Seidl compares McLaren to immediate rivals Racing Point, Renault
McLaren's Andreas Seidl considers his team the fourth fastest in F1 2020, behind Racing Point but in a tight fight with Renault.
As it has been for several years, the coveted 'best of the rest' title - granted to those in the mid-field that perform to the highest level - is hotly contested in 2020 F1 season. And, firmly in this fight is McLaren, whose 2019 effort saw them finish in P4 - the best of the rest in that particular season.
An ongoing technological arms race has made for an incredibly dynamic ranking among those vying for P3 in the championship, which has become attainable after the poor performances of Ferrari - once a top-three team.
Though Racing Point began the season with the fastest car of their competitors, McLaren were able to make more of their car's pace, while Renault lagged behind. Then, as French F1 team drew even with its two rivals, they too began delivering sensational results, beginning a strong leg of the season with a marvelous 4-5 finish at Spa.
Speaking on his team's immediate rivals, McLaren team principal Seidl theorized that Racing Point remain the most competitive of all those involved in the fight, currently led by the British F1 team by the narrow margin of two points.
"In terms of pure car potential, I think the Racing Point is similar to how it has been on average, since Barcelona test," said Seidl to media including Racefans.net, Motorsport Network, BBC, Reuters, AMuS and more. "It is clearly the fastest car in this battle.
"For Renault it is clear that they made a good step forward since Spa. At the same time, we were always close battling them in the race. McLaren is either in front of them or in the mix in qualifying sessions. We obviously acknowledged that they made a good step forward. It's simply down to us now to make sure to also progress with our car and find the next step in terms of pace also to keep this battle alive.
"But it's positive to see how we tackle the situation as a team, between let's say the race team, and the development team back home," he summed up. Seidl also stressed the importance of McLaren making good developmental choices from here on in, the team notably trialing a new nose cone on the car of Lando Norris.
"It's important analyze also what happened at Sochi, also work on the effect of the introduction of the new nose box on Lando's car," said Seidl. "And then, important to make the right conclusions and bring upgrades to keep this battle alive. Let’s be realistic. As I said before, I think, in average since the beginning of the year, the Racing Point is clearly the fastest car in this battle.
"And I think also by quite some margin. But at the same time, we could manage by great performances of our two drivers and I think also that the race team executed very well what they had to do. Our car is also a good step forward compared to last year," Seidl began to add. "It is probably the fourth or fifth quickest car to score good points.
"And this brought us the 106 points we have right now. At the same time, we don’t get carried away from the result. We know we need to keep developing the car to get closer, or to keep the fight up," summed up Seidl.
[This story was written by me for FormulaRapida, and edited by Darshan Chokhani]