McLaren: 2022 wheel rims will require pit stop 'adaption'

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McLaren technical director James Key says teams will be required to adapt their pit stop processes for 2022 following F1's adoption of covered wheel rims.

The profile car rolled out at Silverstone last month provided fans with a an aesthetic glimpse of next year's car, although teams will offer their own interpretation of F1's all-new regulations.

Key says the 'show car' exhibited at Silverstone was a baseline but fairly accurate mock-up.

"I think what we're seeing is, it's a representation of a '22 car for sure, but it's I suppose quite basic compared to what things we'll be showing next year," said the McLaren tech boss.

"It's an accurate representation. If you look at that front wing geometry, for example, the diffuser in the back, the entry of the floor, all those things will be there.

"There'll be similar proportions to that, but it is a baseline car and I have to say, an undeveloped car."

Fans will have noted on the profile car the presence of 18-inch wheels and wheel covers, an element initially introduced in F1 in 2007 but which was banned in 2007.

Key says the new wheel assembly will inevitably impact the teams' current pit stop operations.

"It will have an implication obviously, the wheel assemblies are different shapes and are heavier, so that's going to be a human-to-human thing to get used to really," explained Key.

"We've also got different services in that area as well. You see on the demonstrator car, you've got these what are termed as mudguards.

"They're not mudguards, obviously, they're aerodynamic devices, but they look like mudguards over the front wheels.

"They won't get in the way unless you're slightly misplaced. They certainly put an obstacle in the way of one of the guy's arms, who's replacing the front wheel or removing it.

"The drum surfaces are also different as well. They're all prescribed geometries. They're geometries that everyone will have but they represent different challenges."

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