McLaren brings new diffuser to China

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McLaren have brought a new diffuser solution to China which seems to use some of the concept of the ‘double decker diffuser’ that was passed legal by the FIA earlier this week:

McLaren's new diffuser (click to enlarge)

(Original image)

F1 Fanatic’s tech expert John Beamer reckons: “Doesn’t look as open as Brawn/Williams/Toyota. They’ve only really put on a narrow central section rather than a wide second deck. We really need to see whether they have a gap between the step and reference plane to be sure.

“The narrow central section is similar to what Toyota has done (but they have also opened up the step/reference plane gap). McLaren’s looks more closed but you can’t tell – it looks as though it could easily be opened up.”

Renault are also tipped to have a new diffuser at this weekend’s race. Will it help either team move up the order?

Join us for the free practice live blogs in a few hours’ time to find out…

Thanks to Rob B who spotted this in the comments.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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13 comments on “McLaren brings new diffuser to China”

  1. Toby Thwaites 93
    16th April 2009, 22:32

    Interesting…i think this diffuser was already going to be put onto the car whatever the descision of the court hearing. Its not completely like the “diffuser gang”s interpretation and i think that this aero packaged was planned. I think there is another rear package for Mclaren to come and this was just a play safe aero development to boost mclarens form.
    Still although the cars are alot cleaner this season, i can still stare at a single picture and admire all of the car’s angles and not get bored :)

  2. I think this diffuser should move mclaren a phew places up the grid… maybe al least Q3?

  3. Lol that was unexpected hopefully we can now make quali 3 and back to more podiums in my own opinion i thought this was gna take weeks but how suprising was that i think they were waiting for clarification on whether these diffusers are legal we will all have to watch laptimes in practice tomoz to see if its helped them ;)

  4. Actually i think they have had it ready for a while now, if you look at what they ran in the prev two races, it was just waiting to be opened up:

    Evidently there’s more internal work, but it’s clear they had the necessary setup since a while back

  5. The holes in the floor (just before the rear wheels) are also a different shape. I’ve seen some pictures of the rear wing and it too looks different. The front splitter is different as well. As Brawn are keen to point out its not just their diffuser that is giving them grip/speed. If the rear of the car produces more downforce the front wing must also work harder to keep the car from understeering, particularly as the diffuser is now aft of the rear axle and therefore will cause the front to go lighter. Some of this extra downforce needed might be coming from the splitter but that acts before the front axle and although more effective in keeping the car balanced not as changable as the front and rear wings.

  6. Any decent pictures of Renault’s new diffuser?
    I’ve read they’ve brought one.

  7. Another thing, I can’t see how Heikki managed forth fastest without the new aero package?
    Surely he should have been behind the Toyota’s and William’s as a minimum if his car is no better than Malaysia. That has got me confused, is it just coincidently his testing program is different?

  8. Would seem Mclaren have made improvements with Lewis being fastest in free practice so far.

  9. The diffuser is not just the silver bullet that magically gives downforce. There is still a need to carry out major work at the front of the car. Some sections of the diffuser need to be starved of air, while some other sections need enhanced airflow.
    As some earlier posts correctly pointed out, its definitely an interim measure.

  10. Just some thoughts on this following the ‘DD Row’ at the Appeal hearing:
    1.If McLaren had a modification ready to bolt on immediately after the decision, why haven’t Ferrari? All the teams have had the same amount of time to fix the problem.
    2. Why was Flavio raising such a noise about development when Renault have already got an interim measure on hand?
    3. To follow on from this – was the Ferrari name calling at the hearing just a blind and they will produce an interim version as well, apparently from nowhere?

  11. If I remember correctly, Lewis was also running with the new front wing with 6 planes instade of the 4 that they have had for the first couple races. I thought I had seen the 6 plane wing up front some time ago (i.e. pre season testing,) but was wondering why they weren’t running it. Maybe because of the reduced grip in the back the extra grip up front caused too much oversteer? Now with a bit more grip behind they were able to throw it back on the car and increase the overall package.

    That being said, I wonder how long they have had this finished part…were they strategically waiting for the diffuser row to come to a head and for them to be declared legal, or have they actually been working their butts off to develop this part for the last few weeks?

  12. Another picture of the McLaren diffuser

    Been looking for pictures of the new Renault one but not found any yet.

  13. Bah, sure enough next picture after my comment above is…

    For anyone who doesn’t know, if you download the image and then adjust the brightness you can see the diffuser details much better…..or you can often play with the brightness in the advanced display settings if your graphics card drivers support it.

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