The fact that McLaren is currently fourth in the Constructor’s standings, having netted nearly double the points of 5th place Racing Point, speaks volumes for the progress made by the team compared to last year.
They also have a 16-point advantage over the Renault works team, with whom they share the same powertrain, which shows that the Woking-based outfit is definitely on the right path back to respectability in Formula 1 – and without any former champions or veteran drivers onboard.
What’s different this year?
Their turnaround started with the recent arrival of Andreas Seidl as team principal, followed by the changes implemented at their HQ in Woking, reports Autosport.
“Teamwork,” said CEO Zak Brown when asked what type of progress he’s seen with his team. “If you look at things like winter testing, I was very pleased to see we were first team out on seven of eight days. When we had an issue we got right back to being next team out.”
“Pitstops are really strong. We’ve had some technical advancement there, that’s just teamwork and focus. There’s a very positive vibe. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is everyone’s clear on their role, everyone’s motivated, and working really well together. That’s why you’re seeing things like good pitstops and good preparations.”
Brown went on to compare his team with Mercedes as far as efficiency and leadership.
“If we look at Mercedes winning all the races [this season], yes they’ve got a great budget, but they are also a phenomenally well-run racing team so they can do the pitstops they pull off. They seem to not have bad weekends.”
“That’s a great racing team. That’s what I’m starting to see here and Andreas is going to make that even better.”
As for team boss Andreas Seidl, he wants his outfit to focus on understanding their strengths and weaknesses first, before anything else.
“What is obvious, we are missing is 1.5 – 2 seconds,” he said. “This means that if you put it into perspective with the budget we have, with the infrastructure, we have to do better overall. That’s the mission right now. I first need to understand the organization entirely. Then make my mind up how to structure this project in the future.”
One of his goals is to also get a jump on 2021 regulations, as they “will affect the overall set-up of the team for the future.”