McLaren working on ‘B-spec’ car
By Mat Coch
Thursday 30th March, 2023 - 11:45am
McLaren is planning a suite of upgrades before Formula 1’s summer shutdown that team principal Andrea Stella described as “kind of a B-spec car”.
The team has recently undergone a technical restructuring with James Key making way for a three-pronged leadership team in terms of car development.
On track, updates will arrive in time for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the end of April.
Those are largely complete and a result of the previous technical model – a term Stella prefers over structure.
However, a more significant upgrade is already in the works.
“The improvement in Baku should affect an area of the car that has been clear I think from the presentation of the car we weren’t entirely happy with,” he said when asked by Speedcafe about the new model’s impact on car development.
“In terms of development, it’s just the first step.
“We would expect definitely another major upgrade which will interest more areas of the car and will be more apparent.
“That is what somebody may call like kind of a B-spec car.
“And then we have a further round of upgrades in the second part of the season after the shutdown.
“So we have three main steps; Baku, later on – I don’t want to commit to any date, but before shutdown – and then after shutdown.
“We hope that each of them will be able to provide a few tenths of a second.”
Impact of new model
It is the speed of delivery of those updates which Stella believes the new model will address.
He reasons it empowers personnel in key areas to pursue ideas that will lead to improved performance down the track.
“We will see the impact already, not in Baku because what comes in Baku was released in design like two months ago, but definitely it will impact the next round of upgrades.”
McLaren has invested in infrastructure which is set to come online in the near future.
Calibration work is ongoing on the team’s new wind tunnel.
That will guide the latter stages of 2023 development, and help in 2024.
Its full impact won’t be felt until the 2025 car hits track.
That coincides with the arrival of aero ace David Sanchez from Ferrari to join at the start of next year – one of a raft of new signings who will join the team over the coming months.
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