Press "Enter" to skip to content

What’s behind McLaren’s latest F1 updates

McLaren is the ‘best of the rest’ in Formula 1 2021 so far, but it continues to evolve and has brought several novelties to the Spanish GP.

McLaren has reached the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend with some new parts to evaluate as it looks to improve the performance of the MCL35M.

Daniel Ricciardo, collected baseline data on the old configuration.

Both had the improvements for the FP2, a front wing optimized to suit a higher downforce setup, and a new bottom that follows the lead of its rivals.

The changes made to the front wing they are very subtle, given that the layout used in the opening phase of the season only needs to be adjusted to get a little more performance, without destabilizing the flow structures that have already been established to bond well with the other aerodynamic components of the rest of the car.

The optimizationsAlthough small, they are profound, since the entire section of flaps of the wing. This is most evident in the interior and exterior areas, where the geometry of the main plane has been altered at the connection points.

In the outer section of the wing, the main plane now has a straight section where it connects with the endplate, instead of being tilted downwards (highlighted in orange).

This also has a corresponding effect on the shape of the flaps from behind as they have to be adjusted accordingly. All this alters the way in which the elements of the wing interact with the endplate and, as a result, also the behavior of the air flow.

McLaren MCL35M front wing comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The story is similar when the main plane connects to the neutral center section of the wing, as the leading edge now falls down with a smoother curve as it reaches the front of the wing (highlighted in orange).

This change in profile at the junction of the two wing sections will cause the Y250 vortex to detach from the modified region. Thus, the team fine-tunes the direction, shape and / or speed of the vortex before it is directed towards other downstream aerodynamic devices.

The shape of the flaps at the stern of the main plane, further altering the shape, direction and velocity of the vortex, while modifying the proportion of the wing available for flow conditioning versus downforce generation.

The two blades mounted on the underside of the wing also appear to have been modified, placing them closer together and slightly reducing the height of the outermost one.

McLaren MCL35M Z-shaped floor cutout

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

McLaren is also the eighth team to test a Z-shaped floor layout, having watched with interest the progress of its rivals during the opening phase of the season, while preparing its own version.

The solution has been paired with a pair of outwardly angled, stepped fins (arrow roja) at the beginning of the cutout as it seeks to direct the airflow into the path of the cutout and initiate a more powerful vortex structure.

Also read:

Why Mercedes chose the softs to start the Spanish GP Hamilton: 100th pole feels like the first of my career Alonso is satisfied with reaching Q3 Reutemann’s condition worsened and he had to be transferred

And while the aerodynamic structures of the upper section will no doubt have to be readjusted ahead of the rear tire, the team has already actively sought improvements in this regard this season.

McLaren is using quad fins that arch off the edge of the ground (arrow blue) and the “r” shaped fin (arrow verde) to try to redirect the airflow before it reaches the face of the tire. Left unchecked, it can spill into the diffuser, reducing performance.

Also read:

Verstappen, “happy” to be so close to Hamilton in BarcelonaRed Bull explains Pérez’s spin in qualifying in SpainPérez: a pain in the shoulder affected my performance in SpainHamilton: I was afraid that the changes in the car would not work

First run with the MCL35M for Norris and Ricciardo

motorsport.com

See more videos

What to watch next

  • The new member of the F1 team, Red Bull Racing, Sergio Pérez is already at the team's factory.  This is the first interview as a pilot for the Austrian house.

    Sergio Pérez, first interview as a Red Bull Racing Team driver

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • One very heated rivalry between DPI series leaders: Jordan Taylor and Luis Felipe Derani.

    Daytona 24: Battle for the lead

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • These are the images from the day of Stage 11 of the 2021 Dakar Rally.

    Dakar 2021: The images of Stage 11

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • The summary of Stage 11 of Motorcycles and Quads of the Dakar Rally 2021.

    Dakar 2021: Stage 11 motorcycle and quad highlights

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • Did you know that the Formula 1 season did not always start in March?  Several World Cups even started in January!  We tell you

    When F1 seasons started earlier

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • The summary of Stage 10 of Motorcycles and Quads of the Dakar Rally 2021.

    Dakar 2021: Stage 10 motorcycle and quad highlights

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • The summary of Stage 10 of Cars of the Dakar Rally 2021.

    Dakar 2021: Stage 10 Car Highlights

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • The summary of Stage 8 of Motorcycles and Quads of the Dakar Rally 2021.

    Dakar 2021: Stage 8 motorcycle and quad highlights

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • The summary of Stage 8 of Cars of the Dakar Rally 2021.

    Dakar 2021: Stage 8 Car Highlights

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • Dakar legend Hubert Auriol returns to the Dakar. Auriol was best known as the first competitor to ever win in both the bike and auto categories.

    Dakar 2020: Driver Portrait – Hubert Auriol

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • The summary of Stage 6 of Motorcycles and Quads of the Dakar Rally 2021.

    Dakar 2021: Stage 6 motorcycle and quad highlights

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • The summary of Stage 6 of Cars of the Dakar Rally 2021.

    Dakar 2021: Stage 6 Car Highlights

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • These are the images from the day of Stage 5 of the 2021 Dakar Rally.

    Dakar 2021: The images of Stage 5

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • Summary of Stage 2 of the Light Vehicles of the Dakar Rally 2021.

    Dakar 2021: Stage 4 Light Vehicle Highlights

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • These are the images from the day of Stage 4 of the 2021 Dakar Rally.

    Dakar 2021: Pictures of Stage 4

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com

  • The summary of Stage 4 of Motorcycles and Quads of the Dakar Rally 2021.

    Dakar 2021: Stage 4 motorcycle and quad highlights

    motorsport.com Logo

    motorsport.com


  • The new member of the F1 team, Red Bull Racing, Sergio Pérez is already at the team's factory.  This is the first interview as a pilot for the Austrian house.Sergio Pérez, first interview as a Red Bull Racing Team driver
    The new member of the F1 team, Red Bull Racing, Sergio Pérez is already at the team’s factory. This is the first interview as a pilot for the Austrian house.

    motorsport.com Logomotorsport.com

  • One very heated rivalry between DPI series leaders: Jordan Taylor and Luis Felipe Derani.Daytona 24: Battle for the lead
    One very heated rivalry between DPI series leaders: Jordan Taylor and Luis Felipe Derani.

    motorsport.com Logomotorsport.com

  • These are the images from the day of Stage 11 of the 2021 Dakar Rally.Dakar 2021: The images of Stage 11
    These are the images from the day of Stage 11 of the 2021 Dakar Rally.

    motorsport.com Logomotorsport.com

FOLLOWING

Read more

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *