New McLaren Formula 1 team principal Andreas Seidl says the team now has a car which is responding to updates, unlike its 2018 challenger.

McLaren saw its development hampered throughout a difficult 2018 campaign as it failed to get on top of a tricky car, though vast improvements have been made this season.

The Woking squad currently lies fourth in the constructors’ championship after Carlos Sainz scored more points for the team in the Spanish Grand Prix, despite complaining he had “no pace” during the race.

McLaren introduced a number of updates to its MCL34 in Barcelona, and Seidl was encouraged to see the numbers in the wind tunnel translate into on-track performance.

“I wouldn’t call it a radical concept change - it is an evolution of the car and it is not the first time we’ve got new parts on the car at the track,” Seidl explained.

“I think the good thing is this year is we have a car that is actually reacting to the updates we are bringing because as I gathered from the guys back home and the racing guys here the issue last year was whatever they did the car simply did not react to the updates.

“That is positive that it is reacting now. It is giving a positive feeling inside the company at the moment. We all know it is a development race inside the midfield where we are fighting at the moment. It is about having a car which you can develop over the season and this is what we tried to give for each race.

“When we put the car on track straight away we saw that the update was working with the numbers we were measuring which were aligned with everything we had seen back home which is good so the car is reacting to what we bring.”

Seidl, who started work with McLaren ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, is pleased with the early impressions he has witnessed and is now looking to outline a “clear mission” with CEO Zak Brown to ensure the team continues its progress.

“It just feels good now to finally be part of the team,” he said. “I had to wait some months before I could finally join. It’s good to get started in Woking.

“Zak introduced me to the team and I got a really warm welcome. So I’m trying now at the moment just to get to know as many people as possible.

“There’s great support from Zak, great support from Jonathan [Neale], Gil [de Ferran] and so on to get going as quickly as possible. Just happy to be finally part of this great team.

“I think it’s important now that I take my time also to really get into the details of what is existing at Woking, how the team is working,” he added. “And then obviously working closely together with the key players in the team to get ready for the future.

“It’s important to work out a clear plan and clear mission with Zak about how we approach the next years. Then I think when we look ahead, there are some big challenges coming, especially for a team like us.

“It’s also a great opportunity, and that will be the focus now in the next weeks and months for me.”



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