‘A Big Task’ – McLaren Team Principal Drops an Update on Team’s Ongoing Collaboration With Mercedes F1

Published 01/16/2021, 3:35 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. during practice Giuseppe Cacace/Pool via REUTERS


With the advent of the 2021 F1 season, McLaren will make a return to induct Mercedes power back in their cars. Having worked with previous engine suppliers such as Honda and Renault, they now trust their confidence in the defending champions’ power units, since they last did in 2014.

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Team principal Andreas Seidl has said that he is satisfied with the progress of the building of McLaren’s MCL35M car. He also opened up about how the team’s experience in shifting power unit suppliers has prepared them for the current task.

Seidl elaborated and said, “It’s obviously a big task switching to the Mercedes power unit for next year. But I have to say I’m very happy with the progress we’re seeing there.”

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The relationship with Mercedes has started on a ‘very good’ basis, said Seidl

“I would say the car build is going along very well. The relationship, together with the guys from Brixworth, from Mercedes, has started also on a very good basis.”

“There’s a very good dialogue and technical exchange, so I’m very happy with that.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. during practice Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

With Mercedes’ power units also helping Racing Point in their objectives, there is clarity in why McLaren wanted to pursue the partnership. Seeing as the Woking-based outfit produced some excellent results last season, it only bodes well for the team going into 2021.

Seidl continued, “I would say we’re on target, no red lights there at the moment but thanks to a lot of power unit changes also recently at McLaren, we have quite some experience also within the team to do that.”

“How good we manage to do that, we will only see next year once we go testing.”

How strong could McLaren become in the 2021 F1 season with Mercedes power?

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McLaren certainly would focus on delivering the best possible cars for their drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris. Powered by Renault, the third-placed team in 2020 gave Mercedes and Red Bull a run for their money.

The ‘Orange Team’ with its previous pairing of Carlos Sainz and Norris outsmarted the likes of Racing Point and Renault themselves on occasion. They proved capable of cutting the time gap in front, and as a result, the team attained few podiums and several valuable points finishes.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

So, it is highly likely that if things go as per plan, McLaren could well challenge these powerhouses once again in 2021. Things are heading in the right direction, and there is definitely a certain intrigue that grips McLaren ahead of the new season.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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