Let’s start with the most evident change for McLaren: Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian signed a deal with the Woking-based team for 2021 before the 2020 season got underway and will make his debut for them on Sunday. Andreas Seidl was asked about the differences between him and Carlos Sainz, Norris’ former teammate.
“To be honest it’s still too early to say,” the McLaren team boss said.
But it seems that a lot is expected “from a guy who has years of experience in Formula 1, who is a race winner, who has seen also different teams already.”
According to the Team Principal so far it is “all good”.
“I’m very happy with everything I’ve seen so far, Daniel is working together with Lando, working well together as a team, the positivity he is also bringing with him as a person.” he shared in a session with selected media including Motorlat.
But Seidl added: ''as always the most important thing is the performance on track and on qualifying.”
This first weekend of the season also introduced a change of time, as the Friday Practice Sessions from now on will be shortened to 60 Minutes.
“Obviously after being used to the same format for many many years, we are all used to kind of seeing the same run plans each weekend on Friday,” said Seidl.
At McLaren they “have been thinking about how the new run plans have to look like in order to get the maximum out of it in terms of preparations for both quali and for the race.” explains Seidl.
Every team is working to get the most out of this new format and Seidl is “curious to find out” how they are going to do it.
“In the end again it needs to be a mix of quali preparation, of race preparation. It will be interesting in terms of timing, of how everyone plans now of doing quick runs on low fuel and then long runs on high fuel.”
Lastly, he also shared his view regarding the ongoing talks on the introduction of sprint races, which look set to be passed in the near future.
“The proposal we’ve seen two weeks ago, we’re very happy with it, very supportive. There are still some details that need to be clarified at the moment, but I’m quite optimistic and confident that we will find the solution during this weekend and then simply go ahead and focus on the implementation of it.”