Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
45 days
09 May
Next event in
62 days
23 May
Race in
80 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
94 days
13 Jun
Race in
101 days
27 Jun
Race in
115 days
04 Jul
Next event in
118 days
18 Jul
Race in
136 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
150 days
29 Aug
Race in
178 days
05 Sep
Race in
185 days
12 Sep
Race in
192 days
26 Sep
Race in
206 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
209 days
10 Oct
Race in
220 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
234 days
31 Oct
Race in
241 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
262 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
276 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
283 days

Mercedes engine switch makes 2021 McLaren "essentially a new car"

McLaren’s switch to Mercedes power units means it has designed “essentially a new car” for 2021, despite the stability in the Formula 1 regulations.

Mercedes engine switch makes 2021 McLaren "essentially a new car"

F1 announced last March that teams would continue to use their 2020 cars in 2021 to save on development costs, helping out financially due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teams were permitted to use two development tokens for major car upgrades, which McLaren was forced to spend on fitting the new Mercedes power unit, having planned the switch for 2021 before the carryover was announced.

Read Also:

While most teams have kept around 60% of their 2020 cars for 2021, McLaren has revealed that the scale of the Mercedes power unit switch means the majority of its MCL35M chassis is brand new.

"Whereas every other team will carry over most of its car from last year into this year, our switch to the Mercedes power unit means that’s not the case for us,” said McLaren production director Piers Thynne.

“It’s driven a huge amount of change and, essentially, we’ve been building a new car. The number of new parts on the MCL35M is about the same as when we built the MCL35.

“The back of the chassis and gearbox bell housing around the engine have changed significantly to adapt to the new power unit.

“Changing power unit greatly alters the architecture of the car and the way everything is packaged, so the entire cooling layout and all the pipework, be that for fluid or air, has changed, along with all electrical harnessing and control boxes.

“There are some significant elements of carryover as we enter the cost cap. The FIA created a list of Transitional Carry Over (TCO) components that are outside of this year’s cost cap. These are parts that can be used in 2021 if they were run on last year’s car.

“We’ve pushed these TCO regulations to the absolute maximum to allow us to carry over as much as possible, such as gearbox internals and some suspension components, and therefore not have to use a portion of our 2021 budget on their design and production.”

Read Also:

McLaren homologated the design of the MCL35M in December, with drivers Lando Norris and new arrival Daniel Ricciardo set to sample it for the first time at pre-season testing in March.

The team’s focus has now shifted to the design of its 2022 car since the window for aerodynamic development opened on 1 January.

Thynne said McLaren was “able to hit the ground running” with the wind tunnel programme for its 2022 car.

“In terms of the actual production of the ’22 car, it’s very early days and the focus is predominantly on parts to be tested in the wind tunnel,” Thynne said.

“As the aerodynamic design matures we’ll make more and more aero components for wind tunnel testing. These tests are really important: it’s all about establishing what works and what doesn’t because when we do come to build the ’22 car we want it to be right first time.

“The test pieces should push the boundaries aerodynamically because that’s how you gain performance. If they work, then great. If they don’t, we can always take a step back for the actual production part.

“You need to shoot for the stars and that’s exactly what were doing to get back to the front of the grid.”

shares
comments

Related video

Magnussen enjoying Cadillac after “easy to drive” F1 cars

Previous article

Magnussen enjoying Cadillac after “easy to drive” F1 cars

Next article

Sainz hails ‘unforgettable’ maiden Ferrari F1 test run

Sainz hails ‘unforgettable’ maiden Ferrari F1 test run
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Luke Smith
Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Prime

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Prime

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021 Prime

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Prime

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Prime

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Prime

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new teammate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine Prime

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine

OPINION: It's been an uneasy ride for Esteban Ocon since his F1 comeback - and fresh challenges lie in wait as he's joined by double world champion Fernando Alonso in the newly rebranded Alpine team. STUART CODLING sets out a roadmap to success…

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021
Why Haas is willing to sacrifice its 2021 F1 season Prime

Why Haas is willing to sacrifice its 2021 F1 season

Every Formula 1 team is facing the same difficult decision this season: how do you split precious aero development time between the current car and the all-new 2022 project?

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021