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McLaren open to trying new race formats in 2020

  • Published on 28 May 2020 15:43
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  • By: Fergal Walsh

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl admits that the team is open to the possibility of running a different race weekend format throughout the 2020 season.

The upcoming campaign is set to have a more condensed schedule after the first ten races were called off due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Both the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone are set to feature two consecutive races each, however it is not yet known if the weekend schedule will be reduced, or if the second races at the aforementioned venues will differ from a usual grand prix structure.

Reverse grids have been suggested, with Williams' Nicholas Latifi recently saying reverse grids “would only add to the excitement of a race weekend”.

Seidl says McLaren is open to the prospect of changing the weekend format for the year ahead, but has warned against trying to alter too much.

“We're definitely open to trying new things, but at the same time, I think it's important not to rush into too many changes,” he told the Formula 1 magazine.

“We should take our time to make the right decisions. Yes, a race weekend format of two days - especially when you have three of four races in a row - makes sense.

“For us, the biggest topic is the huge difference that we have between the big teams and where we are.

“That's something that needs to be addressed and will be with the new regulations that are coming now for 2022. Hopefully, we will come out of this with Formula 1 in a better shape than it has been in before.”


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Over two months ago, the FIA announced that the mandatory factory shutdown that is usually reserved for August had been brought forward.

The shutdown was set at three weeks before further extensions brought the closures up to seven weeks. Factories are only beginning to now reopen, allowing teams to start work on their cars once again.

When asked what challenges are being faced regarding upgrades amid a delayed season, Seidl said: “From a technical side, I think after testing in Barcelona, every team identified some weak points on their car that they tried to address straightaway.

“But at the same time, we have to face reality. First of all, we're in a shutdown so we're not allowed to work on the cars.

“The second important point is that we're still in the process of finalising the regulations in detail, in terms of what gets frozen on the current cars for this year and for next year. I think this will also decide what we will actually do on the car once we get back to our factories.”

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