Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
3 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
FP1 in
17 days
09 May
Next event in
22 days
23 May
Race in
40 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
54 days
13 Jun
Race in
61 days
27 Jun
Race in
75 days
04 Jul
Next event in
78 days
18 Jul
Race in
96 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
110 days
29 Aug
Race in
138 days
05 Sep
Race in
145 days
26 Sep
Race in
166 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
169 days
10 Oct
Race in
179 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
194 days
31 Oct
Race in
201 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
221 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
243 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
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Prime

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021