Despite the new weekend format that has been introduced in Silverstone to mix things up, Andreas Seidl does not believe that there will be a mix-up in qualifying.
On Friday, the team and drivers only have one hour to prepare for qualifying, which has been anticipated to Friday. Despite the lack of time to prepare the car, Seidl believes that the pecking order will almost be the same.
Moreover, Seidl said that due to the new format, McLaren will change its approach to the weekend. The English team is usually slower on Friday compared to Saturday.
“I would think that for qualifying today there’s not a big mix-up compared to what we usually see,” he predicted.
“On our side, we normally tend to be a bit on the lower end of the ranking on Friday and then make our way forward until Saturday lunchtime. But I think that’s purely related to the way how we approach weekends normally.
“I don’t expect a big issue for us having only one session compared to all the other guys around. So to be honest I don’t expect a big change in the pecking order.”
Seidl also knows that overtaking is not easy, and it will not be easier during the Sprint Qualifying. Therefore, he is well aware that it is going to be crucial to perform well in qualifying on Friday.
“It’s very compressed, you have to get in this single session what you normally try to put in three sessions. So I think it’s even more important than it is anyway, to be as prepared as possible going into this session.
“It is also clear that on a day like today you need to be very careful in trying new things, for example, or new parts. Because in the end, you need to cover some basics in these 60 minutes because afterward, you have to lock in your car going into parc fermé for qualifying. So you have to make some important calls on brake wear, plank wear, the cooling set-up, and so on.
“Of course at the same time, you want to have a performing car going into qualifying so that’s where you have to find the right balance in terms of which fuel loads do you want to run, which tires, to be as prepared as possible.”
To conclude, Seidl said that the most important thing to do is to respect every new rule imposed by the FIA for the new format.
“I think in general the biggest challenge of this weekend is the operational side. Also the sporting side in terms of making sure you adhere to the regulations in terms of parc fermé and so on.
“We are all used to a certain race weekend sequence now for many years, everyone is trained to that, and that is where we put a lot of focus as a team to be ready on the operational side.”