McLaren is looking forward to an “interesting new challenge” when Formula 1 returns this weekend with a double-header event at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
F1 has taken the unusual route of holding multiple races at the same venues in order to build up a 2020 calendar, with Austria and Britain set to hold two races each across consecutive weekends.
There are also plans to hold two races in Bahrain and possibly China and Russia, though these remain unconfirmed.
McLaren’s Lando Norris is intrigued by the idea and how the two weekends might differ from one another, and reckons the chance to learn from one weekend and carry that knowledge into the next presents a great opportunity.
“I’m pleased we’re getting started again in Austria, it’s a great, fast, track and we performed well there last year,” commented the British driver.
“It will be an interesting challenge to race there two weekends in a row, but also a great opportunity to analyse how the first race could have panned out differently and adjust our strategy for the second.”
Team boss Andreas Seidl described it as an “interesting new challenge” for the team and Formula 1, but remains cautious about how McLaren will perform given the pecking order remains an unknown.
“Two races in Austria presents an interesting new challenge for us,” he said. “We were strong there last year but, with the uncertainty caused by the delayed start to the season, we will need to be operating at 100% to maximise our performances in both races.
“I know the whole team, Lando and Carlos are all excited by this challenge and we’ve been working hard to make sure we hit the ground running in Austria.”
Seidl went on to confirm McLaren is planning some upgrades for the MCL35, but the main focus has been on creating spare parts.
“Our preparation for Austria has been a balance between building enough parts to get through an intense period of races and updating and developing the car.
“The team is back up and running again, whether at home or in the factory, and we’re working hard to keep improving the car however we can. We have also spent some time getting used to the new working practices that will enable us to race safely, and we thank Formula 1, the FIA, the circuit and local authorities for their work on this. As one of the first international sports to restart, we value their commitment to keeping our team and the wider paddock safe.”