Pre-season brake issues impacted 2023 McLaren design

Brake issues for McLaren in pre-season testing have impacted its 2023 car development

Brake issues for McLaren in pre-season testing have impacted its 2023 car development

Brake issues for McLaren during Formula 1 pre-season testing this year had an impact on the development of its 2023 car.

Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo showed promising pace in Barcelona in February before the Woking squad encountered problems in Bahrain at the second test.

There, in the warmer conditions, the front brakes overheated and limited the team to only short runs.

As a result, McLaren headed into the 2022 season proper nursing a problem with the car, lacking data from testing, and having to invest resources into resolving the issue.

“It had quite a consequence for us as a team for different reasons,” said Team Principal Andreas Seidl prior to his departure when asked about the issue by Speedcafe.com.

“Obviously, with testing being so limited nowadays, and going into a completely new era of Formula 1, completely new cars, then missing out on half of the testing compared to everyone else around, compared to all other competitors, definitely put us on the back foot quite a lot in terms of preparation for the season.

“Then we had to use a lot of resources as well at a time where we would have liked to use all the resources simply to performance develop the car instead of fixing brake issues was also something that, I think, put us on the back foot even further and, to a certain degree, probably even had an impact on next year’s car because we couldn’t start it as early as we would have liked.”

While McLaren had last on-track repercussions because of the pre-season problems, Seidl reasoned it also highlighted opportunities off-track that would perhaps not have been as immediately apparent.

“It became obvious to us that we didn’t have enough resources also available compared to other teams probably as well, especially on the engineering side, in order to be able to deal with the development of the current car plus making sure it was, in parallel, you can always have a look on next year’s car as well,” Seidl explained.

“That’s why we have put in a lot of hard work, also together with the financial department, knowing that we are working in a cost cap environment as well.

“We found actually synergies and efficiencies within the current way how we do Formula 1 that allowed us now to start, pretty much two months ago, quite a significant campaign of hiring more engineers to simply have more people available in order to be able, in the future, to do things more in parallel.

“That’s definitely one of the weaknesses we’re having currently in the team,” he added.

“Hopefully with getting more of these engineers on board in the next the next year we will be able to make another step there.”

Last week, it was confirmed Seidl will leave his role as Team Principal at McLaren and join Sauber as Group CEO.

Andrea Stella has been promoted from Racing Director to replace the German at Woking.

One of Seidl’s first tasks upon starting with Sauber will be to recruit a new Team Principal – the role having formerly been held by Ferrari’s new boss, Fred Vasseur.

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