McLaren Prioritizes Performance Factors Over 2026 F1 Engine Talks

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While other teams like Aston Martin emphasize the significance of securing a works partnership for the 2026 rules cycles, McLaren believes that there are more influential factors impacting performance than the power unit.

According to McLaren boss Andrea Stella, the current focus should be on addressing the elements that have a greater impact on the speed of their car. Stella stated, “Our limitations have nothing to do with the power unit. I believe they are much more fundamental, and that’s where our attention should remain.”

“Even when considering improvements in aerodynamics or tires, the role of the power unit, including its layout and construction, is relatively insignificant,” Stella continued. “I am convinced that it may provide some incremental differentiation, but it should not be overly preoccupying.”

Andrea Stella, Team Principal of McLaren, shared his perspective.

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / F1 Flow Images

McLaren has revealed that it is engaged in advanced discussions with Mercedes regarding the continuation of their customer relationship beyond the end of 2025. While Stella acknowledges the advantages of being a full works team, he believes the differences are not as significant as some suggest.

“Being an ideally works team with an established power unit manufacturer is desirable,” Stella explained. “However, there are also options to be a customer with an established manufacturer or to enter into a new partnership, although the latter entails certain risks.”

“In 2026, we aim to be at the front,” Stella emphasized. “We don’t want to find ourselves in a situation where we require additional years due to the project’s immaturity. We want to have a competitive chassis and a reliable power unit. While being a works team is preferable, I do not consider it a fundamental differentiator for winning.”

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As part of McLaren’s efforts to enhance performance, Stella has implemented a new technical structure within the team. The structure consists of three heads responsible for contributing to the car’s design. Rob Marshall will lead engineering and design, Peter Prodromou will oversee aerodynamics, and David Sanchez will head the concept department.

Stella is confident that this system will help McLaren overcome its recent struggles on the track. “I believe this configuration is robust because it is not about who makes the decisions; it’s about generating competitive ideas and bringing them to the table,” he stated.

“The issue McLaren faced was not about decision-makers; it was more about our ability to generate competitive ideas for building a fast car. That’s where we encountered difficulties. We believe this organizational structure addresses those challenges. In essence, it is similar to the approach adopted by other teams, such as Red Bull.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about McLaren, performance

What is McLaren’s focus for the 2026 F1 engine talks?

McLaren’s focus for the 2026 F1 engine talks is on addressing elements that have a greater impact on the performance of their car, such as aerodynamics and tires. They believe that these factors are more fundamental and significant than the power unit itself.

Is McLaren considering a works partnership for 2026?

While McLaren acknowledges the advantages of being a works team, they also believe that the differences between being a works team and a customer with an established power unit manufacturer are not as substantial as some suggest. They are in advanced talks with Mercedes to continue their customer relationship beyond 2025.

What changes has McLaren made to enhance their performance?

McLaren has implemented a new technical structure within the team. This structure includes three heads responsible for different aspects of car design: engineering and design, aerodynamics, and concept development. This system aims to generate competitive ideas and improve their ability to build a fast car.

How does McLaren view the role of the power unit?

McLaren considers the role of the power unit, including its layout and construction, to be relatively small when it comes to improving performance. They believe it could provide incremental differentiation but emphasize that their limitations and areas for improvement lie elsewhere, such as aerodynamics and tires.

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F1Lover22 June 15, 2023 - 4:11 am

works team or customer, mclaren don’t care as long as they at the front! they talkin with mercedes but also thinkin bout the risks. can’t wait to see them with a competitive chassis and sound power unit! go mclaren!

SpeedDemon88 June 15, 2023 - 1:14 pm

mclaren got it goin on with their new structure n heads n stuff. they wanna bring da ideas to the table and make a quick car. gotta love their confidence in turnin things around!

RacingFan123 June 16, 2023 - 12:53 am

omg mclaren is so smart not worryin about da engine stuff and focusing on the real stuff like speed and stuff. they r like aerodynamics n tires r way more important duh!


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