McLaren was prepared to build B-spec 2018 F1 car

McLaren would have committed to building a B-spec car this year if it had uncovered the 'fundamental' problem that held it back earlier in the campaign.

McLaren was prepared to build B-spec 2018 F1 car

The Woking-based team endured a disappointing 2018 season as it failed to make the progress it had hoped to following a switch to Renault power.

An inherent aerodynamic problem, believed to revolve around too much drag and the car being unable to maintain downforce levels through corners, was believed to have been its main handicap – but it took the team until after the summer break to realise this.

McLaren's executive chairman and shareholder Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa has now revealed that with the problem being unsolvable without a chassis change, that the team would have prepared a new car if it had known early enough.

"[Nothing] would have fixed it," he said. "And had we discovered that in April we would have had a B-car by now. But it was too late."

Asked when the team fully realised how big the problem was, he said: "Not until after the summer break. By the time it was confirmed, it was too late."

Although the realisation of the issue came too late to save the 2018 campaign, Sheikh Mohammed is clear that lessons have been learned that should ensure no repeat for 2019.

"I don't know if we want to disclose what we discovered and why, but we've taken steps, and the development of next year's car has helped us understand what went wrong here.

"So we are confident...we know why we have not been able to develop this year's car. That was a fundamental problem. And we think we have addressed it."

Read Also:

McLaren CEO Zak Brown says that although the team did not make visible progress with the pace of its car through the year, its understanding of what went wrong progressed rapidly.

"Specifically and technically we now know what we have done wrong," he said. "A lot of the development that has been reported – like we stopped developing the car in Barcelona – was totally inaccurate.

"We had tonnes of bits going on the car up until the US Grand Prix. Some of those were to address the current car and some of those were to validate what we understood were the issues with this car so we didn't replicate those issues going forward."

Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33

Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33

Photo by: Erik Junius

shares
comments
TAG stays with Red Bull despite losing engine name deal

Previous article

TAG stays with Red Bull despite losing engine name deal

Next article

The human cost of F1's cut-throat nature

The human cost of F1's cut-throat nature
Load comments
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Prime

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku Prime

The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Prime

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship.

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021
How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP Prime

How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP

Formula 1's return to Baku after a year away had thrown up an eventful qualifying marred by four red flags, but the race appeared to be running to a familiar Red Bull vs Mercedes template entering the closing stages. That is, until a dramatic conclusion where victory was snatched away from two drivers, before landing in the lap of Sergio Perez

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021