McLaren: 2020 car will be first test of '18 restructure

McLaren's Lando Norris in F1 action

McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl says the squad’s 2020 car will be the first test of the changes enacted by the operation from mid-2018.

McLaren’s split from Honda pointed the team to deficits and weaknesses previously masked by its relationship with the Japanese marque, prompting an overhaul of its approach and managerial structure.

McLaren axed several senior figures and went on to recruit James Key as Technical Director, who joined in March, along with ex-Porsche chief Seidl, whose tenure began at the start of May.

“This year’s car, which is a good step forward compared to last year’s car, has been started late after all the issues that were there within the team,” said Seidl.

“I think the full extent of all the changes that have been initiated already inside the team last year we will only see next year, because it’s the first car again which is somehow in the normal rhythm of the development.

“When do we normally start [on 2020]? I think as soon as we put the car on track in winter testing you see some strong and weak points straightaway.

“That’s the first time you start thinking ‘okay what you can still develop for this year’s car’ or are there things around which we want to tackle for the year after?”

McLaren finished a distant sixth in last year’s Constructors’ Championship – and would have been seventh without Force India/Racing Point’s mid-season semantics – but this season holds fourth.

“I think since the beginning of the season already it was a good step forward compared to last year,” said Seidl on McLaren’s MCL34.

“We have a car that is reacting to the development also that we bring to the track.

“There’s a lot of positive momentum and positive spirit inside the team, which made it a lot easier to get started for me.

“Again it’s still early days for me, only six weeks for me so far, three weeks on the road, three at the factory, so I still need time to understand everything in the factory.”