According to team principal Andreas Seidl, the compromises McLaren made in pre-season testing to fix its braking problem aren’t the only reason for the team’s slow start to the season.
Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris finished 14th and 15th in Bahrain, respectively, after a challenging second test in which the team’s performance was hampered by brake issues.
In the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Norris finished seventh, but Ricciardo was forced to retire due to a mechanical issue with his car.
Before this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said the team’s focus would be on understanding the existing strengths and weaknesses of the car more.
“We need to see which improvements we can make already for Melbourne. At the same time I don’t expect big miracles there, we simply need a bit more time,” Seidl said.
The team had to run an interim brake repair throughout the first two races due to he brake duct problem it encountered for the first time in Bahrain. However, he admitted the team has other problems to resolve on its MCL36.
“In the time available it was the only solution we could bring to the car which is definitely not optimal in terms of performance,” he added.
“We simply lack grip, which is the result of missing mechanical grip and aerodynamic load on the car, which was on the race weekend in Bahrain,” the McLaren boss said.
“Definitely not just an issue of the current brake ducts we’re running.”
McLaren outperformed Bahrain on the fast Jeddah layout, but Seidl is cautious about drawing inferences about the car’s future capabilities.
“To be honest it’s still early days. It’s not that straightforward to define all the upgrades in detail that we want to bring in over the course of the season now, also as a reaction of what we have seen in the first two races in terms of performance deficit.”
“But the goal is clear for us as a team, to get back to where we want to be and where we have to be on all kind of tracks independent of layout, ambient conditions, tyre selection, et cetera.”
“I’m absolutely convinced we have the team to do that in order to strike back everyone is fully motivated to do that in a very united approach as well and we simply need now a bit more time,” he concluded.