McLaren outlines 2021 F1 development strategy
Thursday 22nd April, 2021 - 10:30am
McLaren will continue developing its 2021 car while it sees potential gains despite a significant regulation change for next year’s Formula 1 season.
Sweeping new aerodynamic regulations set to be introduced for 2022, coupled with financial regulations which came into play this year, have created a difficult decision for teams.
In essence, the longer they develop their current car, the less time they have to work on next year’s, when they could make significant ground on their rivals.
However, switching too early risks their championship position – and therefore prize money entitlements – at the end of 2021.
At McLaren, a seemingly tight battle for third in the constructors’ championship with Ferrari further muddies that decision.
“I obviously don’t know what Ferrari’s planning but I think from our side, we have a clear plan of what we want to do next year and when we want to do the full switch to next year,” explained McLaren team principal, Andreas Seidl.
“It will also be depending on do you actually see a lot more potential within some more runs, for example, in the wind tunnel.
“If you see some promising directions which then could lead you to say, look, let’s invest two, three more runs, because we could actually get quite a bit out of it for this year.
“Or if it goes in the other direction that you’ve seen, okay, it’s pretty much done well, you need to invest a lot more energy and time in order to make further steps that could lead you to aborting even earlier than planned.”
Key, for Seidl, is ensuring the team maintains the head of steam it has currently built up.
It finished third in last year’s constructors’ fight after a tense season-long battle with Racing Point (Aston Martin) and Renault (Alpine).
Over the course of the year, it picked up two podium places, a tally it has already added to in 2021.
“Of course, we want to do good this year, we want to keep this positive momentum up, but at the same time the journey we’re in is clear,” Seidl explained.
“We want to get back to the front in some years. In order to do that we want to use also this opportunity of the new regulations that come into place next year.”