Formula 1 | McLaren knows “very clearly” how to solve its weaknesses in F1

If McLaren F1’s pure performance seems to be down this year compared to last year, what are the structural factors that could explain it?

Technical director James Key has released some clarifications.

The first way is due to the nature of each circuit. The McLaren’s performance is inconsistent from destination to destination.

“When we showed good performances, it was real. But we also sometimes have weak performances. »

“There are circuits that play to our strengths, but it is not always foreseen. Monaco was much better for us than we thought. And I thought Barcelona would be better than Monaco. I expected to be much better in Canada than we have been. »

“It’s definitely a bit of a roller coaster. We must try to achieve this performance at every circuit. »

The McLaren could particularly suffer from a lack of top speed (as in Baku); or poor performance when the temperature rises (as in Miami or Barcelona) linked to the difficulty of keeping the rear tires in place.

Would the McLaren also have (second weakness) too narrow an operating window according to Key?

“I don’t think we have too narrow an operating window. We can operate the car in most situations. »

“We have some weaknesses that tend to make the result different from one track to another. Straight line speed is a problem for us, surprisingly. We are trying to see how we can improve it. »

“It’s not a problem we’ve had before and certainly our foresight for our development of the car suggested it would be a problem, so we’re trying to fix that.”

What remedies for next year?

Now that some weaknesses are known, it’s time to take countermeasures for next year. A work on the rear suspensions could also be useful for McLaren.

What can James Key say?

“There are things that are being analyzed in detail, and have been for some time, to see what options we have. »

“Some of them could relate to the 2023 car, where we think that by doing a slightly different geometry, we could achieve this effect. »

“Others could be more short-term measures. The car’s weaknesses, to solve them, require short- and long-term activities. »

“We know, we know exactly the directions we want to go. Some of the developments will allow these development directions to enable features that would further enhance the car. »

“Everything is very clear. It’s a matter of time and getting them in the car. »

The technical director, however, faces two obstacles: limited budgets and the frenetic schedule of F1.

“With limited aerodynamics and limited budgets, you can’t be as aggressive as you’d like. You have to work within that framework.”

“The problem you have when you go up the line of a hill, to try to get to that point, is that you have such an intense season, race after race. »

“There are only four races a year where you can make a significant evolution because you can’t rework the chassis in the pits, you have to do all that in the factory. »

“So even though you’d like to be a lot more attacking, and I think some teams have had more of an impact than us, Aston Martin have had a big impact with the nature of the changes they’ve made, we know what we have to do. We just we have to get there. What needs to be done is clear.”

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