“Will we get to where Mercedes is?” – McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has spoken out on closing the gap with Mercedes next season.
McLaren ended their season on a brilliant note, finishing third in the Constructors Championship. This was the British team’s highest position in eight years. They had to fend off the likes of Racing Point, Renault, and Ferrari to claim the ‘podium’.
Trying our hardest to hold back the tears like… pic.twitter.com/Rr4zMWGLZS
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) December 17, 2020
This season also marked the last year with Renault as their engine supplier. From next season, McLaren will reunite with Mercedes, with whom they had a brilliant partnership from 1995 to 2004. When asked if this will help McLaren close the gap on the champions, team principal Andreas Seidl responded in the negative.
“Will we get to where Mercedes is? That is not something we will close from one year to next year.”
“We still know we have a lot of deficit within the team in terms of the organization, in terms of infrastructure, which we need to close, first but again, we have a clear plan of how we want to reduce this deficit. It will take time but I am confident that, if we do the right things on the team side, that we can close this gap in some years.”
Will McLaren “play to win” after new investment?
McLaren’s icing on the third-place cake was the £185million investment from US-based sports investment group MSP Sports Capital. Following the cash injection, McLaren Group executive chairman Paul Walsh announced they will “play to win” in F1 henceforth. But Seidl has downplayed his boss’ words and chosen a more realistic approach.
“I think we need to stay realistic despite the good result we had in Abu Dhabi and despite the great outcome on the championship delivering P3. I think we know exactly where we are. There is still a huge gap to the cars in front, especially to the Mercedes car.”