McLaren plans further upgrades to 2021 F1 car amid Ferrari battle

McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl says his Formula 1 team will continue to update its 2021 car in a bid to defeat Ferrari, despite the lure of switching its full development to 2022.

McLaren plans further upgrades to 2021 F1 car amid Ferrari battle

McLaren enjoyed a solid start to the season, holding third in the constructors' championship after four races.

The team introduced incremental updates at the Portuguese and Spanish grands prix as it battles with Ferrari for the best of the rest title behind Mercedes and Red Bull.

Despite all F1 teams having to increasingly shift resources towards the all-new 2022 rules package, McLaren's technical team, led by technical director James Key, is still planning to add further upgrades to its MCL35M.

"If you look since the first test this year onwards we simply tried to continuously bring updates to the car, to make continuously steps forward with the performance," team principal Seidl said at the Spanish Grand Prix.

"We’ve also brought upgrades for example to Portimao, we’ve brought updates for the car also here in free practice. And our plan is to still bring further updates also in the coming races."

Seidl explained that a decision to fully switch its development team to next year "isn't far away" and that further updates will largely revolve around "low hanging fruit", smaller upgrades that can bring clear performance benefits without needing large resources to implement.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, in the pits during practice

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, in the pits during practice

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

"At the same time it’s also clear that we are not far away from switching over completely the entire team, entire development team, to fully focusing on next year’s car," the German added.

"So I still think it will depend in the end if there’s still any low hanging fruit around for this year’s car in terms of development, which we then want to further explore.

"But overall I think James [Key] has a clear idea of when he wants to fully switch over to next year."

Seidl conceded that bringing further upgrades to this year's car will be crucial if his team wants to beat Ferrari to third in the championship, given the fact that the Scuderia outperformed the Woking squad in Barcelona.

"It's obviously a very tight battle, especially with Ferrari, and it's simply important to make sure we keep bringing upgrades to the car in the next races in order to keep this battle of P3 alive," he said.

shares
comments

Related video

Reutemann in stable condition after latest medical procedure

Previous article

Reutemann in stable condition after latest medical procedure

Next article

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?
Load comments
French Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

French Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes Plus

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes

The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull

The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push Plus

The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push

The age of the high-profile title sponsor is over, says JONATHAN NOBLE, but Formula 1’s commitment to technological innovation is attracting high-tech partners

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2021
How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era Plus

How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era

The 1956 Italian Grand Prix was over for Juan Manuel Fangio, along with his hopes of winning the world championship – until his Ferrari team-mate (and title rival) voluntarily surrendered his own car so Fangio could continue. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls Peter Collins, a remarkable sportsman

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France Plus

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Plus

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021