Two gearboxes for new McLaren

Two gearboxes for new McLaren

The McLaren MP4-18 has been shrouded in mystery so far, with little known about the new chassis except it reportedly has radical aerodynamics and breakthrough technology. One thing that team principal Ron Dennis has revealed is that the car can ...

The McLaren MP4-18 has been shrouded in mystery so far, with little known about the new chassis except it reportedly has radical aerodynamics and breakthrough technology. One thing that team principal Ron Dennis has revealed is that the car can support two different gearboxes; one traditional system based on the current MP4-17D and one 'different' system.

Ron Dennis.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
"It takes a very long time to design and build a gearbox," Dennis explained. "It's not so much the casings, it's the internal componentry: the lead time on some of them is months and months. And we took a decision more than six months ago that we would do the car with two gearbox configurations."

"One has a different concept, and the other is a more traditional gearbox, based on the 17D. We did that to ensure that the new-concept gearbox didn't interrupt the race debut. But we are in full production of both gearboxes and they went to test on to the transient dynos within a few days of each other."

"The car was always designed to use two different types of gearbox: they're both raceable, they're both built in volume to enable us to race either. It's just a slightly more expensive way, but it's the proven way to go about it."

McLaren is not going to race the new car at Monaco but will test it at the Paul Ricard circuit in France this week. Alex Wurz will be behind the wheel initially: "I will start next week and I am the first and only one to drive it for the first few tests," said Wurz. "When it is somewhere nearly sorted then the race drivers take over."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Alexander Wurz
Teams McLaren