McLaren ‘optimistic’ of progress after car launch

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Following the promotion of Andrea Stella to Team Principal, McLaren admitted they are ‘not entirely happy’ with their launch spec car ahead of the first pre-season test at Bahrain on Thursday.

The team were left to find a new leader following the departure of Andreas Seidl to the Sauber Group last year. Something which was bound to set the team back momentarily, due to the nature of the job that the German had done since arriving from Porsche.

It appears that following a winter of development, the team have addressed many of the issues which held them back in 2022. Andrea Stella was lenient to give away too many details, but did confirm some of the areas of the car that have been worked on.

“I wouldn’t want to be too specific, but certainly they have to do predominantly with aerodynamics. Aerodynamics is the name of the game in Formula 1 so it’s no mystery,” Stella said during McLaren’s launch of the MCL60.

“But there’s some more areas, for instance in terms of interaction with the tyres. There’s some work that we needed to do and this was done over the winter,” Stella confirmed.

“There’s some other areas of the car that will be improved by developments in the early stages of the season.

“So, we are happy. Not entirely happy for the launch car, but optimistic that we should take a good step soon.”

While the team has done a good job to address the areas in need of change, the new Team Principal did confirm that the team were too slow in identifying the areas of the car with the strongest development potential.

Sadly for the team, this meant they lost some laptime at the end of last season, and an opportunity to further understand the updates on their car.

“While we are happy with the development of the car in most of the areas, there’s some areas in which we realised a little late to [prioritise] development in some really strong directions.

”So, not necessarily we have been able to capitalise on this direction in the very short term. That’s why I talk about the developments coming after the start of the season.”

As a fresh opportunity to chase down the front three begins, it seems that until the upgrades arrive, the team will be left chasing a shot at another podium throughout the first few races of the season.

Image: McLaren Racing