New McLaren wind tunnel set to have full impact from 2025
Monday 2nd January, 2023 - 12:17pm
The benefits of McLaren’s new wind tunnel and simulator are set to be fully felt with the development of its 2025 Formula 1 car, according to Zak Brown.
The Woking-based squad pioneered the use of simulators in F1 but its unit has become outdated, and the Toyota wind tunnel which it has been using in Germany’s Cologne has similarly been surpassed.
Technical Director James Key admitted in 2021 that McLaren has been compensating for having inferior infrastructure, a situation which is set to end this year.
By then, however, development of its 2024 car will be partway down the road, meaning the team’s investment will not be completely exploited until the 2025 season.
“It’ll start to impact our ‘24 car [and] it will have full impact for our ‘25 car because it comes online middle of [this] year, which means we’ll already be started on our ‘24 car,” McLaren Racing CEO Brown explained as part of the KTM Summer Grill series on Speedcafe.com.
“So, I think we’ll have everything we need fully up and running for the ‘25 season.
“We’ll be kind of 80 percent of the way there in the ‘24 season.”
The wind tunnel will not be the only new addition to McLaren this year, with Oscar Piastri about to embark on his rookie season as an F1 race driver, having taken over the seat occupied by fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo.
With Piastri still only 21 years old and incumbent Lando Norris 23, it makes for a young driver pairing in the papaya cars, and Brown says the timing of the infrastructure projects fits in well.
“I think it times really well with how Oscar is going to be a rookie [this] year,” he added.
“He has not raced for a year, so he’s going to need to get a little bit of his race rust off of him, which I’m sure won’t take too long.
“So, I like the trajectory that we’re on, I like where we’re at with our drivers, where we are with our technology infrastructure, and feel like everything’s going to start to really come together in ‘24 and ‘25.”