However, McLaren remained level-headed, recognizing that the unique characteristics of the high-speed Silverstone circuit and the cooler temperatures played to the strengths of their MCL-60 car.
Although pleased with the encouraging outcome, the team emphasized that there is still substantial work to be done to achieve consistent strong performance across all tracks.
Norris, who narrowly missed out on pole position to Max Verstappen by a mere two tenths of a second, commented on the car’s improvement: “We have certainly made progress with the car. The overall speed and performance have taken a significant step forward.”
However, he acknowledged the challenges that lie ahead: “On the other hand, there will definitely be tracks where we will face more difficulties. Our weaknesses persist and are still quite prominent. Therefore, if we want to perform consistently, we must address these issues.”
McLaren has made strides in addressing the aerodynamic efficiency concerns of its initial car specification. Nevertheless, the team continues to grapple with maintaining car balance, executing direction changes in slow-speed corners, and overcoming a weak rear end, which results in compromised race pace due to tire overheating.
McLaren team principal, Andrea Stella, explained that the impressive pace at Silverstone, coupled with promising performances in Spain and Austria, was partly attributed to cooler temperatures and the use of softer tires, which helped mask certain car issues.
“There is undoubtedly a pattern,” Stella remarked. “Cold conditions, soft tires, and high-speed corners, particularly with the same compound: C3. These conditions favor our car. The rear end naturally finds good grip, which may be elusive over consecutive laps or in hotter conditions. So, the circumstances align in our favor.”
Stella acknowledged the team’s progress: “However, in this result, we can also see the impact of the improvements we have made to the car. We measure these improvements in terms of downforce, and we have become reasonably competitive in some low-speed sections.”
Nevertheless, he noted that other cars still outperform them: “But our GPS data shows that some cars are quicker than us, which only confirms our development objectives.”
Regarding the race pace, Stella added: “While we have enhanced the car’s aerodynamic efficiency, we have not made significant enough strides in elements that influence and improve race pace. Thus, I expect that there will be cars around us, like Ferrari and possibly Mercedes, that will demonstrate greater speed during the race. We will also monitor Aston Martin’s performance and how they fare tomorrow. The conditions will also play a role, and colder conditions should favor us for the same reasons, even during the race.”
When asked about the effectiveness of the upgrade in resolving McLaren’s primary issues, Norris replied: “Around 70% of the problems remain unresolved, while approximately 30% have been addressed through increased speed, added load, and improved performance.”
He continued, “Currently, having more load would cover a significant portion of the remaining issues, but it is not the complete solution. Days like today demonstrate that we are not far off in certain aspects. However, certain characteristics and handling, which have plagued us for the past five years, still pose inherent challenges for us.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about McLaren, weaknesses, performance, upgrades, challenges
What were the results of McLaren in the British GP qualifying?
Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri secured second and third positions on the grid for the British GP.
What were the strengths of McLaren’s car at the Silverstone circuit?
The high-speed nature of the Silverstone circuit, along with cooler temperatures, played to the strengths of McLaren’s MCL-60 car.
What weaknesses does McLaren’s car still have?
McLaren’s car still struggles with car balance, direction change in slow-speed corners, and a weak rear end. These issues affect the car’s race pace and result in tire overheating.
Did McLaren’s recent upgrades improve their car’s performance?
Yes, McLaren made improvements to the car’s aerodynamic efficiency, resulting in a decent step forward in terms of speed and performance. However, there is still work to be done to address the remaining weaknesses.
Which conditions favor McLaren’s car performance?
McLaren’s car performs well in high-speed corners, cold conditions, and with the use of soft tires. These conditions help the car find good grip and mask some of the underlying issues.
Which teams are expected to have a better race pace than McLaren?
Ferrari and possibly Mercedes are expected to have a better race pace compared to McLaren. Aston Martin’s performance will also be monitored. The impact of conditions, particularly colder ones, may also influence the race outcome.