The FIA will closely monitor McLaren’s transition from Renault Formula 1 engines to Mercedes next year to ensure the team does not make any extra performance-related gains.

McLaren will switch to Mercedes power from next season but the change has been complicated by F1’s decision to delay the planned 2021 technical regulation overhaul by a year until 2022.

Teams will now be forced to carry over their current cars as a cost-saving measure to try and limit the financial burden caused by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

As the only outfit that is changing its power unit supplier for next year, McLaren has been given special dispensation to adapt its current chassis - which was originally designed for the Renault engine - to accommodate the Mercedes unit next year.

McLaren has subsequently agreed a monitoring process with the FIA to make sure it does not gain an unfair advantage from revising its chassis design.

“First of all it is a change of plan for us because we planned to integrate the Mercedes power unit into the new car with the 2021 regulations,” Seidl told selected selected media including Crash.net during a teleconference.

“For sure there will be restrictions in terms of how good we can integrate this power unit into the current car.

“We have agreed together with the FIA that they will monitor together very closely that we are only allowed to do the changes that are absolutely necessary to install the Mercedes power unit.

“So they will monitor closely that we don’t change any other areas in the surroundings of the power unit that will give us additional performance gains.

“We fully understand and agreed to that as in the end we need to look at the bigger picture which is to agree and support the freezing that is happening at the moment.

“Because, again, as I said before, that ensures maximum cost savings for everyone for this year.”

Seidl insisted McLaren never considered postponing its switch to Mercedes power and does not foresee any issues in extending its supply deal with Renault to cover January 2021 if racing does stretch into early next year because of the COVID-19 situation.

“If that really happens and we are going racing in January, I don’t think there will be any issue regarding our agreement we have with Renault,” he explained.

“I think it is important to state that we have a great relationship there and an open and transparent relationship for this year. So I don’t see any issue there.”

 

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