Seidl: F1 should always be about the best performing car

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35, leads Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Performance

The entertaining yet chaotic Turkish Grand Prix should not be considered as a vision of Formula 1 to replicate, warns McLaren boss Andreas Seidl.

A race that saw drivers struggle with a remarkably low-grip track even before the rain on Saturday and Sunday, the race at Istanbul Park was one of the rare times this season a Mercedes victory was not a foregone conclusion, even if Lewis Hamilton did eventually emerge the victor.

Case-in-point, his teammate Valtteri Bottas spun six times on his way to 14th, while the podium was filled out by 2020 first-timers Sergio Perez of Racing Point and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

Nevertheless, Seidl suggests that trying to alter F1 in order to make such results more frequent would interfere with the “DNA” of the sport, even if it would provide additional intrigue.

“There were a lot of comments in both directions,” he told reporters, including Grand Prix 247, of the reception to the race. “Is it positive or negative, what we have seen for F1?

“We have seen that several times in wet conditions or tricky conditions that you have these exciting races with a lot of things happening.

“It’s clear everyone wants to see cars fighting on track, wants to see overtaking manoeuvres, wants to see also that not always the same cars [are] at the front, wants to see that people can actually make up positions coming through the field from the back.

“But at the same time, F1 is also about, in normal conditions, putting up or designing the best car and making it the best performing car. And then it’s also normal that the best car is in front in qualifying and in the race as well. That’s part of the DNA as well of F1.”

For Seidl, the incoming regulatory overhaul in 2022 is enough to ensure the sport promotes variance without altering the races themselves, as has been proposed with innovations like reverse-grid qualifying races.

“I think there’s a lot of positive stuff coming from ’22 onwards with the new technical regulations,” he explained. “That should allow the cars to race closer together, which should help then also to see more overtaking manoeuvres.

“All the other stuff that’s also happening like the financial cap should also help to get overall the field closer together. And then I think there is no reason to be pessimistic.”