Since their dismal Bahrain GP where the team only caught a mere few points, McLaren have introduced several new parts on its car, mainly on the front end. Team principal Martin Whitmarsh commented earlier this week that regulations are now so strict that there is often more to gain by optimizing the front in order to get more quality air to the rear of the car, rather than actually developing the rear.
Already on Friday at Barcelona, the team's car featured a new, raised nose after seeing all other teams run noses that are close to the maximum allowed height. As the monocoque itself remained unchanged - anything behing the front bulkhead remained unchanged, McLaren still don't have an optimal solution for airflow towards the car's floor, but with the advantage of nose having a step on the upper side of the nose.
Further small changes include the removal of the slit in the front wing stacked element, while 2 fins were added on top of the sidepod. McLaren have here carefully copied Lotus' solution. A final new item is a small outlet on top of the sidepods, similar to the Red Bull RB8.
They’re all matching the aerodynamic concepts of on another. Focusing on how to get a clear air to the rear is a good thinking for McLaren. If only wholesale car body parts were available for use of our daily drives, our cars will be more fuel efficient and of course, look cooler.
It will be interesting to see which positive effects the changes will bring.
I think that is a smart move to focus on the root of the issue and improving the matter from there. Higher amount of quality air from the front would directly enable it to travel to the rear. Thus, there is no need to improve further on the rear since it would be redundant and a waste of effort and costs.
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