McLaren says it might revisit F1 efficiency push

McLaren says it will evaluate whether its push for aerodynamic efficiency with its 2019 Formula 1 car still offers it the best chance to make midfield progress this year.

McLaren says it might revisit F1 efficiency push

The Woking-based team is one of several outfits that has looked to minimise drag as much as possible, but is now pondering whether an alternative approach of chasing out-and-out downforce is better.

Mercedes has shown to good effect how focusing on downforce not only helps improve performance in corners, but has also proved beneficial for getting tyres into the right operating window.

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said that his outfit pushed hard to minimise drag this year but was open to moving in a different direction with the midfield contest so tightly fought.

Asked by Motorsport.com about whether McLaren would look to switch focus to higher downforce at the expense of drag, Seidl said: "As you have seen from the speed traps, we put a lot of effort in terms of producing a more efficient car compared to last year. We have seen on specific tracks that we have been stronger, or at the top end of the midfield compared to some other tracks.

"That is something that gets feedback into the development, which is still ongoing for this year's car. We have to see which further improvements we can make this year.

"We all know it is a development race in the midfield, three four or five tenths and you are P8 or P16/17. So we keep developing the car flat out back home in Woking and then let's see what happens."

McLaren's high efficiency approach means it has struggled more on tracks with short low-speed corners, which is why it was bracing itself for a tough Monaco Grand Prix.

However, despite a difficult final practice session, a move to go back to settings that had worked on Thursday helped Carlos Sainz get in to Q3.

Seidl added: "With the changes we made to our cars from FP2 to FP3, we somehow lost ground to our rivals in terms of pace. Both drivers struggled with grip and traction and weren't happy with the balance of the car.

"The engineers did a great job staying calm, reverting to settings from Thursday and adjusting the car to the different track conditions for qualy. The car gave our two drivers a lot more confidence in qualy and allowed them to push throughout, ending up in P9 and P12."

shares
comments
Monaco GP 2019: What to look out for
Previous article

Monaco GP 2019: What to look out for

Next article

Perez fears Monaco GP will be a "great pain" without rain

Perez fears Monaco GP will be a "great pain" without rain
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022