Delays to driver contract talks for the 2021 Formula 1 season because of the coronavirus pandemic is not a “big issue” for McLaren, according to team principal Andreas Seidl.

McLaren drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris are both out of contract at the end of the year but are expected to extend their tenures with the Woking squad.

McLaren had already opened talks with Sainz over a new contract at the start of the year with the Spaniard’s two-year deal expiring at the end of 2020, while the team is keen to retain Norris following his impressive rookie season.

Who should partner Leclerc in 2021 F1 season? | Ferrari Driver Contenders | Crash.net

With F1 currently on hold due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, progress over new deals for the pair is yet to be made. Despite contract negotiations stalling for the time being, McLaren chief Seidl says he envisages no problem.

“Our position hasn’t really changed or how we want to approach that for the future within McLaren with Carlos and Lando,” Seidl.

“Of course we would have liked to do some races under the belt and then sit together to make a decision on both sides but I don’t think that is a big issue at the moment.”

Seidl said he has been keeping in regular contact with both of his drivers during the hiatus and praised the pair for volunteering to defer part of their salary to help the team’s financial situation.

“Regarding our two drivers we know from Carlos that he is doing a lot of training and communicating about that which is great to see then we are in regular contact with both of them.

“I keep them up to date with what is going on with the regulation side and what is going on with the discussions on the race calendar.

“But at the same time, with the pay cut that both guys have taken, it is great to see they are staying connected to the guys in this difficult period, it is great to see the spirit is high between these two guys.

“We all miss the competitive environment where we want to be, fighting it out on track, so they are obviously desperate to get back to the factory and back out on track as soon as possible.”