McLaren has been on an upward trajectory for the past couple of seasons. They grabbed their first podium after a five-year gap at the end of 2019 and finished third in the constructor’s standings last season. All of this impressed their former driver, Lewis Hamilton.
The Briton won his maiden F1 world title with the Woking outfit in 2008 after coming perilously close the year before. They not only handed him his debut but also funded his journey to F1. So, he is hoping that his former team can soon join Mercedes in a three-way title fight.
Team Principal Andreas Seidl acknowledged his support, “It’s obviously nice for all of us at McLaren that Lewis, who started his career at McLaren and won his first title with McLaren, is respecting and watching the progress we make as a team.”
However, the respected team boss is as pragmatic as they come. He knows that joining Red Bull and Mercedes is still an uphill task.
So, throwing caution to the wind, he said, “But as I have said before, we have a clear picture and a realistic picture of where we are as a team.”
Lewis Hamilton happy with McLaren’s Mercedes engine switch
After the season-finale in Abu Dhabi, Lewis mentioned his delight at McLaren partnering with Mercedes once again. It is an upgrade over Renault and could propel them to the higher end of the grid.
“I’m really happy to see the McLaren so close, particularly with how they’ve got changes and they’re using our engine next year,” said Hamilton.
The two teams go a long way back – their successful partnership in the late 90s and 2000s yielded three world titles. However, the relationship dynamic is not the same as it was since Mercedes will now prioritize itself with its own F1 team.
So, Siedl told RaceFans.net, “But it is also clear that it is a different partnership compared to the past. There’s a Mercedes works team in Formula 1 and we are a customer, but I’m very happy with everything I’ve seen so far.”
These are exciting times for McLaren and F1 in general. Many teams are gunning to dethrone the big boys from the top of the table. With the new regulations coming in soon, we may witness an intense battle for power.