Lando Norris, McLaren, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023

McLaren to introduce “fundamental redesign” of car over next three races

2023 Canadian Grand Prix

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McLaren plan to completely overhaul the design of their MCL60 with a series of upgrades which they will introduce over the next three races.

The team has suffered a poor start to the 2023 season and has scored only 17 points so far, 42 less than they had at the same stage last year. Andrea Stella, who took over as team principal during the winter, is making major changes to the team’s engineering division following the ousting of technical director James Key.

Stella said yesterday the team is now planning an extensive overhaul of its under-performing car. The first batch of parts will be introduced during the next round at the Red Bull Ring, which is the second sprint event of the year, leaving them only a single hour of practice to evaluate them before the competitive sessions begin.

Further parts will be introduced in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring. Stella said the revisions will constitute a “major overhaul of the car” in order to address the problems they have observed since the beginning of the season.

“Relatively soon after the start of the season we realised that the car needed a fundamental redesign,” he explained. “So this redesign is actually [involving] I would say pretty much every single aerodynamic part.

“That’s why the upgrades will be spread over the course of a few races. It will be decently noticeable. We had to redesign even some parts under the bodywork, that’s also why it took some time to be in condition to deliver these upgrades. So I would say pretty much the entire car.”

McLaren have struggled with poor straight-line speed and cornering performance in all but the very quickest turns. Stella is confident the revisions will work as intended.

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“We haven’t tested them in the simulator yet but they just pretty much deliver more downforce with similar characteristics,” he said. “So the key point is whether they will correlate trackside, but I think correlation so far has been good.

“I think with this generation of cars in general, correlation with development tools is good. So we expect a few tenths of a second of lap time improvement, we will see.”

McLaren have brought a lower-drag rear wing for this weekend’s race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but expect the track will suit them less well than the previous venue did.

“Here we only have a rear wing which is the version that is most suitable for the level of drag that you adopt at this track,” said Stella.

“In terms of Canada, we definitely prefer the characteristics of Barcelona because the car is strong in high speed corners. Here we have no high-speed corners, quite a lot of low-speed traction so it could be a bit of a struggle. We would certainly welcome some [rain].”

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2023 Canadian Grand Prix

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Author information

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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4 comments on “McLaren to introduce “fundamental redesign” of car over next three races”

  1. “We haven’t tested them in the simulator yet but they just pretty much deliver more downforce with similar characteristics,”

    Uhhh owkay. There have been the some comments here on how the McLaren simulator functions (with regards to Ricciardo going back to Red Bull simulator and picking up bad habits) – this comment from Stella seems to sort of confirm that or a lack of trust on the simulator, either way they don’t seem to value the simulator results a lot…

  2. I do hope it works, because it is sad to see both McLarens doing so bad on track, especially in cases where they manage to get a good qualifying in and then see them drop toward the very back during races.

    1. It was only really in Spain that Norris dropped from a good (3rd) starting position to a poor race result (17th). And while Piastri also lost places (9th to 13th), Norris mostly has himself to blame for bumping into Hamilton in the first lap and needing to stop. Norris also lost six places in Bahrain, and Piastri lost seven in Saudi Arabia – but conversely both won a good bunch of places in Australia (seven and eight respectively). In all the other races, they finished within two places of their starting position (both up and down).

      But yes, it would be nice to see McLaren up front. They’ve been underperforming badly for years, and a historic team like McLaren should be mixing it up with the rest for podiums and wins.

  3. Not another new livery!

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