McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl says Formula 1 must focus on finding ways to level the competition between all teams rather than the ‘short-term fix’ over the 2019 Pirelli tyres.

After a vote to revert back to the 2018 Pirelli tyre compounds for the remainder of this season fell through at the Austrian Grand Prix, Seidl feels any kneejerk reactions forgets what he sees as “far bigger issues” looking at the performance gap between the top three teams and the rest of the F1 field.

Only the top five finishers in Austria remained on the lead lap at the finish, including every midfield fighter, with Lando Norris taking sixth place but was lapped by winner Max Verstappen on the final lap.

McLaren has been a team leading the calls for rule and regulation changes to close the deficit between the top three teams and the rest, but Seidl doesn’t expect any significant changes until the 2021 rules shake-up.

“I think in general we have a far bigger issues which is this big gap we have between the top teams and the midfield. That is also where our focus is on,” Seidl said.

“This is something that cannot be solved in the short term, so we have big hopes for all the changes that are on the table on the financial side, technical side, sporting side, regarding the regulations in ’21.

“Hopefully F1 and the FIA with all the experts which they now have onboard, which is a unique situation, they pull through. We full support the changes that have been sent out some weeks ago and that is our focus to be honest.”

McLaren has also defended Pirelli by explaining the Italian tyre manufacturer made its 2019 tyres due to specifications requested by F1 teams.

After 2018 saw tyres frequently suffer blistering but less degradation, Pirelli was asked to produce tyres with higher degradation – in a bid to ensure more pit stops in races.

“I think it’s important, in all fairness to Pirelli, to mention that we don’t have a tyre issue in general here,” Seidl explained. “I think Pirelli, the product we have this year is matching all the requirements we set out last year, as Formula 1, for what we want to have.

“I think in the end the reason why we have this discussion at the moment is that we have three top teams with the same resources and one team is doing a significantly better job than the other two. So that’s that situation we are facing.

“There is nothing we can really influence as McLaren. I think it’s down to the three top teams, with the FIA and Formula 1 to see if there is anything that can be done short-term to fix that issue.”



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