McLaren CEO Zak Brown has labelled the switch to Mercedes power units for the new season as the "least ideal situation" given the continuation of last year's cars.
The Woking-based team has reunited with the German engine manufacturer after a seven-year split, rekindling a relationship that won a drivers' title and three constructors' championships.
Even with a large carryover of parts from last year to this and a restrictive token system in place - the engine switch rendering the team unable to use any tokens for car development - Brown can still see a net gain to performance.
“It’s probably the least ideal situation to change power units," he said.
"For one, the reduction in testing is not ideal and then the token system, while we think we’ll be taking a step forward with the Mercedes power unit, that comes in the form of losing our tokens to develop other areas of the car.
“So it would have been better if there wasn’t the token system and it was our usual two weeks of testing.
“That being said, the work that is being done with Mercedes, they have been excellent. Our team is very happy with the collaboration, communication and Mercedes’ clear customer-centric approach."
With the similarity of cars and the reduction of pre-season testing for the Australian to acclimatise to the team, Brown is still confident McLaren will remain competitive in the tight midfield battle.
"We’re hopeful that it will be a smooth integration and transition," he added.
"But we don’t have a lot of time to shake things down and give Daniel time in a new race car and our hope is, as we’re on this journey together to get back to the front, that that is what we continue to do this year.
"Overall, I think ’21 will look a lot like ’20 in the field because we are predominantly using the same cars."
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