McLaren’s boss Andreas Seidl has urged the team to have “a clear vision and clear target” and “question themselves every day” ahead of his first race with the team this weekend.
Seidl has been brought on as managing director of the team and will report to chief executive Zak Brown. He brings with him experience gained from five years of being team principal for the Porsche LMP1 team.
Speaking on the McLaren website, he imparted some of the wisdom he’ll be bringing to the team, and which he hopes will help McLaren throughout the 2019 season.
"Success in motorsport is always a big team effort," he said. "You need to have an efficient organisation in place with the right talent in the right positions.
"People need to feel valued and be aware of the importance of their specific role to the overall success of the team. It is important to give the team a clear vision and a clear target.
"You are up against the best in this sport. You need to create a spirit and a mentality inside the team which drives everybody forward day by day.
"This means being self-critical, questioning yourself every day, being open-minded and open to change, striving for permanent improvements, accepting risks and failures, learning from your mistakes, and respecting your competitors."
McLaren has had a reasonable start to the season, with drivers Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris picking up eighteen points in the first four races – enough to see them reach fourth place and “best of the rest” in the constructors’ championship. This midfield progress is “encouraging”, says Seidl, who added that the team has a lot of good people and a lot of momentum.
"It's very encouraging to see the step forward the team has made over the winter. The changes that Zak initiated last year – Pat Fry returning to the team, promoting Andrea Stella, bringing in Gil de Ferran, securing James Key, signing Carlos and Lando – are already paying off.
"The fundamentals have been put in place to move forward. There's a lot of positive energy and momentum inside the team right now. At the same time the gap to the top teams is still big, and there is still a lot of work ahead of us."
Despite his time in LMP1, he’s no stranger to Formula 1, having worked for BMW between 2000 and 2009. Though plenty has changed in the ten years he’s been away, the German believes that the fundamentals are much the same.
"The rules have evolved, the cars are even more complex, the teams are bigger, as well as the budgets. But I think overall the fundamentals haven't changed," he continued.
"Each category has its own rules and individualities, but at the end of the day the principles to become successful are always the same. It's difficult to compare Formula 1 racing to endurance racing, because of the nature of the races, the number of races and the number of updates you're allowed to bring to event."
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