Changes to the 2024 Formula 1 car should go beyond just aerodynamics

Changes to the 2024 Formula 1 car should go beyond just aerodynamics

The Woking-based team has emerged as Red Bull’s most consistent rival in recent races, with the team finishing on the podium five times in the last six races.

Having made impressive progress this year, she knows she still has more work to do before she can think about challenging the dominant Red Bull team on a speed level.

Speaking during the Brazilian Grand Prix, McLaren team boss Andrea Stella opined that the only thing separating the two teams now was tire management – with Red Bull still having the advantage in dealing with the downside.

As the team moves forward with its 2024 design, Stella says the progress it needs to make to close the deficit goes beyond just downforce.

He said: “We have set some goals, for example, but I cannot say in what area and how.” “But what I can say is that it’s not just about flying.”

When asked by Motorsport.com how much tire wear affects aerodynamics, and how much it comes down to mechanics, Stella said: “It’s a combination of both. I can’t say much more than that.”

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren, Lando Norris, McLaren, third place, Oscar Piastri, McLaren, McLaren team celebrating after the race

Photography: Sam Bloxham/Motorsport Images

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren, Lando Norris, McLaren, third place, Oscar Piastri, McLaren, McLaren team celebrating after the race

McLaren knows that rivals such as Mercedes and Ferrari, who have underperformed this year, are embarking on radical revamps of their rivals in 2024 – meaning the battle at the front of Formula 1 could be very different next year.

But he believes his team is in a good position going forward this winter because they are starting from a more competitive platform.

“Honestly, where you stand with next year’s car depends partly on where you stand this year, because that’s the starting point for almost everyone,” he said.

“But it depends on the development. This progression (at McLaren) started around July, and there is a long period just about the work you do on next year’s car.

An important aspect of McLaren’s current form is that it was achieved with a car that in its launch specification was not what the team wanted.

Stella says some aspects of MCL60 were retained, but the team had to introduce a lot of overhauled elements throughout the campaign.

He said: “The car that we launched in March, there are some elements that were developed with continuity, but most of them were developed sporadically.”

“Especially when it comes to the floor, the bodywork, the rear wing, and to some extent the front wing.

“We just needed to delve into different concepts and start making them work. It wasn’t just a linear, iterative development of the starting concept for the launch vehicle.

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