Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
3 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
FP1 in
17 days
09 May
Next event in
22 days
23 May
Race in
40 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
54 days
13 Jun
Race in
61 days
27 Jun
Race in
75 days
04 Jul
Next event in
78 days
18 Jul
Race in
96 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
110 days
29 Aug
Race in
138 days
05 Sep
Race in
145 days
26 Sep
Race in
166 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
169 days
10 Oct
Race in
179 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
194 days
31 Oct
Race in
201 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
221 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
243 days

McLaren downplays talk it can close Mercedes gap soon

McLaren boss Andreas Seidl thinks it is too early for his team to challenge Mercedes and Red Bull in 2021, despite grabbing third place in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship.

McLaren downplays talk it can close Mercedes gap soon

The Woking-based outfit pipped rival Racing Point for the best-of-the-rest slot behind the top two teams in the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi last weekend.

The result, coming off the back of a £185 million new investment deal with an American consortium, comes amid suggestions that McLaren could make a big step forward as it switches to Mercedes engines next season.

But Seidl is cautious about expecting too much from McLaren next year, as he says the team must accept the two outfits ahead of it are still a step clear.

“I think we need to stay realistic,” he said. “Despite the good result we have this weekend and, despite the great outcome for us in the championship side, with P3, I think we know exactly where we are. There's still a huge gap to the cars in front, especially the Mercedes car.”

Read Also:

Seidl does take huge encouragement from the progress that McLaren was able to make with its MCL35 this year, as well as the way in which it executed race weekends and dealt with an aggressive update strategy.

However, with McLaren openly admitting that it needs to improve its wind tunnel, simulation facilities and simulator, Seidl thinks it will take a few years before it can hope to get on terms with teams like Mercedes.

“I think the most important thing is to first of all see that the team this year, under the leadership of James Key, has produced a very competitive car,” he explained. “It is a step forward compared to last year.

“It was great to see also that despite all these challenges in the pandemic, that the team kept pushing flat out back home in engineering, and in production, to continuously bring updates to the track, which in the end, kept improving the performance of the car.

“And of course it's a great finish to the season, knowing that at this track, at this specific event, we had the third fastest car.

“But still, we know what the gap to Mercedes is. It is not something we will close from one year to the next year.

“We still know that we have a lot of deficits within the team in terms of organisation, in terms of infrastructure, which we need to close first.

“But again, we have a clear plan of how we want to reduce these deficits. It will take time. But I'm confident that if we do the right things on the team side, we can close these gaps in some years.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why engine caution wasn't the biggest factor in Mercedes defeat

Previous article

Why engine caution wasn't the biggest factor in Mercedes defeat

Next article

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Driver ratings

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Driver ratings
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Abu Dhabi GP
Teams Mercedes , McLaren
Author Jonathan Noble
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Prime

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021