McLaren boss Andreas Seidl has revealed his hopes that new developments behind-the-scenes could benefit the team as soon as next year.
After slipping from third to fourth in the Constructors' Championship in 2021, the Woking-based squad again find themselves fighting for P4 in 2022, with their battle this season focused on Alpine.
This comes despite the introduction of sweeping technical regulations for the current campaign.
In an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.com, Seidl admits that he was not surprised to see the team's place in the pecking order remain unchanged in light of the new rules.
Why the pecking order has not drastically changed
"I didn't expect a big change in the pecking order going into this new era of Formula 1," Seidl said.
"Why? Because the teams that are simply better teams right now, with their established organisations – with their established infrastructure, with their established tools they are using – there is no reason why they should not do a better job compared to us [in] preparing this new era.
"And that's what we are seeing."
Seidl also believes that the budget cap has had an impact on those teams behind McLaren in enabling them to close the gap in the midfield.
"We should also not forget that all the teams that we were outspending in the past – because we were the fourth biggest team – suddenly are in the middle of the fight as well," the team boss continued.
"Some of these teams, like Alpine, like Alfa Romeo, they have state-of-the-art infrastructure in place already.
"That's why we have to accept that these guys can do as good as us, maybe even ahead of us at the moment, which is not a situation we are happy with, but that's the reality we are in."
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How McLaren hope to fight in the future
Despite this, Seidl is pleased with the progression he sees in the team, and feels confident that the right factors are being put in place for their future.
"In a year like this year, I see that, as a team, we're making steps forward [in a lot of different areas]," he detailed.
"In the way how we work together back home, how we work together between [races] and back home, in terms of productivity in terms of pit-stops, for example.
"That's, for me, the most important thing, [that] even in a challenging season like this one, we keep making steps as a team.
"Because that's key for me, to be in a position in three years to fight again regularly for race wins."
New developments in place for 2023
As part of this, McLaren are in the process of developing a new wind tunnel and simulator, which Seidl hopes will soon reap benefits for the British outfit.
"We plan to have the wind tunnel ready [by the] middle of next year, which means part of the '24 car development will benefit from the new wind tunnel already," Seidl revealed.
"The first full car that [will be] developed in the tunnel is the '25 car. On the driving simulator side, we are planning to complete a new one [at the] end of this year/beginning of next year, where we then hopefully see some benefits already next year, or [at the] latest in '24."
Other developments are also in the works.
"On CFD [computational fluid dynamics], we made big upgrades as well," Seidl added.
"We are heavily looking into updating all our production facilities as well, which needs to happen in parallel to [us] becoming better as a team."
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