McLaren have run what they call an “experimental” new nose on the MCL35 in first practice for the Tuscan Grand Prix.Carlos Sainz Jnr ran the revised design on his car during his first runs at Mugello. However the team is unlikely to race it until later in the year.
“We will try an experimental nose simply to get us some data,” said team principal Andreas Seidl. The slimmer nose is similar to Mercedes in style, with a ‘cape’ section underneath.
“We found a good direction in the wind tunnel, something we want to confirm here at the track first. Then we’ll make decisions if that’s something we want to bring to the track later in the year.”
McLaren is leading a close, four-way fight for third place in the constructors’ championship. After eight races McLaren are on 98 points, with Racing Point, Renault and Ferrari all within 27 of them, and 396 points available over the remaining rounds.
“Our goal is clear with where we are right now, we want to fight for this third place,” said Seidl.
“I still think we have some weaknesses in the car everywhere if you compare us to the Mercedes. But if we compare ourselves with the cars we’re battling with then I still think we have some struggles, especially when you go to tracks with more low-speed as a percentage. At the same time, that’s something we tried to address on the development side back home in Woking.”
Seidl said it’s “difficult to predict” whether they will be able to hold on to third place, which would be their highest championship finish since 2012.
“As you’ve seen Renault, for example, made a good step for Spa and they also communicated that they think they’ve found a good step forward for all kinds of tracks. So it’s difficult to predict to be honest.”
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