Formula 1

McLaren wary of F1 moving towards having B-teams structure

The strong form of both Ferrari and Haas in 2022 has put a renewed focus on the co-operation between teams that supply power units, gearboxes and other technology to their customers.

Aside from using the Mercedes power unit, McLaren doesn’t have any relationships with other teams, although it has been mentioned in connection with a possible future co-operation with the planned Andretti operation.

Seidl stresses there are potential benefits to be gained by the senior team in any partnership.

“It has two issues,” said Seidl when asked about relationships between teams. “It allows B-teams with let’s say, less effort, putting less effort in, to overperform. But even more worrying is that the A-team is benefiting from it.

“And that is obviously the worrying thing, with the ambition we are having as a team. I still hope we find solutions here, because clearly the target we’re having the ambition is not to have a second team, for example.”

He added: “I hope that F1 never ends up in a position that you need to have a second team in order to fight at the front.”

Andreas Seidl, McLaren

Andreas Seidl, McLaren

Photo by: Erik Junius

Seidl insisted McLaren’s position wasn’t influenced by Haas’s current form.

“It’s just a matter of principle where F1, the FIA, the teams, need to decide what F1 should be in the future,” he said. “And again, our position hasn’t changed, and has nothing to do with current sporting performance of teams.

“Again, we just want to make that clear. Haas deserves all the results they produce at the moment, because there are regulations in place, and if they fulfil the regulations, there’s nothing to complain about, which we also don’t do.

“It’s about principle, and what should F1 be in the future. Again, we think that F1 should be a championship of constructors. This means everything that is car performance related, all the IP that is relevant to car performance, needs to be done by the team, by the specific teams.

“That means you should only be allowed to share the power units, and gearbox internals, that makes sense.”

Seidl is especially wary about teams sharing facilities such as windtunnels: “Things like infrastructure sharing should be banned, because there’s a lot of things that can’t be policed properly.

“And things you can’t police properly, you should ban, because then you are clear, and then you also avoid the discussion of what’s going there, what’s going on there. It’s just clean.”

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22,Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36,Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22,Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36,Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Erik Junius

Seidl remains confident the FIA can successfully police the F1 financial regulations, and in so doing ensure that there is no unfair co-operation between partner teams.

“It’s obviously a permanent dialogue, because we go through these permanent audits and so on,” he said.

“And feedback loops in both directions, which we appreciate a lot. And I think the FIA is doing a great job in getting it up and running.

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“And I have full confidence that we actually have a good system in place. It is also clear that now at the beginning of this new era, that there are a lot of clarifications required, and a lot of dialogue required, so that you have the same understanding everywhere and in each team.

“Because obviously, the set-ups are also different between the different teams, and in order to have then fair solutions, in the end, in place across the pitlane. But we’re very pleased, to be honest, with how that goes.”

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