N after the LMP1 program at Porsche was discontinued, Andreas Seidl had to wait a long time before he could start his new job at McLaren. The blackout ended on May 1st. Labor Day is not a public holiday in England. And so the 43-year-old was able to get started right away in Woking. A week later I went straight on a business trip. The race weekend in Barcelona was on the plan, where Seidl answered questions from the press for the first time after qualifying.
However, the German was not yet able to announce any major findings: “Above all, I'm happy that I am now finally am part of this team. I'm still trying to get to know as many people as possible. I'm going to have a look at everything now. Later on, I see my job primarily as supporting my employees so that they can do the best possible job. '
I have been in contact with McLaren for a long time, as company boss Zak Brown revealed:' I've known Andreas since a few years. He has many qualities that will help us further. He's a real racer, he has the technical understanding of the car and he's a real team player, which is probably the most important thing. The people who worked for him and drove for him all rave about his work. ”
Easy decision for Seidl
For Seidl himself too, the task in Formula 1 was exciting. Between 2000 and 2006 he had already worked for BMW in the premier class. The racing team apparently didn't have to do much convincing when making the commitment: 'When Zak contacted me for the first time last year at Le Mans and we talked about the possibilities, it was very tempting,' revealed the new team boss.
“In further conversations I learned more and more about the vision of corporate management and how to get back to the top. With a team with such a history, it was an easy decision in the end. I am also often asked whether the pressure is not too high. But I see that more as a motivation. ”
Despite all the successes with Porsche, even a man like Seidl cannot get McLaren back on the road to success immediately. The newcomer thinks long term: “It is important that we work out a clear plan for how we want to approach the next few years. With the major regulatory reform in 2021, we have a major challenge ahead of us. For a team like us, this also offers great opportunities. ”
McLaren competitive again thanks to budget cap
The ambitions at McLaren are great. Zak Brown wants to celebrate victories again with the traditional team. However, this requires more than personnel and structural changes in the team. Seidl asks the McLaren fans for patience: “At the moment, the gap to the top teams is very large. They have built up a huge infrastructure. But that is not a healthy condition. If you want to win, you have to spend a lot of money. I am optimistic that with the FIA and the F1 leadership we will find a good way for the future so that we too have the opportunity to achieve sporting successes again. ”
The experience from his time at Porsche is helpful, but not so easy to implement at McLaren. “It is difficult to compare different categories one to one. Above all, two disciplines as different as long-distance sports and Formula 1. The length of the races is different, the duration of the races is different, the number of upgrades that you can bring is different. But in the end it is the same factors in all categories that are responsible for being successful. We have a great team here at McLaren, the people are fully motivated and ambitious. The hunger for success is great. ”