McLaren unable to test old F1 car before 2020 season begins

McLaren is unable to test a two-year-old Formula 1 car to help drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr prepare for the delayed start to the 2020 season

McLaren unable to test old F1 car before 2020 season begins

With the 2020 campaign set to begin in Austria on 5 July, teams and drivers have been stepping up their preparations in recent weeks.

Mercedes will complete a two-day test at Silverstone on Tuesday and Wednesday using a 2018-spec F1 car, as permitted by the sporting regulations, while Ferrari is also expected to hold a private test in similar circumstances.

But McLaren F1 chief Andreas Seidl revealed the British team cannot run an old F1 car owing to its recent changes in power unit supplier.

"On the drivers' side, unfortunately we don't have this possibility of having a car that is two years old and we could operate, because of all the powertrain switches we had here in recent years," Seidl said in an interview on Sky Sports F1.

"But as you have seen already, Lando was doing some karting and F3 testing.

"We're looking into the second thing also now with Carlos to have the drivers ready, and also we will do some simulator work with them."

Norris completed running in a Euroformula Open car at Silverstone last week with former junior team Carlin, marking his first on-track activity since the end of F1 winter testing in February.

McLaren's most recent eligible F1 car for private testing is the 2018-spec MCL33 (above), which was driven by Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.

While the car still used power units supplied by current partner Renault, McLaren's pending switch to Mercedes engines for the 2021 season may have complicated matters.

Despite the inability to complete on-track running with an F1 car, Seidl said the McLaren race team was working hard on new procedures in time for the opening race in Austria.

"We are preparing the cars at the moment. We are trying to go through the procedures and processes in the garage for these new circumstances with all the social distancing," Seidl said.

"I'm happy with the steps we are taking here as a team.

"I think with what we know now, the process that has been outlined from the FIA and Formula 1 in terms of how we actually execute the race weekend in Austria.

"We have clarity there as well, and it's simply about focusing on preparation for the next weeks, and hopefully have a good start in Austria."

shares
comments
How Williams overcame its greatest setback

Previous article

How Williams overcame its greatest setback

Next article

F1 News: Pirelli to restart 18-inch tyre development for 2022

F1 News: Pirelli to restart 18-inch tyre development for 2022
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Luke Smith
The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021 Plus

The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Plus

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Plus

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The big F1 questions of 2021 Plus

The big F1 questions of 2021

After an unprecedented season last year, there are plenty of questions and storylines for the upcoming Formula 1 campaign. Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok gives his verdict

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Plus

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz Jr in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new team-mate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021
The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso Plus

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso

OPINION: It's been an uneasy ride for Esteban Ocon since his F1 comeback - and fresh challenges lie in wait as he's joined by double world champion Fernando Alonso in the newly rebranded Alpine team. STUART CODLING sets out a roadmap to success

Formula 1
Feb 28, 2021
How McLaren’s new investors have already made an impact Plus

How McLaren’s new investors have already made an impact

OPINION: The deal McLaren concluded with MSP Sports Capital last year which will help the cash-strapped Formula 1 team pay for much-needed infrastructure upgrades, also points toward the future for F1 itself, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Feb 27, 2021
Why Verstappen isn't interested in hyping up Red Bull Plus

Why Verstappen isn't interested in hyping up Red Bull

In a pre-season where Red Bull has been unusually quiet, Max Verstappen has also been guarded about the team's fortunes in 2021. Even after trying the RB16B for the first time at Silverstone, the Dutchman was careful to manage expectations

Formula 1
Feb 26, 2021