While the Woking team openly admits it is waiting for a new wind tunnel and simulator to become available by the middle of next year before it can accelerate its progress, it is not sitting back in the meantime.
After a season where it hasn’t made the progress it wanted, dropping out of the top three teams, McLaren knows it needs to improve things if it wants to move forward.
Speaking at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, team boss Andreas Seidl revealed that part of his efforts to improve things will include hiring more staff over the next 12 months.
The team felt that the way the early season braking issues caused problems for the development program during the season had revealed a lack of resources.
“This season has clearly shown us some of the weaknesses we still have in terms of the team’s set-up,” said Seidl.
“And thanks to the problems we had, it became clear to us that we didn’t have enough resources available compared to other teams, especially on the technical side, to develop the current car plus making sure parallel you can also have a look take in next year’s car.
“That’s why we’ve been working hard, also together with the finance department, knowing that we’re also operating in a cost cap environment, to find synergies and efficiencies within the current way we do F1.
“That has now enabled us, about two months ago, to start a pretty significant campaign to hire more engineers to just have more people available, to be able to do things more parallel in the future.
“I think that is definitely one of the weaknesses we have in the team at the moment. And hopefully, if we get more of these engineers on board next year, we can take the next step.”
Mechanics work on Lando Norris’ car, McLaren MCL36, in the garage
Photo by: Steven Tee/Motorsport Images
Obviously, the jobs include high profile positions including aerodynamics project lead, senior aerodynamics, senior suspension designers and aerodynamics designer.
As teams operate under a cost cap in F1, McLaren gave the green light to recruitment after a thorough analysis of spending over the first year of the new rules showed where savings could be made and resources redirected to achieve success on board of staff that can help improve performance.
Seidl also explained that the major braking issues hampering McLaren during pre-season testing and the opening race in Bahrain had long-term consequences for the squad, which could still be felt next year.
“I think it had quite an effect on us as a team for several reasons,” he said. “First of all, of course, with testing being so limited these days and entering a completely new era of Formula 1, with completely new cars, and then missing half the testing compared to all the other competitors, we have certainly focused on the put the back foot pretty much in terms of preparing for the season.
“We also had to use a lot of resources then, at a time when we wanted to use all the resources to develop the car, rather than to solve braking problems.
“It was also something that I think put us even further behind and to some extent probably even had an impact on the development of next year’s car because we couldn’t start it as early as we had wanted. To do.”