New McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl says spending levels in Formula 1 are currently “not sustainable” but is optimistic matters will change post-2021.
Seidl, who previously worked in Formula 1 with BMW before spearheading Porsche’s ultra-successful LMP1 project, joined McLaren as its new team boss at the start of the month.
Seidl joins a McLaren team that has slipped back into the midfield through the past decade, with Formula 1’s leading three teams – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – holding an advantage over the rest.
Formula 1 chiefs and the FIA are intending to introduce a sliding-scale cost-cap from 2021 and Seidl believes it is needed in order to help the sport’s health.
“It is clear there is a huge gap at the moment between the top teams and all the other teams here in Formula 1,” said Seidl.
“When I look back 10 years ago when I left Formula 1, the top teams kept increasing budgets and the number of people, infrastructure and so on.
“It is clearly not sustainable, Formula 1, how it is now because if you want to be competitive you need to put big money in.
“But as we have said before with the dialogue we’ve been having we are quite optimistic with Formula 1 and FIA that some good changes are coming up from 2021 onwards.
“I am optimistic that it is possible to be more competitive from the sporting side but also on the commercial side.”
Seidl is regarded as the final piece of the McLaren management jigsaw that has undergone substantial changes in recent years and said it was an “easy decision” to join the team.
“I am a competitive guy and a race guy so it is clear that I always wanted to be back in the top category of the sport for the right opportunity,” said Seidl.
“After Zak [Brown] approached me for the first time last year, at Le Mans, we were talking about the possibility and it was straightaway very appealing to be part of this great team and its great history.
“Then I had further talks with Zak and the shareholders.
“Seeing this division they have, the commitment, to keep investing into the team to make sure we get back to the front or to be able to close the gap to the front it was quite an easy decision for me to make and it feels great to be part of this great team and great history.
“Many people are asking if it is not crazy pressure and I think for me and every single member of the team it is simply motivation to be part of McLaren and have the possibility to do our contribution and to get back to the front.”