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F1 | Seidl discusses McLaren’s “heavily compromised” testing

With the final day of pre-season testing over McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl discusses the brake issues which plagued the team in Bahrain

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F1 | Seidl discusses McLaren’s “heavily compromised” testing
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic - Motorlat

McLaren seemed to hit the ground running in the first week of pre season-testing in Barcelona last month, with the team and drivers playing down their performances to the media. The team’s strong performance did not carry over to Bahrain this week however, as the team battled overheating issues with their brakes, dramatically limiting their running and all but preventing any long run simulations.

Following the test, team principal Andreas Seidl discussed the teams problems with MotorLAT and other selected media. He admitted their second week of testing was “highly compromised”.

“Yeah definitely our testing so far was heavily compromised with an unexpected brake issue that we are facing on the front axle here at this track.

"So there’s obviously only so much you can do here out in the field and in terms of time it’ll take getting new parts from the factory

“So it was pretty much firefighting so far this test, also every night we are making modifications to the parts here at the track. We received some new parts as well in order to make use of the challenge we are facing here.”

Seidl continued to confirm the team are confident in fixing their issues ahead of the first race next week.

“We made another step which allowed us also today in the morning to run more laps and also run continuous laps. We’ll definitely make another step but in the end we need to wait now for next week we simply need the time to make the final step we have to make to be back in good shape again.

“For the moment we will reinforce some of the parts in order to make sure we have a car in good shape to test this afternoon when the track is in the most relevant condition for preparation for next week.”

Seidl did admit however that losing out on meaningful running on three days of testing puts the team on the back foot ahead of the first race next weekend.

“Of course we only have six test days, going into a new season with new cars. What you want to do, milage is one key to good quality testing. [Problems] have definitely limited that purpose of the test quite a lot. It definitely puts us on the back foot, but at the same time we are an experienced team with experienced drivers.”

Discussing the team’s response to their testing issues, Seidl says the team had been on standby in anticipation for issues due to the scope of change in the new cars.

“Having this test before the new season obviously in general if you have a specific problem you're facing, everyone here at the track plus everyone back home is available anyway and on standby all the time, twenty-four seven, because the preparation for this season has been tense already being going to the first test and it simply kept going throughout the Barcelona test and the break between the two tests and throughout this test here.

“With the issues we are facing now, we have to prioritise what the tasks have been. So the team did a great job out here at the track to see what we could do in terms of modifications to reduce the magnitude of the problem. At the same time there was very close cooperation with engineering back home and production back home in order to find short term and medium term solutions for next race weekend in order to cure the problem.”

The team’s second week of testing was also heavily compromised as Daniel Ricciardo missed all three days of testing as a result of contracting Covid-19. This is especially difficult for Ricciardo this year as the sport enters a new era of technical regulations with wildly different cars than those of last year.

“In terms of preparation obviously going into the season that is not what we are aiming for,” Seidl said when quizzed on Ricciardo’s lack of running. “It puts Daniel [Ricciardo] on the back foot as well but in the end it is something we can’t control, Daniel couldn’t control. So we have to accept that this is the experience Daniel is having.”

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