New McLaren F1 wind tunnel plans running one year behind

McLaren Formula 1 technical director James Key says plans for the team’s new wind tunnel are running a year later than planned due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New McLaren F1 wind tunnel plans running one year behind

McLaren announced last year that it was planning to upgrade its facilities at its Woking base and construct a new wind tunnel after receiving approval from the company’s board.

McLaren has used Toyota’s wind tunnel at Cologne in recent years, but was eager to get its own facility updated and in place by 2021.

This push was instigated by team principal Andreas Seidl following his arrival from Porsche, who identified an in-house wind tunnel as a key area that would help improve car development and performance.

However, the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic led to all of its major projects to be put on hold, including construction of the wind tunnel.

Key explained that although plans have been left around one year behind their original forecast, the delay of the 2021 regulations until 2022 means the timing of aiding development for the next car cycle has remained more or less the same.

“These various CapEx [capital expenditure] projects are gradually beginning to crank up again slowly,” Key explained.

“We're coming off the back of quite a significant situation around the world, so that's knocked all of those projects back.

“I think to the original plan, we would have had our tunnel the middle of next year, so we would have missed the ’21 car’s development period, but then would have kicked in for 22, so the second year.

“I guess you could say that would be a similar timing now in that respect.

“But we will miss out on that a little bit of extra technology that you get with a brand new facility. So from an engineering point of view, it’s a little bit of a shame.

“But I think in terms of alignment with regs, it's probably about a year late.”

Read Also:

McLaren has already announced it will cut around 1,200 jobs from its entire group, with around 70 of those being accounted for in the F1 team.

The company arranged a loan with the National Bank of Bahrain in June in a push for extra financing, but said at the start of the month that the “bad news is behind us”.

shares
comments

Related video

Qualifying engine modes set for post-Spanish GP ban

Previous article

Qualifying engine modes set for post-Spanish GP ban

Next article

Perez: Vettel Racing Point rumours will eventually go away

Perez: Vettel Racing Point rumours will eventually go away
Load comments
How the pitstop rules change has left F1 teams scrambling Prime

How the pitstop rules change has left F1 teams scrambling

The technical directive issued by Formula 1 to reduce levels of automation in pitstops has given teams an unwelcome period of adjustment. Although safety was the primary goal, it has already had a significant impact on the title race and puts extra pressure on teams to deliver as the season reaches the business end

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1 Prime

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1

Uncertainty over the shape of the calendar doesn’t just vex the fans and the commercial rights holder. MARK GALLAGHER explains at how race promoters have been pushed to the financial brink

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021
The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021
Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021