McLaren will not “sacrifice” its 2020 season in order to prioritise the development of its 2021 Formula 1 car, according to team principal Andreas Seidl.

The Woking squad enjoyed its strongest season of the V6 hybrid era in 2019 by securing fourth spot in the constructors’ championship, and is aiming to further close the gap to Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull this year.

But the looming introduction of a host of new sporting, technical and financial regulations for 2021 means teams are having to juggle their development to ensure they do not fall behind on the design of the all-new post-2020 car.

“Like everyone, we want to have a good start to the season,” Seidl said.

“The speed of your 2020 car will determine to some degree when you switch all your resources towards 2021.

“It’s a juggling act that we have every year, but it’s more extreme this time because of the change in technical regulations for 2021.

“We’re not going to sacrifice 2020; we want to have another good season because it’s important for the development of the team to have continuous improvement.”

Seidl says he is satisfied McLaren has understood the weaknesses of its MCL34 and can make the required improvements to further reduce the gap to the top three teams in 2020.

"I am very happy with the progress I see in the factory regarding the preparations for the 2020 season,” he explained.

“I think we have a very good understanding of the weaknesses the MCL34 had in 2019 and it is great to see how the entire team is working together very hard on improving.

"I’m optimistic that we can make the next step, which is to further reduce the lap time deficit to the top three teams.”

 

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