McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl is hoping the team can close the gap to rivals Mercedes and Red Bull in 2021 after the team unveiled the MCL35M on Monday.
The Woking outfit will try to continue their push up the grid after their best season since 2012. While the team managed to take third spot in the constructors' standings they finished well behind the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull, with the German admitting closing the gap is a key focus for 2021.
"First of all it was a great achievement for us to finish third last year," Seidl told RacingNews365.com along with other journalists after the team's car launch. "Going into this year, we should be back again in a very tough battle with all the competitors we were fighting with last year. We have Lando going into his third year in Formula 1. We have Daniel on board with us who is a key reference in the sport. We have the championship winning powertrain in back of our car.
"I think the team did a good job all winter to make sure we made a step up. It's clear we want to get closer to the cars in front of us, to the Mercedes and the Red Bull cars, which we managed to last year."
The upcoming season will see a budget cap of $145 million introduced and Seidl believes McLaren done a good job of adapting to the new rule, which is something they pushed for.
"Obviously a budget cap is a big and important topic for us at McLaren," Seidl added. "It's a topic that we were supportive of because it makes sure that we can be in Formula 1 in the future in a sustainable way, but also in a competitive way. We spent a lot of time last year in order to prepare the team for this budget cap. The task is clear, we simply work hard on reducing costs in all areas of the business we are in, in order to make sure that we protect our people as much as we can.
"In the end, it's our people that make the difference, also in terms of performance. I'm quite happy with the progress we could make so far. There's still some fine tuning required until, let's say mid season. But we have conditions in place. We have a lot of people working on this topic, because in the end, it will define our competitive field. I'm happy with the progress we've made so far."