Andreas Seidl takes up his position on the pit wall as Team Principal of the McLaren F1 Team for the first time this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the former Porsche LMP1 boss feeling positive about the weekend ahead.
Seidl officially took on the role on 1 May and has been getting to know everyone within the team, including race drivers Carlos Sainz Jr. and b, ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, round five of the 2019 Formula 1 season.
“I’m delighted to have now started at McLaren and I’ve had a really warm welcome from everyone in the team,” said Seidl. “During my first few days I’ve been speaking to as many people around the factory as possible and this will continue over coming weeks as I get to know the team.”
Seidl hopes McLaren can build on their good start to 2019 that has seen them sit fourth in the Cosntructors’ Championship after the first four races, but with updates and upgrades being brought to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya all over the paddock, he knows it is going to be tough to maintain their position at the front of the tight midfield battle.
“In Spain we’ll look to build on the performance shown in the first few races, however we know the field is extremely tightly-packed,” said Seidl. “The start of the European season is traditionally where teams bring upgrades, so it’s hard to say where the grid will line up this weekend, but we will continue to focus on developing our package and improving the car in key areas.
“As always, the objective during the weekend will be ensuring strategy, operations and reliability are as strong as they can be.”
Seidl says he is impressed by the way the team has developed since the end of 2018, a year that ended with both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne leaving the outfit in favour of Sainz and Norris.
“It’s very encouraging to see the step forward the team has made over the winter,” Seidl said on the official McLaren website. “The changes that Zak [Brown] initiated last year – Pat Fry returning to the team, promoting Andrea Stella, bringing in Gil de Ferran, securing James Key, signing Carlos and Lando – are already paying off.
“The fundamentals have been put in place to move forward. There’s a lot of positive energy and momentum inside the team right now. At the same time the gap to the top teams is still big, and there is still a lot of work ahead of us.”