McLaren MCL33

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DarkAlman
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by DarkAlman » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:09 pm

Now that the season is over, it is said that there is a fundamental issue with the mcl33 that prvented it from being developed and it was discovered too late for mclaren to have made a "B car"
They seem to have gone with a unique aero-concept that only worked in the wind tunnel but didn't deliver on track performance. Many have commented that the MCL33 has too much drag slowing it down but this was vehemently denied by Eric Bouillier; "If it was only about drag we would have fixed it." Due to his history you have to take whatever Eric said with a grain of salt but the tone seemed to imply that he knew the problems with the car had little to do with Aero related drag.

The car ran a high rake, simplified sidepods and turning vanes, a suspension that maximized airflow through the coke bottle and a unique nose concept that I would speculate was all about sealing the floor and maximizing the effect of the diffuser. Having run Honda engines for years McLaren no doubt spent quite a bit of time trying to extract downforce from aspects of the cars that didn't suffer from lack of HP. The MCL33 was afterall designed for the Honda engine. However in the attempt to improve on the strengths of the MCL32 they appear to have gone in the wrong direction.

The last minute change to the Renault engine had a number of impacts on the design. The coke bottle shape had to be altered to accommodate the bulkier rear-end of the Renault engine (it's turbo is at the back of the engine instead of being in the 'V') which likely led to a number of run-on changes to the cooling, body work, suspension design, sidepods, etc.

What is known is that they have a fundamental problem with the gearbox. The Renault engine decision was made too late in the process and the gearbox couldn't be redesigned in time. The crank shaft of the Renault didn't line up the same as the Honda engine so the gearbox had to be hastily modified and compromised to make it fit causing reliability issues. They also had the wrong set of gear ratios in the gearbox which cost them performance and since the ratios are locked-in prior to season start they couldn't change them.

This is speculation but the gearbox alone might be leaving as much as .2 to .3 secs on the table. I also suspect that they've had suspension issues. The MCL33 has an unusual suspension configuration and if that has caused them any problems then a more conventional geometry may not have been an option as that too would require significant changes to the gearbox casing and modifying the aero package of the entire car.

The innovative nose the put on the car doesn't appear to have delivered performance as expected. As can be seen by removing the extra fairings in the last couple of races. These parts either added too much drag or had a negative effect on stability.

In my opinion the MCL33 was a dud, a car that was an aerodynamic gamble that proved to be fundamentally flawed to begin with that was then exasperated by upgrades that didn't deliver and the last minute switch to the Renault engine. By mid-season McLaren knew full well that the car needed a serious redesign and after the heads rolled in management they decided to save their money and get a head start on the MCL34 instead.

Big Tea
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by Big Tea » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:30 pm

As you mention in the beginning of your post, my feeling also is that the car on the track did not respond the same as the wind tunnel or computer model. I have no proof of this, but seems to me logical that if they bring updates to counter problems, and they do not work in real life, there is not correlation between what they think is/will happens and what actually happens.

As well as this, I feel Mclaren have not got the ground work right. I got slagged early in the year when the Mclaren fell off the rear jack. I was told, its only a little thing, but it is small items like this that make or break the car.
To clarify it did not antecedently fall, it slid off because the design of the lifting stage was missing a stop.
For a team like Mclaren to make such a mistake was unthinkable, everything was drilled and tested to perfection (and mistakes still happened :D )

I also believe they 'got off on the wrong foot' due to losing so much pre season running. The were not able to test what they had, so had no clear path soon enough to deviate.
Added to this was the closeness of the mid field. A small matter of .2 or .3 of a second could have made a huge difference and let them finish with a respectable total.

I hope they have taken things on board and intend to hit the ground running this year
Last edited by Steven on Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed quoted post right above
One test is worth a thousand expert opinions

ringo
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by ringo » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:40 am

The most obvious failure for me is the side pod design.
The fins on top are very draggy, and defeat the purpose of having the smaller pods. I suspect they will do away with those next year.
The sidepod technology seems to be 4 years old. Mclaren need to advance this area like the other teams have.

The rear suspension is reminiscent of the butterfly suspension back in 2011 was it? or 2013? Another failure.

Mclaren need to weed out some of the old heads in the engineering offices and bring in some young fresh talent.
For Sure!!

makecry
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by makecry » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:58 am

DarkAlman wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:09 pm
Now that the season is over, it is said that there is a fundamental issue with the mcl33 that prvented it from being developed and it was discovered too late for mclaren to have made a "B car"
They seem to have gone with a unique aero-concept that only worked in the wind tunnel but didn't deliver on track performance. Many have commented that the MCL33 has too much drag slowing it down but this was vehemently denied by Eric Bouillier; "If it was only about drag we would have fixed it." Due to his history you have to take whatever Eric said with a grain of salt but the tone seemed to imply that he knew the problems with the car had little to do with Aero related drag.

The car ran a high rake, simplified sidepods and turning vanes, a suspension that maximized airflow through the coke bottle and a unique nose concept that I would speculate was all about sealing the floor and maximizing the effect of the diffuser. Having run Honda engines for years McLaren no doubt spent quite a bit of time trying to extract downforce from aspects of the cars that didn't suffer from lack of HP. The MCL33 was afterall designed for the Honda engine. However in the attempt to improve on the strengths of the MCL32 they appear to have gone in the wrong direction.

The last minute change to the Renault engine had a number of impacts on the design. The coke bottle shape had to be altered to accommodate the bulkier rear-end of the Renault engine (it's turbo is at the back of the engine instead of being in the 'V') which likely led to a number of run-on changes to the cooling, body work, suspension design, sidepods, etc.

What is known is that they have a fundamental problem with the gearbox. The Renault engine decision was made too late in the process and the gearbox couldn't be redesigned in time. The crank shaft of the Renault didn't line up the same as the Honda engine so the gearbox had to be hastily modified and compromised to make it fit causing reliability issues. They also had the wrong set of gear ratios in the gearbox which cost them performance and since the ratios are locked-in prior to season start they couldn't change them.

This is speculation but the gearbox alone might be leaving as much as .2 to .3 secs on the table. I also suspect that they've had suspension issues. The MCL33 has an unusual suspension configuration and if that has caused them any problems then a more conventional geometry may not have been an option as that too would require significant changes to the gearbox casing and modifying the aero package of the entire car.

The innovative nose the put on the car doesn't appear to have delivered performance as expected. As can be seen by removing the extra fairings in the last couple of races. These parts either added too much drag or had a negative effect on stability.

In my opinion the MCL33 was a dud, a car that was an aerodynamic gamble that proved to be fundamentally flawed to begin with that was then exasperated by upgrades that didn't deliver and the last minute switch to the Renault engine. By mid-season McLaren knew full well that the car needed a serious redesign and after the heads rolled in management they decided to save their money and get a head start on the MCL34 instead.
I dont think it's just your "opinion", that's a fact lol. It's like saying "In my opinion water is wet"

Also we have no way of knowing if they were losing 0.1s or 0.3s or anything at all because of gearbox.

godlameroso
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by godlameroso » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:56 pm

It wasn't the gearbox, maybe ratios lost them .05 seconds. And if the suspension really was that bad the car wouldn't have been so kind to its tires. They made poor decisions with the car from the start, poor enough that it would have taken all season to fix.

I guarantee there will be a new bargeboard design, and it will look more wing like. No more chicken wing with a plate behind it.

Also the reason for the drag on the car was in fact the cheese grater end plates. They forced them to run more agressive rear wings, which is partly why they ditched them towards the end of the year. Also because they're banned next year so no point in running them if you're openly trying to build a killer car for next year.
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mclaren111
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by mclaren111 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:25 pm

LuisFeF1:
MCL33 splitter throughout the season
Image

Nonserviam85
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by Nonserviam85 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:03 pm

A very experienced aerodynamics engineer (who is not working in F1 anymore) told me in an casual chat that in his humble opinion McLaren's main issue is the shape of sidepods-bargeboards they are using because it does not work very well with the High-Rake concept. He was also questioning McL's decision of using a small inlet and not increasing the size of the inlet in order to reduce the size of the sidepods. Maybe the late PU change didn't allow them to optimize the cooling packaging this year and we might see a complete different design next year.

PhillipM
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by PhillipM » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:35 pm

They've been investigating the sidepod area all year, and the new sidepods that were already in the shop being made got cancelled, so there's obviously an issue there.
We know the bargeboards will change next year because everybodies will given the regulation changes, there is a new gearbox next year and also revisions to the rear suspension pickups/geometery, 100% guarantee it.
It's easy to say they've been good on tyres but whilst they've been great on harder compounds they've also been abysmal on softs, and rear motion ratios that high can't be great for trying to keep fine control over the aero platform either - hysterisis and flex there causes a lot of issues with car setup changes that it doesn't respond to - see Vandoorne and his non-responding car and alonso with flexing/collapsing rear wishbones.

Basically there's plenty of low hanging fruit that they already know about and there's fixes in the pipeline for, so hopefully they're back at the front of the midfield pack next year.

proteus
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by proteus » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:59 pm

ringo wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:40 am
The most obvious failure for me is the side pod design.
The fins on top are very draggy, and defeat the purpose of having the smaller pods. I suspect they will do away with those next year.
The sidepod technology seems to be 4 years old. Mclaren need to advance this area like the other teams have.

The rear suspension is reminiscent of the butterfly suspension back in 2011 was it? or 2013? Another failure.

Mclaren need to weed out some of the old heads in the engineering offices and bring in some young fresh talent.
2014
If i would get the money to start my own F1 team, i would revive Arrows

wesley123
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by wesley123 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:07 pm

I find it difficult to say that the sidepods are faulty. It is a modern design, relying on air flowing down the sidepod. This design is something that the current world champions had copied for this years car, for example.

For some reason McLaren just likes to be different, and in the past 8-9 years they have always seemed late to the party. The horizontal floor extensions were not present, and the horizontal plate behind the bargeboard has been on/off this year. Their bargeboard area, that had been significantly opened up for 2017, is one of the simpler designs on the grid. The development of other teams suggest that there is lots to gain in that area.

McLaren did introduce some things that are copied by a lot of teams, but they themselves don't seem to get it to work. This is a trend that has been mentioned as early as 2012. I believe Adrian Newey commented on it saying that they are virtually building an all new car every year, constantly changing philosophies. The result is the team being aware that something works, but having no clue why it works. After which development becomes difficult and you end up chasing your own tail.

2018 had been a reality check for them, and a pretty good one.
"Bite my shiny metal ass" - Bender

M840TR
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by M840TR » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:51 pm

wesley123 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:07 pm
I find it difficult to say that the sidepods are faulty. It is a modern design, relying on air flowing down the sidepod. This design is something that the current world champions had copied for this years car, for example.

For some reason McLaren just likes to be different, and in the past 8-9 years they have always seemed late to the party. The horizontal floor extensions were not present, and the horizontal plate behind the bargeboard has been on/off this year. Their bargeboard area, that had been significantly opened up for 2017, is one of the simpler designs on the grid. The development of other teams suggest that there is lots to gain in that area.

McLaren did introduce some things that are copied by a lot of teams, but they themselves don't seem to get it to work. This is a trend that has been mentioned as early as 2012. I believe Adrian Newey commented on it saying that they are virtually building an all new car every year, constantly changing philosophies. The result is the team being aware that something works, but having no clue why it works. After which development becomes difficult and you end up chasing your own tail.

2018 had been a reality check for them, and a pretty good one.
Yup. It's in his book. He also called the Mp4-28 a camel, with imitations of Renault, Ferrari and Redbull.

Jackles-UK
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by Jackles-UK » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:33 pm

For the last decade or so, McLaren have been searching for a silver bullet to catapult them to the top of the tree rather than working towards it gradually.

Think of the F-Duct, L-shaped side pods, fantail exhaust, butterfly rear suspension, size-zero packaging, their “false” rear wing endplate solution and this year alone we’ve seen another radical rear suspension design, a totally new nose concept and the full length floor edge cuts.

The only year they went for a more more conservative design (2012) happens to also have been, probably, their best car since 2007 and may well have won Hamilton the title were it not him crashing into everything/everyone that year! I’d like to see a solid, consistent car next year with good drivability like the Haas/Renault of this year, something for them to build on and add to for a couple of years before the next big rules shake-up in 2021/22.

Big Tea
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by Big Tea » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:53 pm

Jackles-UK wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:33 pm
For the last decade or so, McLaren have been searching for a silver bullet to catapult them to the top of the tree rather than working towards it gradually.

Think of the F-Duct, L-shaped side pods, fantail exhaust, butterfly rear suspension, size-zero packaging, their “false” rear wing endplate solution and this year alone we’ve seen another radical rear suspension design, a totally new nose concept and the full length floor edge cuts.

The only year they went for a more more conservative design (2012) happens to also have been, probably, their best car since 2007 and may well have won Hamilton the title were it not him crashing into everything/everyone that year! I’d like to see a solid, consistent car next year with good drivability like the Haas/Renault of this year, something for them to build on and add to for a couple of years before the next big rules shake-up in 2021/22.
I think this has epitomized the team. The do not (or did not) see themselves as a midfield team, but a top team with a small thing missing.
They neglected the nitty gritty in favour of the one big thing. Hopefully now though the seem to be adjusting to life in the new F1 where even the lower teams are good and can not just be dismissed.
I have more confidence in them this year than I have had for a few years.

New Mclaran ?

Edit
Ironically, if they had been running a good solidly positioned car, these 'extras' may well have been the difference between lower mid field and top of mid field
One test is worth a thousand expert opinions

M840TR
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by M840TR » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:57 pm

Jackles-UK wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:33 pm
For the last decade or so, McLaren have been searching for a silver bullet to catapult them to the top of the tree rather than working towards it gradually.

Think of the F-Duct, L-shaped side pods, fantail exhaust, butterfly rear suspension, size-zero packaging, their “false” rear wing endplate solution and this year alone we’ve seen another radical rear suspension design, a totally new nose concept and the full length floor edge cuts.

The only year they went for a more more conservative design (2012) happens to also have been, probably, their best car since 2007 and may well have won Hamilton the title were it not him crashing into everything/everyone that year! I’d like to see a solid, consistent car next year with good drivability like the Haas/Renault of this year, something for them to build on and add to for a couple of years before the next big rules shake-up in 2021/22.
Reliability was also quite bad in 2012.

wesley123
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Re: McLaren MCL33

Post by wesley123 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:24 pm

The main thing for 2012 was that they had issues developing their car. They knew that their car was good, but not why it was good.
"Bite my shiny metal ass" - Bender