Former boss Andreas Seidl talks of expectations from 2023 for McLaren amid infrastructure situation as he praises pit stop step in 2022.

Although former McLaren team chief Seidl expressed satisfaction with the development of the team’s 2022 vehicle, he acknowledged that there is “absolutely no reference” to relative pace at this time as they head into the 2023 season.

The team’s year turned out to be more challenging than many had anticipated. Given their success in 2021, they were widely predicted to finish comfortably in fourth place, and some were upbeat and forecasts even said they could have been able to compete with the three big giants of F1.

However, it didn’t happen as they were hit by brake issues in Bahrain testing which marked the start of a slow year where they were always in the catch-up game. It was clear that they wouldn’t fight the Top 3 teams despite Mercedes also having a slow start, but the team seemed good enough to fight against Alpine for fourth place.

McLaren lost out eventually but Seidl felt that was what they deserved eventually. The key will be how they respond in 2023. With their wind tunnel and infrastructure still not to be ready until the middle of the year, they will have to settle with whatever they have for another season and solve their problems within that space.

Even though Seidl has left with Andrea Stella stepping in, the plans are unlikely to change whole lot and as the former McLaren chief noted, they will have to get through the year especially against the likes of Sauber and Aston Martin with a better infrastructure at the moment.

“In terms of expectations for 2023, as you guys know I always like to raise the
view of the standards of the team,” said Seidl to media including “We know we still have big deficits especially on the infrastructure side. For the development of 2023 car, the wind tunnel will only be finished by middle of the year as will our new driving simulator, along with all the updates on our infrastructure, we will only be finished by the middle of the year on the manufacturing side.

“That means that teams that have been finishing ahead of us in the constructors championship in 2022, let us say that even teams who are behind us at the moment but are using the state of the art infrastructure, like Sauber, like Aston Martin is using in this years wind tunnel, if they do the same job as us, together with their drivers they face a realistic chance of finishing ahead of us because we simply have limitations.

“At the same time we are racing guys and we obviously try to work as hard as possible in order to shortcut the journey we are in or to do a better job in order to still be ahead together with Lando and Oscar and that will be the mission again in 2023. At the same = time, the positive thing is that we know all these steps we have to make and all these deficits we have to overcome are what keep us going and focused on making these final steps but obviously with a realistic timeline,” summed up Seidl.

Amid the doom and gloom, McLaren did have a bright spot in 2022 on the operations side where they more or less aced the pit stops. They finished second to Red Bull in the ‘championship’ with many quick stops, something which they struggled in 2021.

“One special highlight I want to mention is the topic of pit stops which was a challenging topic for us over the last three or four years and it is also a good example where we could show in 2022 thanks to great cooperation between people in that project which is the engineering side back home and the production side back home, the race team out here which is the drivers as well,” said Seidl.

“We can actually battle with the best ones as well in the sport in that aspect and it’s important to celebrate highlights like this because it gives you confidence as a team that it’s not impossible to get to where these top teams are at the moment,” summed up Seidl.

After losing ground in the 2022 F1 season, Seidl wants McLaren to take a step up during the 2023 campaign and get ahead of Alpine while knock on the doors of the Top 3. The German, who has a new job as CEO of Sauber, acknowledges that the British outfit still has some restrictions, such as wind tunnel and simulator, but he expects them to work around them.

Here’s how the F1 2022 teams were categorised in ranking:

Here’s how the F1 2022 drivers were categorised in ranking:

Here’s drivers’ list of Top 10 drivers

Here’s the team bosses list of Top 10 drivers

Here’s Andrea Stella on his approach as team principal

Here’s McLaren not surprised by pecking order in 2022

Here’s Lando Norris on McLaren situation

Here’s Zak Brown having faith on Andrea Stella

Here’s Zak Brown on departure of Andreas Seidl

The story was co-written by Utsav Chaudhary