McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has expressed his happiness in McLaren’s efforts in continuously upgrading this year’s MCL35M whilst starting work on next year’s car.
Before the Hungarian Grand Prix, McLaren brought several upgrades to the MCL35M, with the team pleased with how well the upgrades were working over one lap.
But despite these upgrades, McLaren struggled in the final qualifying session before the summer break, with Daniel Ricciardo missing out on Q3 for the sixth time this season with 11th on the grid whilst Lando Norris managed sixth on the grid alongside Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly.
Speaking in a media session with selected publications which included Motorlat.com, after the qualifying session, Seidl praised the work of the McLaren team to get the upgrades on the car before the weekend started.
“We were also happy where we ended up, for various reasons because on a track like Hungary we expected to be honest to struggle, thanks also to the great work and the big push from the guys back at home on the engineering and production side, we managed to get these upgrades to the car, and we didn’t expect to be ahead of Ferrari over one lap in qualifying when we came here, so that’s a positive.”
“Very happy to see that the team, despite all the focus on next year’s car, we’re still pushing on this year’s car and putting a lot of work in recent weeks to get these upgrades to the car, and we’re very happy that we work as expected today.
McLaren’s Grand Prix was ruined after Norris was hit up the rear by Valtteri Bottas on the run down to Turn 1, whilst Ricciardo’s excellent start was wasted after he was spun around by Charles Leclerc who was taken out by Lance Stroll after the Canadian went too hot into Turn 1.
The damage inflicted to Norris’s car was too much to repair in time for the race’s restart, ending his run of point-scoring finishes that had lasted since last year’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, whilst Ricciardo struggled home with a damaged car to finish 11th.
However, despite a disappointing final weekend of the first half of the season, McLaren enters the summer break in fourth place in the constructor's championship tied on points with Ferrari, as the team plans to bring more upgrades to the MCL35M after the summer break.
But Seidl has stated that the team will not put next year's project at risk in order to develop this year's car.
“I think with everything we’re doing now, it’s not putting next year’s project at risk, whenever we had let’s say the capacity we were using until recent weeks was used to improve this year’s car, that’s we did in the last few weeks and that what we still do until at least the first few races after the break.”