McLaren hoping new wind tunnel ends aero woes

Wed, 17 May 2023, 08:00

May 17 (GMM) McLaren is hoping its imminent move into a brand new wind tunnel will put the Formula 1 team back on track.

It has been a lacklustre start to the famous Woking-based team’s 2023 campaign, with CEO Zak Brown admitting the main problem is “too much drag”.

“We need to create downforce without the drag,” he said.

McLaren identified its wind tunnel situation as a key problem some years ago now, with the team currently packing new parts to test into a truck and taking them back and forth to the Toyota facility in Cologne.

But even the Toyota tunnel is outdated, putting McLaren behind key rivals who are better at simulating in-corner aerodynamics.

New team boss Andrea Stella admits all recent McLarens have exhibited the same basic weakness.

“That may well have something to do with the methods we use during development,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

“But with our new wind tunnel, which will be available to us soon, we should be able to collect more representative data because the walls there can be adjusted,” Stella added.

“Hopefully we’ll be smarter in a few months, when we can compare the results of the first runs with the data from the last few years.”

The new wind tunnel should be up and running by next month, meaning – unlike many teams – the 2023 McLaren will not feature a major car upgrade at Imola.

“What is coming in Imola was developed a month or two ago,” Stella said. “We are taking a few small things.

“But they are not enough to be regularly scoring points again.”

An updated car that some are referring to as a ‘B-spec’ 2023 McLaren is then due around the time of the summer break.

“It will be divided into two races – Canada and Britain,” said the Italian.

“We’re not including Austria in between because it’s a sprint weekend. With the size of the package, we don’t have the confidence for that.”

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