Reasons behind McLaren’s 18-month development delay

James Key claims that the epidemic disrupted the squad’s growth plan, which is why McLaren regressed a little in 2022.


James Key, the technical director at McLaren, claims that the epidemic has thrown his squad 18 months behind schedule in terms of progress.

Beginning in 2019, Key and Team Principal Andreas Seidl joined McLaren as the team underwent a restructuring following a disappointing several years including an unsuccessful engine collaboration with Honda.

From 2018 onward, McLaren’s prospects progressively improved as the team’s point total grew year over year. In the end, Daniel Ricciardo’s triumph in the 2021 Italian Grand Prix gave McLaren their first Grand Prix win since 2012.

Key complained that the start of the epidemic had hampered McLaren’s advancement ambitions as the team fell behind Alpine in the final Constructors’ Championship in 2022, gaining only 159 points compared to 275 in 2021.

Development were interrupted by the epidemic

Key told the media, including, “I think the race team are doing a good job, but we’re not there yet.

“In 2019, Andreas and I arrived, we said immediately we’ve got some infrastructure to put in here, because we’re out of date.

“We had an expansion plan for some of the key areas, and then the pandemic hit the world and all of that came to a stop, so we haven’t reaped the rewards of any of those infrastructure investments yet, they’re still happening, they’re 18 months behind, and the expansion plan had to stop.

“We’re rejigging that now, once we’re in the cost cap, and we’re recruiting quite heavily in the key performance areas. Plans like that, which were kind of long-term but made very early, are well behind schedule, so we’re still waiting for them.”

In an exclusive August interview with, Seidl said that McLaren was now developing a new wind tunnel, which would be finished by mid-2023. As a result, the 2025 challenger would be the first fully finished car to be produced using the facility.

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F1, F1 2022, Formula 1, Grand Prix, McLaren, James Key, Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris

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