McLaren F1 Upgrades Hindered by Budget Cap Uncertainty, Says Team Boss

McLaren has become weary of over-spending on upgrades for its Formula 1 program, given all the uncertainty surrounding the current budget cap. To make matters worse, according to F1 team principal Andreas Seidl, his outfit has stopped working on all major developments for the MCL-36 race car.
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Photo: McLaren
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The British outfit still hopes to make some gains by understanding the MCL-36 a little better and making only minor tweaks, which is a philosophy shared by pretty much all teams.

“Hopefully it is not just us who had to pull the handbrake in terms of further developments, due to the restrictions we’re having mainly from the cost cap side,” explained Seidl, as quoted by Motorsport.

“But there are also the restrictions you have nowadays with further limited wind tunnel time, so you really need to be very careful with how you use your wind tunnel time. The main thing at the moment is still to try and unlock more performance from the package we are having. Then we need to see which further, let’s say, small little changes to the car will come through the course of the season.”

After a difficult start to their 2022 campaign, McLaren have since bounced back and are currently ranked fourth in the Constructor Standings – mostly thanks to Lando Norris.

Interestingly enough, Seidl believes that this year’s car is much better “overall” compared to last year’s challenger.

“I think we made a good step forward in terms of some of the weaknesses last year, for example in the low speed. I definitely think that the car is now more suitable for all kinds of tracks. But at the same time, probably also, with these cars also being so new, you still see big swings between all the different cars we are battling with from track to track.”

He goes on to acknowledge that McLaren can be the third or fourth fastest team during one weekend, and the next they’re suddenly the seventh fastest team. Getting a grip on these inconsistencies should help them stay competitive, especially against the likes of Mercedes and Alpine.
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
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Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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