After a debut on the British GP, the sprint qualifying race format comes back to reappear in the iconic circuit of Monza.
Andreas Seidl spoke to MotorLat and other selected media about how different the challenge of having the qualifying session on Friday and a 30-minutes-long race on Saturday to set up the starting grid for Sunday will be in Italy, compared to the first time this format set the show on Silverstone the past July.
“Our approach as a team to this weekend is not much different. We put in obviously before Silverstone a lot of energy inside the team, in order to be ready for the race. And I have to say on the operational side it actually went quite well for us.”
“It is more a matter of making sure now that we hopefully repeat on the operational side a trouble-free weekend again,” he said.
“It is clear that with only having one practice session before, you have to put the car in parc ferme and race it even more than normal. You try obviously to be as prepared as possible.”
“But at the same time with the limited free practice time you already have this year also for standard race weekends, that’s always a go.”
“So it’s just important again as a team to go through all the sporting regulations again with everyone, and make sure that when changing or jumping from one race weekend format to another, you don’t suddenly end up missing something which is not allowed and so on.”
The Team Principal of the Woking-based team told the media how McLaren is facing up to racing at Monza this year: “You try to be as prepared as possible, to see what you can carry over, especially with this low-downforce setup, which you pretty much run once a year. It’s definitely a challenge, here in Monza, but in the end, that’s also the challenge we all like in the teams together with our drivers, and for us after having a bad run of few races in terms of point-scoring.”
McLaren left Silverstone off to the championship’s summer break tied with Ferrari on the fight for P3 on the constructor’s championship on 163 points each. Now with the half points awarded at Spa and the race in Zandvoort, Ferrari is 11.5 points ahead of the Mercedes-powered team.
”Everything can change quickly, you just need a bad or good weekend, if you score or don’t score with two cars, it can make the difference. With everything we’ve seen so far, with the competitiveness we have seen, for example, in Hungary, we were just unlucky with the crash on the first corner.”
“But I think we have a good car, a car that does good on most of the tracks and we have everything in our hands to keep this battle alive,” he added, regarding challenging Ferrari on the constructors’ championship.
“Again, Hungary was just unlucky. Spa was unlucky with how the weekend went with Lando’s crash as well and last weekend we have to accept we didn’t have the pace in qualifying.”
The Italian GP at Monza sees the end of a triple-header that came to F1 just after restarting the championship following the summer break, and Seidl was questioned if whether having such a number of consecutive races is good or prejudicial for Formula 1.
“It’s very important that once this pandemic is over we get to a more normal race calendar and schedule, avoiding any triple-headers or reducing them to a minimum. Trying to organize the races in a way that’s also, in terms of travel logistics, reducing the load of people and the carbon footprint that we left behind us as Formula 1.”
“We should not forget about the people that are working on the Formula 1 paddock that have to travel around the world. Stefano is a man of the people and I’m very confident that we’ll look into this, thinking of our people and finding the right balance there,” he concluded.