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Seidl: McLaren needs to build up risk-taking "culture"

Jul 8, 2019

McLaren boss Andreas Seidl wants his team to embrace a more "risky" approach to car development in its bid to move further up the grid.

The Woking-based outfit has made rapid progress this season, and is currently sitting in fourth place in the constructors’ championship after another double points scoring finish in the Austrian Grand Prix.

But with the team well aware that it is still adrift of the top three outfits, Seidl is eager for it not to sit back – and instead is urging a more brave approach to how it pushes forward.

While Seidl is boosted by McLaren’s position in the points table, he says the key thing that needs to be delivered this season is regular progress with its car.

“What is the most important thing for me is to see continuous development, and continuous improvement for the team back home and back here,” he said.

“For me what is important is that we take our time to make sure we go into detail, in terms of the methods and tools we are using to develop this stuff, because this is the foundation in the end for an aggressive development that is required when you have a gap like we have.

“We need to build up this confidence again inside the team and be also brave enough to take risky or adventurous concept decisions. That is something that other teams with a lot of experience and confidence like Mercedes can do

“It is important to be good in categories like pitstops, race strategy, and showing already now that we can take the fight to the big ones because it is clear that the gap on the performance side is something that will take time.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal, McLaren, Lando Norris, McLaren, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren, and James Key, Technical Director, McLaren

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal, McLaren, Lando Norris, McLaren, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren, and James Key, Technical Director, McLaren

Photo by: Dom Romney / LAT Images

Seidl thinks that the first step needed to achieve his aims is for McLaren to recover some of the confidence it lost during recent difficult years.

“If you have such bad years like McLaren had, then somehow you are against the wall,” explained Seidl, who joined the team earlier this year. “I think with all the changes that have happened over the last five years, with not having stability inside the team, it doesn't help.

“I am a guy who encourages people to take risks and to protect them when something goes wrong. You have to accept that mistakes will happen and while you should try to prevent them in the first place, you should make sure they don't happen a second time.

“With the position we are in, we need to take risks. But in order to do that, you have to have a certain confidence again inside the team, a certain culture and spirit and that is something we have to build up again together.

“But I am not saying it is bad [at the team]. I was really impressed when I started with all the good results this year, how positive the atmosphere was, and how good the momentum was which was there, and it is important now to go in that direction.”

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