Designers at McLaren are working on an all-new car for 2020 that will be conceptually different from the MCL34 it’s raced this year.
Sitting fourth in the constructors’ championship, the team has already shifted focus to next year’s design.
Though small updates are still to come for the current car, the bulk of the effort is being put in to making a step change for 2020.
“We still bring some small bits to the next races also, but make sure that the team is flat out on (the) 2020 car,” said team principal Andreas Seidl.
“At the moment we don’t see anything in terms of carryover parts – it wouldn’t make sense.
“We still have stuff that we bring for this year’s car. I mean, the regulations are pretty much the same, there are stuff you can carryover then to next year but it’s not like we develop our stuff for next year’s car and then bring it.
“I wouldn’t call it radical but of course with the gap we’re having to the top cars under the same regulations we try to make a big, or a decent, step which means that some of the concept stuff of the car we will change.”
With a 34 point advantage over Renault, which sits fifth in the constructors’ championship, McLaren is now almost guaranteed to finish ahead of its engine supplier’s factory team.
The squad extended its advantage in Japan by a point courtesy of fifth for Carlos Sainz, while Renault could only muster sixth and 10th place finishes.
With just four races remaining, the likelihood of Renault overhauling the deficit is slim.
“We’ve seen now there is a kind of a trend in the last three or four races, we clearly have the fourth strongest car,” Seidl said
“I think we have everything in our hands now to secure this P4 at the end of the season which will be a great achievement for us as a team.
“At the same time it’s important now to stay flat out for next year’s car to make the next step.”
Formula 1 continues next weekend with the Mexican Grand Prix, opening practice set to commence at 0200 AEDT next Saturday.