McLaren won’t be following in the footsteps of some of the other teams, including Mercedes and Ferrari – which will hold a ‘pre-season’ test prior to the Austrian Grand Prix next month.
Mercedes has already confirmed it will run a two-year old car at Silverstone in order to prepare for the first race of the delayed 2020 season, whilst Ferrari are set to do the same at their Fiorano circuit.
This is not only to give drivers some track time after several months off, but also to test new procedures put in place for the coronavirus, including running separate crews for each car and practicing new safety measures.
But because McLaren is switching to Mercedes engines next year, that has complicated matters with the French manufacturer reportedly refusing to provide an additional power unit for the test.
“Unfortunately we don’t have this possibility of having a car that is two years old that we could operate because of all the powertrain switches we had here in recent years,” team principal Andreas Seidl told Sky Sports F1.
However he believes it won’t be a major negative as McLaren’s drivers have been active with Lando Norris taking part in a Formula 3 test last week and they hope to give Carlos Sainz some track time too.
“But as you have seen already, Lando was doing some karting and the free testing [with Carlin] and we look into the same thing also with Carlos to have the drivers ready.
“Of course, we will do some simulator work as well with them.”
Meanwhile the team is getting its cars ready and undertaking as much preparation work as possible.
“We started the race team again last week so we are preparing the cars at the moment and to try and to go through a lot of procedures and processes in the garage under these new circumstances with all the social distancing etc,” he added.
“With what we know now with the process that has been outlined from FIA and Formula 1 in terms of how we actually execute the race weekend in Austria, we have clarity there.
“Now it’s simply important to focus on preparation in the next three four weeks and then hopefully we have a good start in Austria.”