MotorLat was present at McLaren’s last pre-race press conference where Andreas Seidl and James Key were questioned ahead of the British GP. Altogether with the new format of Sprint races, the official presentation of the 2022 F1 car was in the spotlight and so the technical director elaborated on what his thoughts are for next year's category’s regulations.
“I haven't paid much attention to the launch in detail. I think I see as the generations at the latest kind of normal car geometry, it would be reasonably accurate. But I guess what we need to find out is the differences that you need to put on or into what will otherwise be the safely standard scenarios from the current cars.”
Speaking on how the higher championship final position for the constructors will provide less wind-tunnel time to develop each car, Key stated that it’s still early days to talk in any way about the performance the 2022 competitors will have.
“You get less tools to play with so you have to look out to what we can do with the resources that we have. We will be all looking different by the time we get to the start of next year. Things like front wings, the floors and etcetera, will all be similar in approach to what we can apply with the legality boxes we have,” he said.
“So I would say that was reasonably representative at the way the 2022 car will look but it will be the faculties on the areas less active now what will put the biggest differences next year.”
“I think it's early days. There's still a lot of research to be done on the 2022 car and how it works but certainly a lot of effort is being put on that. We will look on the potential scenarios and the ability we'll have to follow closer than we do now.”
The Briton told about the differences that could be found finally within the final team's competitors and the prototype showed by the FOM and the FIA last Thursday, and he said that even though the single-seaters will be somehow similar, the differences will all be in the details.
“At the end of the day I think it will be a lot easier to race than current cars but as teams begin to explore the final details. Then 2023 will be a year where some changes could be made to avoid anything that could work against closer racing.”
“There will be certainly a difference. The main thing is trying to make this aero and characteristics into shape where we can improve racing. But I think it's been positive that has been a lot of attraction and a long period of time now on how this regs have been developed. The objective is going to be about what F1 did and what a team will do.”
“I think everything will turn out as different interpretations, to be honest. Because the last time we had a change of this extent was probably 2009 and we did see different approaches. Different ideas on the chassis, on the nose... Eventually, every kind of car would be something similar but again I think the less tools you dispose of there will probably be bigger differences between cars.”
“I'm sure it's representative fundamentally on the 2022 cars we would like. But I suspect ultimately it will be the detail where F1 teams will be getting into this process more and more to learn about the car and the basics. That's where we will see the differences.”
Key concluded by giving his views on what has been 2021 so far on Woking on the fact of having to develop two cars by times, working also with all the new regulations and legalities, as he finally had praises and good words for everyone in McLaren.
“It's been a bit of a process with having mechanical solutions this year and then having to stop next year's development. It's been a little bit of a different process to what we're used to. I love new regs I think it is amazing to start from scratch with a new car.”
“We work very good as a team with Andreas and, all the race team, there's so much input in 2022 from their side, and certainly with the production guys and the difficult challenges we have with things like the chassis and some of the tech pieces we have to do.”
“It's been an enjoyable process so far. There's still a lot to do on this stage but I think if we hit those early months right hopefully we'll be aggressive next year and continue with our plan.”