The 11 Transformations that Have Turned McLaren into an F1 Powerhouse

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The performance of the MCL-60 at Silverstone was so impressive that Lewis Hamilton referred to it as a ‘rocketship,’ leaving him unable to challenge its dominance.

McLaren introduced a series of updates during the Austrian Grand Prix, followed by further advancements in Britain, including a new front wing. These developments played a crucial role in Lando Norris securing a front row grid position and finishing second in the race.

While some competitors have suggested that McLaren’s modifications are mere replicas of Red Bull’s innovations, such a claim undermines the extensive effort McLaren has invested in finding its own improvements.

The accompanying side-by-side comparison demonstrates the substantial nature of the revisions, highlighting the meticulous attention to detail and the areas of enhancement.

  1. The shape and position of the floor fences have been altered to align with downstream modifications.

  2. McLaren had experimented with a sidepod inlet design resembling Red Bull’s last season, but their latest update has resulted in an even closer resemblance. The upper leading edge of the inlet has been set further back, while the lower lip now sits higher on the chassis, expanding the undercut beneath.

  3. The upper surface of the floor already featured a contoured blister to accommodate the lower SIS and create space for the underfloor. As part of the update, the blister has been re-profiled, accompanied by a smaller blister positioned inboard.

  4. The changes made to the sidepod’s forward section and inlet necessitated a redesign of the mirror housing and associated components. The upper slat has been retired, and a revised outer stay has been employed to better align with the required aerodynamic profile downstream.

  5. The aerodynamic fairing surrounding the halo now incorporates a vertical blade as the rear leg transitions into the rear bodywork. Additionally, a winglet has been mounted on the side of the structure.

  6. The overall reshaping of the sidepods has led to the elimination of the swage line along the bodywork’s side.

  7. Following Aston Martin’s lead, McLaren has adopted a deeper water slide-style gulley on the sidepod’s upper surface. The height of the sidepod’s flank has also been increased to maximize the internal gulley layout.

  8. The upper cooling gill panel has been relocated from its previous position to align with rival teams, wrapping around the shoulder of the extended engine cover. Different cooling panel configurations will be used based on the circuit’s requirements.

  9. The shape of the engine cover’s “shelf” has been optimized considering the relocation of the cooling panel and downstream changes.

  10. The MCL60’s floor edge has undergone a significant visual change, with the removal of the previous cutout and flap configuration employed by the team.

  11. The footprint of the engine cover and rear cooling outlet has been reduced, allowing for an increased size of the shark fin, as the bodywork surrounding it tapers rapidly towards the rear.

Front Wing Adjustment

At the British GP, Lando Norris benefited from a revised front wing, staying one step ahead of teammate Oscar Piastri in terms of upgrades.

The primary feature of the front wing update, which is also utilized by Mercedes, is the employment of a semi-detached flap layout.

This configuration disconnects the three upper flaps from the endplate junction, with a small metal spar bridging the gap between each element and the endplate.

The tips of the flaps are turned outward, serving as surfaces to control the outwash generated by the wing. This works in conjunction with other control surfaces, such as the modified endplate, diveplane, and slot gap separator brackets.

Comparison of Front Wings

When comparing the older specification on Oscar Piastri’s MCL60 with the new design mounted on Lando Norris’ car, it becomes evident that changes have been made not only to the outer portion of the wing but also to the non-moveable sections beside the nosecone.

The nose tip is set slightly further back from the leading edge of the second element, leading to a slightly different shaping of the vanity panel.

Consequently, the position of the flap pivot and its relationship with the associated slot gap separator have been adjusted, resulting in a redesign of the moveable sections of the two upper flaps.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about McLaren F1 upgrades

What are the key changes that have turned McLaren into an F1 rocketship?

The key changes that have transformed McLaren into an F1 rocketship include modifications to the floor fences, sidepod design, aerodynamic fairing, cooling gill panel, engine cover, and rear cooling outlet. The front wing has also been revised with a semi-detached flap layout.

How have the sidepods been modified?

The sidepods have undergone changes in their shape, including the deletion of the swage line down the side of the bodywork. Additionally, a deeper water slide-style gulley has been adopted on the upper surface, and the height of the sidepod’s flank has been increased to optimize the internal gulley layout.

What is the significance of the revised front wing?

The revised front wing design features a semi-detached flap layout, similar to that used by Mercedes. It enhances the control of outwash generated by the wing through outward-turned tips and works in tandem with other control surfaces like the modified endplate, diveplane, and slot gap separator brackets.

How has the engine cover and rear cooling outlet been modified?

The engine cover and rear cooling outlet have been reduced in size, allowing for an increased size of the shark fin. This change was made possible by tapering the bodywork around the shark fin rapidly towards the rear.

What are the benefits of these modifications for McLaren?

These modifications have significantly improved McLaren’s performance, turning their car into a dominant force on the F1 grid. The changes enhance aerodynamics, improve airflow management, and optimize cooling, ultimately providing a competitive edge on the track.

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F1Fan99 July 11, 2023 - 3:22 pm

ohhh boy, macclaren really did a big thing with those changes, now they’re a real F1 rocketship! amazing stuff, man!

CarLover23 July 11, 2023 - 3:56 pm

the sidepods look so different now, but in a good way! more aerodynamic and stuff. mclaren’s gonna fly past the competition, no doubt!

SpeedDemon7 July 11, 2023 - 8:19 pm

man, the new front wing is sick! it’s all about that semi-detached flap layout, so cool. mclaren’s stepping up their game for real!

racingpro11 July 12, 2023 - 12:35 am

mcl60’s got some sick updates, bro! i mean, they copied red bull a bit, but hey, they still put in their own work. gotta respect that, ya know?

RaceFanatic1 July 12, 2023 - 6:28 am

can’t wait to see the new mcl60 in action! gonna be a beast with those mods. i’m loving the attention to detail and the performance improvements. go mclaren!

F1Guru123 July 12, 2023 - 6:43 am

these changes are legit, man. they’ve optimized everything – the floor, the engine cover, cooling. it’s gonna make a huge diff on the track, mark my words!


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