During the British Grand Prix weekend, McLaren surprised everyone with their performance, as Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri secured second and third place on the grid at Silverstone with their upgraded MCL60 car.
McLaren’s significant improvement since adopting Red Bull-like floor and sidepod concepts has caught the attention of other teams. The Woking-based squad has transitioned from fighting near the back to emerging as one of Red Bull’s main rivals in terms of single-lap pace.
Lewis Hamilton viewed McLaren’s progress, resembling Red Bull’s design, as a “wake-up call” for his own Mercedes team, which is striving to narrow the gap to the front.
Toto Wolff, the team boss, acknowledged that McLaren’s advancements should prompt his engineers to reconsider adopting a more Red Bull-inspired approach with the W14 car.
“From an external perspective, it appears that the [McLaren] car resembles a Red Bull,” Wolff admitted. “To be honest, the appearance doesn’t matter because only the stopwatch counts. I believe Lewis was referring to the fact that this design direction seems to be favorable.”
He added, “However, it’s easier said than done. We have tried similar bodywork in the wind tunnel, resembling Red Bull’s, but it didn’t translate into improved performance. Nonetheless, we must leave no stone unturned and perhaps revisit this idea because another team has found a significant performance gain.”
Wolff emphasized the need for thorough analysis regarding the battle behind Red Bull, as the performance order of Ferrari, Mercedes, Aston Martin, and McLaren keeps fluctuating.
“The fluctuation is quite unusual. For a while, it seemed that Aston Martin was our main competitor, along with Ferrari. Suddenly, McLaren enters the mix in Austria,” Wolff explained.
“Clearly, one car had an upgrade and performed very well. Here, both McLaren cars have the upgrade, and they secure second and third place on the grid. It’s evident that they have made remarkable progress in terms of understanding and performance.”
Wolff acknowledged that Mercedes must find further improvements with their car. However, he cited Aston Martin and McLaren’s significant advancements in 2023 as proof that substantial progress is still achievable.
“It’s very encouraging to witness the substantial lap time gains Aston Martin has made from last year to this year. Similarly, we’ve seen McLaren achieve the same within the season,” he said.
“We need to give credit where it’s due if this trend continues. It serves as a great example of how a team can turn things around, and we should appreciate that.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Red Bull-inspired approach
What was the surprise performance at the British Grand Prix?
McLaren delivered a surprising performance at the British Grand Prix with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri securing second and third on the grid with their upgraded MCL60 car.
How has McLaren’s progress raised eyebrows at other teams?
McLaren’s progress has caught the attention of other teams as they have made significant improvements since adopting Red Bull-like floor and sidepod concepts. They have transformed from being near the back of the grid to becoming one of Red Bull’s main challengers in terms of single-lap pace.
Why did Lewis Hamilton consider McLaren’s progress a “wake-up call” for Mercedes?
Lewis Hamilton saw McLaren’s progress, resembling Red Bull’s design, as a wake-up call for his own Mercedes team. He realized that McLaren’s success with a similar approach highlighted the need for Mercedes to close the gap to the front and potentially reconsider their own design choices.
Will Mercedes reevaluate their Red Bull-inspired approach?
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff admitted that McLaren’s progress might require his team to reevaluate their approach. While Mercedes had previously experimented with Red Bull-like bodywork in the wind tunnel without significant performance gains, the impressive strides made by McLaren could prompt a fresh look at their design strategy.
What prompted Toto Wolff to analyze the competition behind Red Bull?
Toto Wolff observed the fluctuating performance order of teams like Ferrari, Mercedes, Aston Martin, and McLaren and felt the need to conduct a thorough analysis. The sudden emergence of McLaren as a strong competitor in Austria, with both cars performing well after an upgrade, highlighted the importance of understanding the dynamics of the teams behind Red Bull.
How does Toto Wolff view the progress made by Aston Martin and McLaren?
Toto Wolff finds the progress made by Aston Martin and McLaren encouraging. He acknowledges Aston Martin’s substantial lap time gains from the previous year and McLaren’s improvements within the current season. This serves as evidence that significant progress is still attainable, and it motivates Mercedes to continue seeking improvements with their own car.
More about Red Bull-inspired approach
- British Grand Prix: Lando Norris secures second, Oscar Piastri third on grid (BBC Sport)
- McLaren’s progress raises eyebrows at other teams (Motorsport.com)
- Lewis Hamilton: McLaren’s progress a wake-up call for Mercedes (Autosport)
- Toto Wolff considers reevaluating Mercedes’ approach (PlanetF1)
- Fluctuating performance order behind Red Bull prompts analysis (Formula1.com)
- Toto Wolff views progress by Aston Martin and McLaren (Crash.net)