McLaren is planning to revise the concept of its Formula 1 car for next year as it targets reducing the deficit to the top three teams.
The Woking-based outfit has already accumulated its best points total since 2014, and is on course to achieve its highest finish of the V6 turbo-charged hybrid era.
Carlos Sainz recorded his third fifth-placed finish of 2019 at the Japanese Grand Prix, a result the Spaniard felt was McLaren’s most competitive showing of the season so far.
Although the team is continuing to add small updates to the MCL34, focus has already shifted onto the 2020 car.
“We still bring some small bits to the next races also, but make sure that the team is flat out on 2020 car,” said team principal Andreas Seidl, as quoted by Crash.net.
Asked if McLaren is testing any specific upgrades that will be used for next year, Seidl replied: “At the moment we don’t see anything in terms of carryover parts – it wouldn’t make sense.
“We still have stuff that we bring for this year’s car. I mean the regulations are pretty much the same, there are stuff you can carryover then to next year but it’s not like we develop our stuff for next year’s car and then bring it.
“I wouldn’t call it radical but of course with the gap we’re having to the top cars, under the same regulations, we try to make a big, or a decent, step which means that some of the concept stuff of the car we will change.”
With just four rounds remaining, McLaren holds a 34-point lead over Renault in the battle for fourth place in the constructors’ standings, which Seidl believes is now “in our hands”.
“I’m happy we were able to extend the lead again to our competitors and I think we’ve seen now there is a kind of a trend in the last three or four races, we clearly have the fourth strongest car,” Seidl added.
“I think we have everything in our hands now to secure this P4 at the end of the season which will be a great achievement for us as a team and at the same time it’s important now to stay flat out for next year’s car to make the next step.”