McLaren better than 2018, but big improvement slated for 2020

New McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says the team is in a much better place compared to 12 months ago, a fact that has made his transition into life at Woking all the easier. Seidl is one of several recent recruits by Zak Brown as McLaren try to recapture their glory days in Formula 1.

Without a grand prix win since 2012 and a podium since 2014, McLaren’s plummeting fortunes of recent years have left fans and media alike scratching their heads, with the likes of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso unable to turn the tide.

Having ditched a partnership with Honda in order to take Renault engines last year, things initially failed to lift, prompting Alonso’s departure from F1.

However, things look brighter in 2019 and McLaren are fourth in the constructors’ standings after seven races, with Seidl revealing how easy it has been to settle in.

“I think since the beginning of the season already it was definitely a good step forward with the car compared to last year,” he said.

“We have a car that is reacting to developments that we are bringing to the track.

“There is a lot of positive momentum, and positive spirit inside the team, which has also made it a lot easier for me to get started now.

“And it is still early days for me. Six weeks into the job: two and a half weeks on the road and three weeks back at the factory. Still I need time to understand everything inside the factory.”

With Seidl’s arrival coming alongside that of new technical director James Key during this season, the German expects the biggest impact to be felt on next season’s car.

He explained: “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 last year with the team.

“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 is actually the first car that is in the normal rhythm of the development.”