The Woking-based team has been on a tightrope for much of the 2022 Formula 1 season after brake problems marred their start to the season and left them bottom of the Bahrain Grand Prix. The British outfit recovered fairly well, but have admitted that in dealing with these issues, they diverted a lot of resources from other areas and they have had to work very hard not to lose too much ground to their main rival Apine.
As the teams start to focus on 2023, McLaren is aware that it must not be in the same situation next season, so it needs to ensure it has a stronger chassis. For this reason, although the technical regulations are maintained, beyond the changes on the ground, the English believe that they may need major modifications.
When asked if the current MCL36 concept will continue or if there will be something new, team principal Andreas Seidl told Motorsport.com: “I think it’s a mix.”
“With the technical regulations that remain practically the same, it is clear that it will not be a total revolution,” he said. “But at the same time, recognizing that the teams in front are a second quicker, it is also clear that we intend to make big steps in terms of development.”
McLaren’s technical director, James Key , has no doubts that to enjoy a season full of successes, starting with a good level is key, because going to the comeback uses a lot of resources.
“I think the level we’ve seen from the top three teams shows what you have to be able to achieve,” he told the Woking team’s website as he reflected on the car’s philosophy.
“If you start the year with a competitive car, you can adapt your development plans from there and do less than we’ve done, while focusing more on the areas where you think you’ll benefit,” Key said. “That’s where we want to be next season, as we couldn’t maintain that aggressive level of development because of the budget cap. We can learn a lot from this year, and the team has done a great job to achieve what they have.”
Although McLaren is focused on making a big step forward in 2023 , it still plans to introduce some updates to its current car before the curtain falls: “Regarding the update packages that we have done, it has been somewhat aggressive.”
“For each development, we have worked a lot, and it lasts for five or six races,” said the technical director. “Each package has worked as intended, giving several tenths each, so we’re happy with that.”
“We have another update coming up, which we’re working on right now, and then there’s going to be some minor ones coming up in the remaining races. I’d say we’ve done a lot and we’ve gotten what we wanted,” Key said.
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