McLaren reacts to improvements and thinks big

Seidl and Key value the foundations of the MCL34, the improvement plan from now on and the 2020 challenge. "We can be optimistic," says the German chief.

The MCL34, already in its last stages of updating, can be described as a success of the Woking factory. McLaren has recovered the pulse to F1 this season with a decent car, above the middle class, superior to Renault and increasingly closer to the Red Bull, especially around one lap. They add 89 points in 15 races, a year ago there were 58 at this point, and both Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris convince with performances and results, although in the last three races fortune has not always been on their side.

Andrea Seidl, team leader since May, and James Key, technical director since March, discuss with AS the steps to follow from now on to lay the foundations of the 2020 and 2021 project, where all hopes are laid. From the outset, the improvements from now on will be few and concrete, but they will exist starting with Sochi, this weekend. "We arrived at a time of the season in which it is difficult to justify bringing large packages of updates, but there will be developments in some parts that will be introduced in the next races," explains Key, willing to "follow the planned plan because everything that is done in 2019 will be relevant for 2020 ", although warning that the MCL35 does not have to be a simple evolution of the current one:" There will be possible conceptual changes that we will have to assess ".

Among the keys of the step forward, a very simple : the pieces that have been brought during the season have remained in the car (except for an experimental suspension that was tested in Paul Ricard). Everything has worked. "It is so, and that is very good. In 2018 one of the problems was that the car did not react to the developments that were brought, and that is very frustrating because they put the same hours and the same energy without success. This year yes it reacts to improvements and is the basis of any development ", justifies Seidl, also in response to this medium. The latest developments, in Singapore, were a new flat bottom and a redesign of the air ducts of the brakes. 444444

The car has complied with high aerodynamic and low load circuits. "Perhaps we have been even more competitive in high-load ones," says Key, aware that in the preseason the shortcomings of the McLaren pointed to the slow curves: "We were reasonably competitive in Hungary or Singapore, also in Monza or Spa (opposite conditions) , points were lost there but it wasn't because of having a bad race position. And in those of normal charge, like Sochi and what is coming now, too. " And the German leader adds: "We can be optimistic from now on, we will always have a car capable of fighting for points."

Earrings of another engine penalty six races still ahead, it is very possible that they must assume a new engine change to complete the course without exceeding the recommended mileage figures. Seidl clarifies: "We will try to overcome it without mounting another, but you have to be realistic and there is the possibility to make one more change. We will deal with Renault because they are in the same situation as us and it is something that will depend on how we do in the next races. If we have a bad classification, or we are not competitive for the reason that it is in a circuit, it may be a good time to face a less bulky penalty. "

The goal now, with a small mouth, is to sentence the quarter or put in builders. The real plan is to take "the next step" with the 2020, car to take a serious advantage over the rest of the middle zone and be less than a second behind Red Bull. Already in 2021, with a new pitch for changing the rules, they go for trophies.


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