the last five years, with not having stability inside the team, it doesn’t help,” he reasoned.
“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 a certain confidence again inside the team, a certain culture and spirit and that is something we have to build up again together.
“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.”
A strong result in Austria, which saw Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz both in the points, sees McLaren fourth in the constructors’ championship on 52 points, 20 points clear of engine supplier Renault’s factory team.
Formula 1 moves on to Silverstone and the British Grand Prix this weekend, with practice set to begin at 1900 AEST on Friday.