Piastri and Norris given new McLaren wind tunnel tour
By Ian Parkes
Wednesday 29th March, 2023 - 1:30am
Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris have been given their first glimpse of McLaren’s new wind tunnel.
The state-of-the-art facility is the latest piece in the McLaren puzzle which, according to the team, is “another step forward in our mission back to the front” of the F1 grid.
The tunnel is currently up and running, although has been undergoing a variety of calibration tests ahead of it officially going online.
In terms of helping to develop the MCL60, team principal Andrea Stella recently stated that he hoped the team would start to reap the benefit of the wind tunnel as early as June.
Prior to the construction of its own amenity, McLaren had previously rented one of the two tunnels owned by Toyota Motorsport at a cost of “millions”, according to Stella.
In response to the opening, Piastri said: “Awesome to see our new wind tunnel in the flesh. Can’t wait to see it in action!”, whilst Norris added: “Excited for what’s to come.”
Piastri set for “special feeling” in Melbourne
McLaren will be hoping the tunnel can play its part as soon as possible following its poor start to the season in which it has failed to score a point in the opening two races for the first time since 2019.
After failing to hit its development targets over the winter, the team suffered severe unreliability in the first race in Bahrain.
In Saudi Arabia, Piastri at least qualified in the top 10 but a minor collision with Alpine’s Pierre Gasly at the start wrecked his hopes of a points finish.
Ironically, Norris ran over the debris off Piastri’s car, also forcing him into an early pit stop for a new front wing, leading to the British driver finishing 17th, two places behind his Australian team-mate.
Piastri is at least on home soil this weekend, proclaiming it to be “a special feeling” to be racing around Melbourne’s Albert Park, despite growing up in the city’s suburbs.
Although the 21-year-old is confident of ‘an experience he will remember’, he is simply looking to build on what he achieved at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit last time out.
“Securing a starting position of P8 in my second F1 quali and ticking another box by finishing a full grand prix was extremely satisfying in Jeddah, although Sunday was not seamless,” said Piastri.
“There is a long way to go this season. We’ll keep on pushing hard as a team and my learning curve continues.”
Coming online 🔜. We took Lando and Oscar on a tour of our new state-of-the-art wind tunnel housed at the McLaren Technology Centre.
Another step forward in our mission back to the front. 👊🧡 pic.twitter.com/FOK3LN5KFj
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 28, 2023
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