Development of 2021 McLaren won’t risk 2022

Lando Norris

Andreas Seidl believes work underway at McLaren to further develop the MCL35M will not detract from its 2022 Formula 1 preparations.

All-new regulations will transform the shape of F1 next year, with sweeping aerodynamic changes fundamentally altering the philosophy involved in the way the car generates downforce.

Such a seismic shift has seen teams look to focus their resources into that project early in an effort to get a jump on their competition.

That has seen them progressively scale back development on this year’s car in favour of the 2022 design.

It’s a decision that has been complicated by the introduction of financial regulations this year, limiting what teams are able to spend and therefore curtailing the early development seen in seasons past.

Exactly when and how each team shifts its focus is largely dependant on its progress, and chances this year.

A high finish in 2021 can net significant prize money, however, a sluggish start to 2022 could see it lose out in the longer term.

At McLaren, the bulk of its resources have been moved onto the new car, though work continues on the MCL25M.

“I think with everything we’re doing also now it’s not putting the next year’s project at risk,” reasoned Seidl.

“Whenever we had, let’s say, capacity also in recent weeks, we were using this capacity to keep improving this year’s car.

“That’s what we did in the last weeks, and that’s what we need to do, I’d say, at least for the first races after the break.

“It is also clear that the majority of the capacities, in our resources is clearly just focused on next year’s car,” he added.

“But sometimes there is low hanging fruits and so on where you can just make the decision, ‘okay it makes sense to spend the extra energy or resource in order to take the opportunity’.”

McLaren is currently tied on points with Ferrari though sits fourth behind the Italian marque on the constructors’ championship on countback.

Lando Norris has been the team’s standout performer, contributing 113 of the team’s 163 points thus far.

F1 is back in action following its summer break at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit for the Belgian Grand Prix next weekend.

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