McLaren will not feel the “full extent” of the structural changes it has made until the 2020 Formula 1 season, says new team principal Andreas Seidl.

Former Porsche LMP1 boss Seidl began his new role at McLaren at May’s Spanish Grand Prix, with the German acting as the latest in a string of personnel changes made at Woking in the last year.

McLaren re-hired Pat Fry to strengthen its engineering arm towards the end of 2018, while technical director James Key - who signed last July - officially started work at year’s Bahrain Grand Prix following the expiry of his Red Bull contract.

While McLaren has made an encouraging start to the 2019 season, Seidl warned the full effect of the changes made behind-the-scenes is unlikely to come to fruition before next year.

“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,” Seidl explained.

“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 or improve for this year’s car’, or are there other things around which we want to tackle for the year after?”

McLaren finished a distant sixth place in 2018 but currently occupies fourth spot in this year’s constructors’ championship - two points clear of the Renault works squad - after making a strong start to the season.

Speaking about McLaren’s MCL34 challenger, Seidl added: “I think since the beginning of the season already it was a good step forward compared to last year.

“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.”



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