Mclaren F1 Rule Out Catching Mercedes and Red Bull in the Near Future

Published 12/15/2020, 4:23 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


Following an impressive P3 on the constructors, McLaren will return to running with Mercedes engines from next season. This led to massive speculations of McLaren potentially being a threat to the top-field teams like Mercedes and Red Bull, come 2021.

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However, it looks like such high expectations might just be out of reach. Andreas Seidl, McLaren’s team principal, opened up that the team is staying realistic to the conditions persisting around them. He pointed out the Mercedes will be out of their scope for at least a few years.

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

Seidl expressed his views on whether McLaren will be able to compete against the big guns of Formula 1 from the next season.

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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.”

By the looks of it, the three-way fight between McLaren, Racing Point/Aston Martin, and Renault/Alpine Racing will continue, going into 2021. However, the uncertainty is pretty huge beyond the upcoming season.

It is likely that McLaren can make their return to winning ways from 2022, which will witness technical regulation changes.

McLaren still have deficits within the team: Seidl

The British team made a drastic improvement compared to last season. Looking at such huge leaps in performance, it could take just a few years for them to close in on Mercedes.

Seidl revealed that it is impossible to beat Mercedes by 2022 or earlier. “It’s a great finish to the season, knowing that at this track, at this specific event, we had the third-fastest car,” he said. “But still, we know what the gap to Mercedes is.

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

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.”

However, he also added that if McLaren follows the same trajectory as they are maintaining at the moment, they could close the gaps to Mercedes and Red Bull in some years.

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Over the last 8 years, F1 has lacked close racing for championship titles, with just three teams capable of standing on the podium. However, can McLaren change that in the coming years?

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Rohit Kumar

762 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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