McLaren fully focused on 2022
By Mat Coch
Wednesday 4th August, 2021 - 1:29pm
McLaren boss Andreas Seidl has admitted that his team has shifted its focus off 2021 in favour of next year’s Formula 1 season.
Sweeping new aerodynamic regulations are set to come into play, F1 itself unveiling a full-scale representation of what that will look like over the British Grand Prix weekend.
Common consensus up and down pitlane is that it offered an accurate representation of the sport’s new look, albeit undeveloped versus what the teams themselves will ultimately produce.
The 2021 season has therefore been something of a balancing act for teams as they juggle limited resources between supporting the current car and developing the new model.
Complicating that matter for McLaren is the fact it is embroiled in a tight battle with Ferrari for third in the constructors’ championship.
“From now on, and I think it’s pretty much the same for the entire paddock here, full focus is on next year’s car,” Seidl admitted.
“In the end, this car is about maximising now a package you have in hand by still understanding it further and further, and then simply optimise it for each racetrack that we go to and for which ambient conditions, for each tyre selection that we have for different weekends.”
That hasn’t stopped McLaren dripping through a number of small upgrades, including new bargeboards in recent races – a scarce item damaged on Daniel Ricciardo’s car during the first lap melee in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Australian noted he’s seen bits of next year’s car though, like Seidl, suggests there’s still gains to be made this year.
“I’ve seen bits and pieces whilst I’ve been at the factory with next year’s car, but it’s still relatively early days,” Ricciardo said.
“There’s still a lot to get on top of this year, and I think also feedback that I’ll give this year can also obviously help [the] direction maybe next year.”
Ricciardo sits ninth in the drivers’ standings, tied on 50 points with Pierre Gasly.
Similarly, McLaren is tied for points with Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, the Italian team ahead courtesy of two second place finishes; Carlos Sainz in Monaco, and Charles Leclerc in Silverstone.
Though racing has ceased until the end of the month, McLaren was in action yesterday at the Hungaroring as it took part in tyre testing for Pirelli.
The F1 season proper starts up again at the Belgian Grand Prix on August 27-29.