Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

McLaren tests new F1 floor design and skate at Abu Dhabi GP

McLaren is evaluating a Ferrari-style simpler floor design, plus an underside skate, at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as it ponders ideas for its 2023 Formula 1 car.

McLaren tests new F1 floor design and skate at Abu Dhabi GP
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While the Woking-based team is still locked in a tight fight for fourth place with Alpine in the constructors’ championship, it is working hard on potential improvements to lift its chances next year.

That has manifested itself at the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi with a modified floor, which features a revised floor edge geometry.

The new design has the wavy edge wing removed, and adopts a style that mirrors concepts used by rivals Ferrari and Red Bull.

This includes a much less complex edge to the floor, plus the addition of a ‘skate’ on the underside.

Compare McLaren's old floor (left) with the new one (right) below.

McLaren MCL36 floor detail
McLaren MCL36 technical detail

McLaren has explained that the tweaks are aimed at helping it better understand optimum car setups and where best the car can be positioned in relation to the ground.

“We aim to evaluate the effect of this floor edge on the car’s ride height behaviour,” it said.

The skate underneath the car is an idea that has been adopted by several teams and brings a multitude of benefits.

Its addition can not only help increase stiffness directly in that region of the floor, but it can also act as a skid in preventing the car’s underside bottoming out even more once it has touched the track.

Ferrari tests minor floor update with FP1 driver Shwartzman

Ferrari is the only other team to introduce aerodynamic updates in Abu Dhabi as it tests minor floor revisions in first free practice.

Test driver Robert Shwartzman ran with the new floor edge for what is a pure Friday test.

Ferrari F1-75 floor detail

Ferrari F1-75 floor detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The new floor edge component is a localised and minor update in front of the tyre cutout. It is aimed at improving flow quality into the rear diffuser.

Ferrari’s minor tweak comes after the squad admitted that it had to call a halt on developments recently because it had hit its spending limit until F1’s cost cap.

Team principal Mattia Binotto said after last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix: “We decided to stop the current one, because on top of this normal development on the current [car], you will need to produce the parts to bring them on track. And that was the extra costs that we couldn't afford.”

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