“But in the end, it’s also not just about power, it’s about package, it’s about reliability, it’s about the usage of the power units also during the course of the weekend. And having again, as I said before, the championship-winning powertrain here in the back of our car is a good thing to have.”
Like all the other teams McLaren has an eye on the massive development programme for 2022, which has to be conducted under the new budget cap restrictions. Seidl says his team will continue to improve the current car.
“The target is clear, we want to bring more performance to the car. Plus, we want to understand our current package better and better, from race-to-race, in order to extract maximum performance. The big challenge this year is how long do you actually want to keep developing this year’s car? When do you fully switch to next year’s car?
“That’s a decision we have to make within the team, pretty much live, depending also on how the next races go. Because as I said several times we want to definitely have a good season also this year, we want to be competitive.
“It’s important to keep the positive momentum up on our side, and we definitely want to be in a position again to fight for this P3 with our competitors this year.”
It’s going to be a close contest: “This battle we’re in, it’s all within one to three tenths. And as we have seen also in the last two years, that is nothing in the end. It can change so quickly, depending on track characteristics, ambient conditions, tyre selection, etc.
“So for us it’s simply important to keep this respect up for all of our competitors as we always do, it’s important to simply focus on ourselves, trying to extract more performance out of our package, and then hopefully be in a position again to fight for this P3.”
Ricciardo is an important part of the longer-term strategy, and he brings that extra knowledge that comes with being a seven-time Grand Prix winner.
“It is clear with his 10 years of experience in F1 he has a clear view on certain things on the operational side,” says Seidl. “Also in terms of what he needs from a car in order to go faster. And that’s obviously something we are benefiting from every day we work with him.
“In terms of personality, character, you all know him as well. He’s a very positive guy, which is obviously also important. For me, these guys are the heroes of this – of the sport. Also within the team everyone is looking up to them.
“An F1 season is intense for every single member of the team, the sun is not always shining, you have some difficult moments as well. And then it’s even more important that you have two positive guys that go in the garage in the morning again and say, ‘Hey, guys, let’s go again, let’s fight back.’
“I can clearly see that in terms of personality, character, that he made the next step”
“And that’s something I’m very happy with, seeing that from both of our guys, Lando and Daniel, this positivity, which is very, very important. It helps me also a lot in order to have this right spirit within the team that is so important.”
Like the other top drivers who have new seats this year, Ricciardo is still getting fully up to speed. In Bahrain he was hampered by aero damage after a first lap hit from Pierre Gasly, and in Imola he received a team call to let Norris by, a message that was painful for him but with which he complied.
“We have a clear agreement with both drivers and within the team that we will always make decisions that ensure that we maximise the result for the team,” says Seidl.
“We let our drivers race freely, but if we see that they run into each other on track, and if we judge it as one driver having a superior pace at that moment compared to the other driver, we make the decision to swap.
“In general we will always make sure for both drivers that in the end these two guys can battle it out on track. But again, if we think that in order to maximise team result a swap makes sense, than we do it.”
The eventual podium finish showed that it was a good call, and was further proof that in his third season Norris is maturing nicely.