McLaren made another bold step towards a stronger future ahead of the British Grand Prix, confirming its driver line-up for 2020, locking in Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris for another season.
And the importance of the move on the team cannot be underestimated, with stability a cornerstone of success.
SOUNDBITE: (English) MARK PRESTON,
F1 TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, 2006-2008:
“I think stability, even though maybe it sounds boring, but stability, specialization, all those things that are, the top teams have, is why they’re strong.”
The team’s structure has also been sharpened by its new team principal Andreas Seidl, with the German removing a problematic relic of the Ron Dennis era… its matrix management system.
…one that had no clear chain of command, the system adapted from the aerospace industry by Dennis and his former protege Martin Whitmarsh.
But Seidl has gone back to basics, with his McLaren race team fed into by technical development and production.
“A classic motorsport structure, in other words,” Seidl said. “The way I've always worked. It is simple and understandable, for everyone in the team.
The switch ensures a more agile results-focused organisation, one that can be every bit as responsive as the car storming on-track.
McLaren is now on-course to record its best season-long result since 2014, with the squad fourth in the constructors’ standings and 60 points after 10 rounds - just two less than its 2018 total.
But getting back to winning is going to take time, and the squad has been managing fans’ expectations from the launch in February.
SOUNDBITE (English) CARLOS SAINZ,
F1 DRIVER, McLAREN:
“I ask them to be supportive, to be patient because this is not going to be day to day all of a sudden start winning races. It’s going to take a bit of a process, we’re all going to work flat-out, everyone in the factory is working flat-out, the drivers will be working flat-out on driving flat-out and I’m sure we’re going to make it back.”
It’s a fair request after a nightmarish period for the team, one where the chance of a competitive turnaround seemed very slim.
So there's a light at the end of the tunnel now for McLaren.