In the recent Austrian and British Grands Prix, McLaren launched the initial two phases of a critical three-stage upgrade expected to result in substantial changes to virtually every aerodynamic aspect of their cars.
The final elements, originally planned for the previous weekend’s Hungarian GP, have been postponed due to design and production timelines. Nonetheless, Norris has come in second in the latest two races, trailing the prevailing victor Max Verstappen.
McLaren’s recent performance has surpassed Mercedes, leading team principal of the eight-time constructors’ champions, Wolff, to speculate that McLaren has gained a second per lap.
The Austrian noted: “McLaren’s upgrade has put them ahead of the pack – a result they probably didn’t foresee. They’ve outperformed Aston Martin and Ferrari, who initially appeared as strong competitors at the start of the season, and now they are trailing.”
Stella didn’t publicly reveal the lap time improvement achieved by the modifications to the MCL60, but suggested that Wolff overestimated the improvement.
Following the latest Budapest round where Oscar Piastri secured fifth place after being surpassed by Norris and suffering floor damage, Stella stated: “To be fair, we haven’t conducted a complete numerical assessment. We have our internal estimate based on the aerodynamic maps we’ve analyzed. These are then simulated to produce a figure, which I can’t disclose, but it wasn’t a one-second gain.
“The way your car performs and evolves can indirectly aid the tyres, which in turn contributes to lap time improvement.”
Lando Norris, McLaren, 2nd position, Oscar Piastri, McLaren, Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, the McLaren team celebrate after the race.
Photo by: Steven Tee / F1 Flow Images
Despite exceeding expectations at the low-speed Hungarian circuit, Stella has once again sought to moderate anticipations for the Belgian GP this weekend. He insists that McLaren needs to enhance its performance in low-speed corners.
“Coming out of this event, we’re confident that we’ve made advancements in medium speed,” the Italian explained. “That’s what we clearly see when compared with our competition. However, we observe that we do lose time in the three low-speed corners… So, it confirms there’s still more work to do at low speed.”
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about McLaren F1 Updates
What upgrades did McLaren introduce in the recent Grands Prix?
McLaren introduced the first two stages of a significant three-step upgrade that will change almost every aerodynamic part of their cars.
Why were the final components of McLaren’s upgrade delayed?
The final components originally scheduled for the Hungarian GP have been postponed due to design and production timelines.
What does McLaren’s team principal think about the effect of the upgrades?
McLaren’s team principal believes that the upgrades have been beneficial but not to the extent of gaining a second per lap as some have speculated. He also emphasized that further improvements, especially in low-speed corners, are needed.
Who won the last two races in which McLaren competed?
Max Verstappen won the last two races, with McLaren’s Norris finishing second in both instances.
What does McLaren expect for the upcoming Belgian GP?
McLaren is tempering expectations for the Belgian GP, stating the need for improvement in low-speed corners despite recent advancements in medium speed performance.