MCLAREN’S FLURRY OF UPGRADES DO NOT DELIVER ON TRACK
Although 2015 was McLaren’s worst season since 1980, the revered British outfit has shown fresh impetus on the technical side of things.
Despite its perfectible Honda power unit, McLaren ranks third amongst the teams that have gained ground on Mercedes, behind Force India and Manor but ahead of Red Bull, according to stats and figures given by the official Formula One website.
The gain remains fairly modest (0.157% between Australia and Abu Dhabi, which equates to one tenth and a half), but the Eric Boullier-led squad never stopped striving to close the gap. The renewed partnership will need to take a much bigger leap by next year in order to close its 2.5s gap to Mercedes. That’s a pretty steep mountain to climb!
While progress was not always visible on track, technical upgrades have continued on the MP4-30 over the course of the season. The 2015 McLaren charger received a new front wing as early as the second pre-season test in Barcelona before an ‘S’-duct system was added in Malaysia.
The car was then given a major overhaul in Austria with the introduction of a shorter nosecone, a revised front wing, and a new-look floor. Rear-view mirrors were then redesigned and sidepods further slimmed ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The ERS cooler was made more compact and the engine cover further streamlined for Spa. In Singapore, the MP4-30 sported new front wing mounting pillars, camera pods, and under-nose turning vanes. The lower part of the steering wheel was planed ahead of Suzuka, while McLaren drew some inspiration from Ferrari to come up with a multi-slot floor in Austin.
Last but not least, the British team introduced a revised diffuser in Brazil, and sampled a new rear suspension design in Abu Dhabi with an eye already cast towards 2016.
Use the red tabs on either side of the screen to scroll through more Formula One news and features