I am newbie so I may be wrong but I have been following this thread since testing has began . Macca designed the car with a low nose from the start and were confident about it and its development . Since the 09 regs many teams had started to experiment the high nose design and there was a more prominent development of the underbody aero package with all cars . The MP4-25 was a relatively high nose design of Macca since the 09 regs but it was a disaster with they tried to fit the blown diffuser .
The Mp4-26 was designed with the octopus exhaust in mind so they had the rear downforce sorted out even with the lower nose height (lower air volume to underbody compared to other teams) The L shaped side pods also helped Macca maximise the then redbull copied exhaust philosophy . Now in MP4-27 the nose is more lowered and without the rear blowing the air volume to the underside is furthur compromised . But with the lowered nose of MP4-27 Macca has the perfect front and rear balance but lesser overall downforce comparatively . Realizing the mistake Macca has made the nose higher thus more air volume is sent to the underbody to compensate for the clarification of the floor after China .
Now with higher nose the rear downforce is almost at the same level with the bent floor (before clarification) ,but now the front end seems to be compromised and there is a loss in downforce to counter this
Macca may have stiffened the already stiff front end (for better times in low speed corner) but the rear had to be softened to get better traction . This lead to understeer in entry (due to lower front downforce) and oversteer on exists after the car is unsettled in the mid corner bumps (too stiff front end) hence the overall balance is gone for a toss and so is driver confidence (Button) hence Macca is playing with setup after Spain and even the little updates are useless due to poor driver confidence .
Other think to worry about the Merc engine needs more cooling than others and the engine itself is relatively bigger so less packaging for other components .
Don't get me wrong but from the visual point of view the rear end of Macca looks like a pig i.e. the engine cover is bigger than other front runner team and the higher nose to underbody transition looks awkward (the place were the ice cutter sits).
PS- I may be severly flawed in my analysis but I though why not give is a try
I disagree with this. This year front downforce is not the problem. You see those wings? Most front wings this year are based on 2011 wings. 2011 wings produce enough downforce to balance a 2011 blown rear diffuser. 2012 wings are actually more than capable of making any required front downforce. You don't need a sloping nose, you don't need a snow plow
and certainly for teams like Mercedes, you don't need cascades! check their Silverstone front wing it is very interesting. Basically, front downforce is not a problem this year.
Most of the updates were have seen this year on the car, especially on the front wings, are aimed at conditioning air to the REAR of the car. Again, see the slim brake ducts (Williams), Cascade removal (MErc), Split guide vanes, reworked front wing fences, Snow plow removal, Side strakes under the mirrors. etc. The evidence is strong that the real issue this year is getting downforce to the rear of the car.
And even still, it was already said that the low chassis of the mclaren makes not much of a difference in front downforce, but rear downforce? Just ask Jenson Button if he has enough.
Mclaren may need the higher chassis more than ever now, because they need every advantage they can get to win this Championship.
"I was blessed with the ability to understand how cars move," he explains. "You know how in 'The Matrix,' he can see the matrix? When I'm driving, I see the lines."