McLaren reveal details of major upgrade for Norris’ car at Singapore GP

Formula 1

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McLaren are hoping to repeat the huge leap forward they made with their car earlier this year by introducing another significant update for the MCL60 at the Singapore Grand Prix.

The team’s Austrian Grand Prix upgrade transformed their fortunes following a poor start to the season. As was the case at that race, Lando Norris is their only driver to have the new parts to begin with, though team mate Oscar Piastri is expected to receive them at the following round.

McLaren’s upgrade is entirely aerodynamic. Besides the nine major alterations the team has declared at this weekend’s race, it will also race a new rear wing design which was introduced at the Dutch Grand Prix three weeks ago but not raced.

The development is focused on improving McLaren’s performance in slow speed corners. This has been a weakness of the car in previous races and is especially important at the tight Marina Bay Street Circuit which holds this weekend’s race.

The team says it has extensively revised the MCL60’s floor

Among the most notable revisions to the MCL60 – albeit the most difficult to inspect – is what McLaren describe as a “fully revised floor”. The updated design is intended to generate more downforce through its modified fences, floor edge and diffuser, though inevitably much of this detail was concealed from view when the car was presented in the pit lane ahead of first practice in Singapore.

This is part of an overall revision to the car’s bodywork shape which includes modifications to the sidepod inlets, the sidepod bodywork and engine cover. A key goal of this change has been to improve the flow of air into the floor, as it is such a powerful device for creating downforce.

Along with the revised rear wing, the endplates and beam wing have been reshaped in a way which “efficiently increases overall aerodynamic load”, says McLaren. While Marina Bay has previously been a circuit which demands maximum downforce regardless of the drag penalty, the removal of four corners at the end of the lap may affect that balance. McLaren will also have an eye on upcoming venues such as Suzuka and Losail which require high downforce but also a measure of efficiency.

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The Zandvoort rear wing is back, with endplate and beam wing updates

While the front wing design is largely unchanged from what the team raced previously, its endplates have been revised, again in the pursuit of more downforce.

Other minor changes have been made to the car aimed at improving the airflow, including revisions to the Halo, rear suspension shape and rear brake duct. The latter features a modified rear toe link to further enhance aerodynamic performance.

Norris described the team’s update as “more slower-speed biased, which is a bit different to what we had in Austria.”

Following the success of its Austrian Grand Prix upgrade, the team is wary of setting expectations too high for its latest big development step.

“We’re probably a little bit more cautious on saying how big of a step or how much it’s going to help because it’s been a bit easier for us to add load in the kind of medium-to-high speed corners and less so in the very slow-speed,” said Norris. “This is our first time we’ve been able to really target that a bit more, so we’ll see.”

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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2 comments on “McLaren reveal details of major upgrade for Norris’ car at Singapore GP”

  1. With changes this extensive, they will require on track data to verify if their objectives are met.
    Most likely that’s (a big?) part of the reason why they bring the mods on one car only.

    Good thing to see them address things though, extensively and seriously. That’s the only way to move forward, even if these mods turn out to not work as planned or even work adversely.
    If you don’t try anything, you’ll never improve, neither your performance nor your knowledge.
    There’s too many teams already that seem to not bother with upgrades too much and are simply content with where they are and the money they get for just being there. ‘Prize’ money is too silly a word for that.

  2. Given the results of the first two practices, I think it’s quite safe to conclude the mods were indeed upgrades, not downgrades.
    I’d now like to hear from McLaren themselves about it.

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