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Mclaren MCL35M (Technical Thread)


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#1 SparkPlug86

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 23:26

fefa03599df7706f5311998b4acfd0da.jpg e1ea8bfb6c92c0cacb184f9971ed9de8.jpg bedfaaacb6706828b44192eb1a0c2ea6.jpg

 

New year... new thread. I'll update the OP as more info gets released; add images etc

 

For now... some info from James Key on the new Mclaren MCL35M (via Motorweek).

 

 

McLaren’s 2021 car will be “akin to a new car” despite stable regulations and limited development permitted under the regulations, according to technical director James Key.

 

Teams will largely carry across their current car designs from 2020 to ’21 due to regulations introduced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the delay of the planned introduction of a new car design, which will now happen in ’22.

The FIA has introduced a token development system to limit the amount of work teams can do on their current cars ahead of the new season, but with McLaren in the unique position that it’s changing from Renault to Mercedes power, it is having to spend the bulk of its tokens on making changes to accommodate the new power unit.

This will limit the aerodynamic changes it can make, as it needs to introduce a new chassis, cooling and gearbox, which Key says will be akin to introducing an almost entirely new car.

“The big change heading into next year, which is unique to us, is the new power unit. We can’t just carry over the chassis from 2020,” explained Key.

“We’ve had to do a lot of redesigning, especially when it comes to various systems on the car, such as cooling and electronics. Not only will the chassis be different, the gearbox will be too and, of course, the engine, so the MCL35M is akin to a new car for us.”

With their tokens ‘spent’ on accommodating the Mercedes power unit – which the team hopes will deliver an immediate step forward – they have had to introduce as many updates as possible this year to ensure they don’t get left behind by their rivals, which are able to focus development elsewhere.

“Having to spend 2021 development tokens on the Mercedes engine installation changed our approach when it came to developments this season,” he said.

“But the upshot of it is that we probably added a bit of performance in 2020 that we normally wouldn’t have and there’s scope to develop these areas further based on all the information we’ve gathered.”

Key is expecting a very busy ’21 season as teams look to develop their cars, whilst also resuming development on the ’22 cars, which will be a total reset in terms of regulations.

“2021 will be a busy year with a full season to complete, the MCL35M to develop and race, and new discoveries to make with our ‘22 contender as it evolves – we can’t wait for it to start!”

 

Malren MCL35M - Initial Fire Up: https://youtu.be/9r-rfCLzGMA


Edited by SparkPlug86, 15 February 2021 - 20:05.


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#2 Quickshifter

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 06:57

Mercedes PU to get a 25hp boost

https://it.motorspor...e-2021/4934288/

#3 Flasheart

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 07:28

There’s a bit of give and take there by the sound of it.
If the car isn’t quick out of the box, it’s going to be tough to play catch up. One good thing is that apparently Mercedes have been fairly helpful assisting with integration of the new PU.

#4 Oblivion

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 08:00

Oh. Nice to see the year properly started. :)



#5 numberten

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 08:39

I thought last year, as the season progressed, it would have been helpful to have a reference point for my own expectations at the start of the season. So this year I’m going to write them down to refer back to - would be interesting to see what others expectations are as well!

 

What would a very successful season look like? 

 

For me, a very successful season would see a minimum of 5 podiums, or capitalising on an opportunity to win an unusual race (such as a Monza/Bahrain ’20). I don’t think this is unrealistic - if the car can remain the 3rd best on the grid with improvements the podiums should be possible (if there are 20+ races), and with Ric in one of the seats I think they’ll be in a better position to capitalise on a race winning opportunity. Note that I have written ‘or’ - I don’t think the win is needed to define a very successful season.

 

Championship position - 3rd

 

What would an okay season look like?

 

An okay season for me would be 1 or 2 podiums, with the car consistently battling with Aston Martin, Ferrari and Renault (and AT if they make improvements) - with the drivers performing well and often coming out on top against their rivals. Podiums in theory may be more difficult next year if Perez performs in the second Red Bull, but after getting two podiums in 2020 it would be disappointing to finish the season with no podiums.

 

As long as it was possible to see improvement in the team over the course of the season, getting over any early niggles caused by implementing the Mercedes engine I wouldn’t be unhappy with this result, without being ecstatic either.

 

Championship position - 5th but within touching distance of 3rd

 

What would a disappointing season look like?

 

I would be disappointed with no podiums and finishing behind AM, Ferrari and Renault in the championship. There may still be cause for optimism considering this is the definition of a ‘transition’ season, but it would be disheartening to see a couple years of progress followed by a season of decline, even if there is a new power unit and driver relationship to build. Unless the car was an absolute dog and battling with the Haas/Alfas/Williams I wouldn’t be on here screaming for radical change, but nevertheless it would be a disappointment. 

 

Championship position - 6th or lower

 

For what it’s worth, I think all three scenarios are possible - I’m of course hopeful for the first one to play out and my heart says that it will, but I’ll be honest and say that my head is swaying towards the ‘okay’ season outcome.

 

Happy new year, folks.


Edited by numberten, 05 January 2021 - 08:39.


#6 Rinehart

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 10:15

There’s a bit of give and take there by the sound of it.
If the car isn’t quick out of the box, it’s going to be tough to play catch up. One good thing is that apparently Mercedes have been fairly helpful assisting with integration of the new PU.

I think McLaren's recent experience in switching from Merc to Honda and to Renault will put them in good stead. Many integration lessons will have been learned.

 

With tighter than usual rules on seasonal car evolution, I cannot conceive that McLaren can possibly go backwards relative to Mercedes by upgrading to Merc and Ricky Bobby! 



#7 H0R

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 10:39

 

I thought last year, as the season progressed, it would have been helpful to have a reference point for my own expectations at the start of the season. So this year I’m going to write them down to refer back to - would be interesting to see what others expectations are as well!

 

What would a very successful season look like? 

 

 

...

 

 

 

A voice of reason, I can perfectly subscribe to that.

As an addendum I'd like to see them decreasing the gap to Red Bull and Aston Martin.



#8 Burai

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 12:44

It'll be difficult to hold on to third place if they've spent all their tokens on getting the new PU integrated. Racing Point left points on the table and Renault were snapping at their heels and both have the luxury of spending their points wherever they want.

 

I'd be happy with fifth place in that tight midfield pack. Anything beyond that is a bonus.



#9 Quickshifter

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 12:45

Pat Fry to Motorsport.com

"I guess McLaren can change more than most because, obviously with a power unit change,that allows you to change a load of other bits of the car outside the normal homologation side of things."

---------------------------

This is exactly why i said McLaren will be publicly trying as hard as they can to put up an image that they have been hard done by the lack of tokens. I am really curious to see how much McLaren have managed to bargain and extract from the FIA. Who knows McLaren aided by the new PU rumoured to be 25hp stronger and a brand new rear end McLaren may make a significant leap in performance but i guess we have no choice but to wait to find out in preseason testing.

#10 pacificquay

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 13:07

Yes, an interesting line from Patrick and no doubt part of him getting the justification in early for a bigger gap between McLaren and Renault next season



#11 goldenboy

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 13:53

So many questions... To be honest I'm not expecting a better year, but I still love the direction overall. 



#12 f1rules

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 15:25

Will be interesting for sure what mcl can do. So far theyve played the nice kid in school for some time, with all f1 matters, i hope theyve been more (VERY) agressive with taking advantage of this pu change situation! And offcourse they in the media state they made compromises, that how you manage that

with williams confirmimg just now that they will work closer with merc and get more parts, im divided if mcl should not have done the same.
Atleast it would have been nice if they could use the merc windtunnel instead of the crap they use now.

Edited by f1rules, 05 January 2021 - 15:31.


#13 Dennista

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 16:12

Pat Fry to Motorsport.com

"I guess McLaren can change more than most because, obviously with a power unit change,that allows you to change a load of other bits of the car outside the normal homologation side of things."

---------------------------

This is exactly why i said McLaren will be publicly trying as hard as they can to put up an image that they have been hard done by the lack of tokens. I am really curious to see how much McLaren have managed to bargain and extract from the FIA. Who knows McLaren aided by the new PU rumoured to be 25hp stronger and a brand new rear end McLaren may make a significant leap in performance but i guess we have no choice but to wait to find out in preseason testing.

 

I am hoping for us to challenge Red Bull and take 2nd place next season. Stranger things have happened.



#14 SparkPlug86

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 16:50

with williams confirmimg just now that they will work closer with merc and get more parts, im divided if mcl should not have done the same.
Atleast it would have been nice if they could use the merc windtunnel instead of the crap they use now.

 

I think that Mclaren don't need to go down that route yet, with the investments they've made it would make sense not to loose the knowledge ad experience of making your own product - plus, it dilutes what a constructor is in my opinion. Since Frank/Claire left, I've stopped being so protective of the William's ID and they need to take these more extreme measure to move themselves off the floor.



#15 LightningMcQueen

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 17:00

Mclaren sacrificed performance by making the changes they wanted to make at the front of the car last year.. hopefully they can focus all of the tokens on the areas they need to effectively integrate the new PU..

Having a Mercedes in the back should bring 2/3 10ths in its own right so fingers crossed they can maintain 3rd at a minimum.. would expect that Ferrari will be much stronger though.

#16 Rinehart

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 17:18

It'll be difficult to hold on to third place if they've spent all their tokens on getting the new PU integrated. Racing Point left points on the table and Renault were snapping at their heels and both have the luxury of spending their points wherever they want.

 

I'd be happy with fifth place in that tight midfield pack. Anything beyond that is a bonus.

 

I would take 4th and a closer gap to Mercedes than 3rd and further way, in a heartbeat. I'd consider that an improvement - so it depends upon what one sees as progress. To me it's all about the stopwatch gap to the front now. As Zak said the financial gains for clinching 3rd were nice but not fundamental, it was more about the momentum and the celebration, than the bean counting. I really think McLaren will cut the gap to Mercedes as they have done for 3 years on the trot now (not hard initially)! 



#17 rodlamas

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 13:45

Mclaren sacrificed performance by making the changes they wanted to make at the front of the car last year.. hopefully they can focus all of the tokens on the areas they need to effectively integrate the new PU..

Having a Mercedes in the back should bring 2/3 10ths in its own right so fingers crossed they can maintain 3rd at a minimum.. would expect that Ferrari will be much stronger though.

If we can constantly qualify ahead of Red Bull, something that should be possible with a great engine on the back, the dream of being 2nd on the WCC might not be that long of a shot.



#18 SparkPlug86

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 16:59

If we can constantly qualify ahead of Red Bull, something that should be possible with a great engine on the back, the dream of being 2nd on the WCC might not be that long of a shot.

 

Lets not forget that Honda also have a new Donkey this year... so that might be a bigger step for them. Plus, they will likely get on top of the 'Diva' handling the car has. In short, I doubt we will constantly out qualify Red Bull next year... it would be amazing if we did. The fact we are even considering it, shows how far the team has improved in the last 2 years.  :clap:

 

Personally, I'd love to see Lando and Dan cross swords with Max on track.  :love:



#19 H0R

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 17:37

If we can constantly qualify ahead of Red Bull

 

Wut?  :confused:



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#20 mclarensmps

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 21:18

mclaren will not do that well in 2021 (i.e consistently qualify ahead of rb)


Edited by mclarensmps, 06 January 2021 - 21:18.


#21 MortenF1

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 21:32

Getting second in the wcc is not realistic, and especially not when Red Bull will have both their drivers scoring good points.
However I am sure McLaren will take another step. They were around a second or just over in qualifying (I wrote a post on that but can’t find the post/thread), which means there are a good handful of tenths up to Verstappen and Red Bull. Red Bull are boasting about the new Honda PU so maybe McLaren wont get a net gain with the Mercedes PU.
...and Ferrari should also be quicker and more competitive...

#22 pup

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 21:40

I don't think we'll see McLaren overhauling Verstappen on a regular basis, but McLaren only have to consistently put both cars between the Red Bulls to take second.  It may be a stretch, but isn't impossible to imagine.  Unlike most, I don't think it's a given that Checo will be a tremendous improvement over Gasly/Albon.  



#23 shure

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 23:02

I don't think we'll see McLaren overhauling Verstappen on a regular basis, but McLaren only have to consistently put both cars between the Red Bulls to take second.  It may be a stretch, but isn't impossible to imagine.  Unlike most, I don't think it's a given that Checo will be a tremendous improvement over Gasly/Albon.  

Yeah, I agree with you on Perez.  It all depends whether RB manage to make the car more drivable IMO



#24 rodlamas

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 01:54

Getting second in the wcc is not realistic, and especially not when Red Bull will have both their drivers scoring good points.
However I am sure McLaren will take another step. They were around a second or just over in qualifying (I wrote a post on that but can’t find the post/thread), which means there are a good handful of tenths up to Verstappen and Red Bull. Red Bull are boasting about the new Honda PU so maybe McLaren wont get a net gain with the Mercedes PU.
...and Ferrari should also be quicker and more competitive...


10 months ago AFTER TESTING people said it was untealistic to predict Ferrari worse than 3rd on the WCC.

#25 Quickshifter

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 14:32

2021 is a transitional year. Unlike Mercedes who have a world championship to win everyone else is looking for a fresh start from 2022. The restrictive regulations from 2022 and a budget cap which will be maximized by everyone bar three teams mean 2022 will be the only focus for teams.

For the above reasons if anyone manages to nail the floor regulations for this season they will most likely keep the advantage throughout the season. With a top tier driver at their disposal and the best engine plus the momentum of finishing third, McLaren will be closing the gap to Redbull but the question is by how much? We will only find out in preseason testing.

All of us can only speculate from outside but McLaren have always set higher goals internally than what they project outside these days. They are fierce competitors and i have a feeling we will be sapping on the heels of Redbull on some favorable tracks on Saturdays.

Edited by Quickshifter, 07 January 2021 - 14:34.


#26 DanardiF1

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 16:36

My realistic expectation for McLaren this year is to cement 3rd in the WCC as something earned by genuinely having the 3rd best car. Last season was brilliant and could have been better but for some bad luck, but across the season there were only a few times where McLaren were the outright best of the rest behind Merc and RB (Monza being one where they were actually the 2nd best and in race trim as close to Merc as RB would be anywhere else).

 

Excited for the driver lineup. Ricciardo is world-class, one of the very best on the grid and the perfect replacement for Sainz, and Lando is coming on nicely and just needs some more breakthrough performances.



#27 Rinehart

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 17:05

10 months ago AFTER TESTING people said it was untealistic to predict Ferrari worse than 3rd on the WCC.

Indeed. While F1 appears to stay the same, occasional seismic shifts do happen.  

McLaren are, in my opinion, adding a guaranteed performance upgrade to the car in the shape of the Merc PU which is definitely better than Renault in a multitude of ways. I'm confident they won't make a dog's dinner of the installation. 

Whereas for instance Ferraris potential to improve is merely theoretical, they only benefit if they do produce a better engine or chassis token changes that are better, it's not guaranteed and the options are limited. 

And I can see Red Bull entering a period of turmoil, there is no reason to be confident Honda will finish on a high and as far as their longer term PU plans are concerned, they are up in the air and political, I think RedBull will be somewhat preoccupied by that, in 2021.  Meanwhile Aston Martin for all its brand and new found status as a work team, is still making the best of year old Merc parts and that is something that a Merc partnered improving McLaren driven by a topline driver should be beating. 

All in all I think the gap to Merc and RB is depressingly massive but I don't think any teams behind give reason to fear (other than Ferrari if they miraculously got it all very right). 

 

But bullishly I think other teams would be looking at McLaren as having the most obvious potential to improve.



#28 Dennista

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 17:48

The day when both Macca's bring it home for a podium finish on merit is edging even closer. Really has been such a long wait. Definitely think Red Bull are about fall of the cliff in a big way. I reckon their 2021 car is going to be an unreliable dog with Ferrari languishing in 10th fighting off the Aston Point Racing Martin.

 

Back with Mercedes, feels surreal we even stopped working with them. Should never have happened. Bring Norbert Haug back too!

 

CfMpfr.gif


Edited by Dennista, 07 January 2021 - 17:56.


#29 mclarensmps

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 00:23

Ferrari have supposedly fixed their PU issues. 



#30 New Britain

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 00:38

Meanwhile Aston Martin for all its brand and new found status as a work team.... 

Why do you say that AM are a 'works team' - because they are copying a works car, or something more than that? :confused:



#31 Nobody

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 05:06

Works team? Lol

The true definition of 'badge engineering'.

The Brawn BGP001 was more a Honda than that thing is an Aston Martin

Edited by Nobody, 08 January 2021 - 05:09.


#32 New Britain

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 11:24

Works team? Lol

The true definition of 'badge engineering'.

The Brawn BGP001 was more a Honda than that thing is an Aston Martin

He can't have meant that it will be an 'Aston Martin works car'.

As you are alluding, however, Aston may have the engineering capacity to make the badge - or at least to design the badge and pay an outside firm to make it.



#33 LoudHoward

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 12:30

If the new nose was presumably designed with the necessary aero changes that will have to take place (and be included in our tokens) for the engine change then it might not really be a hinderance to us, hopefully. Either way, we're not going to know for a few races of the new season. I'm trying to recall testing last season, I don't recall McLaren being particularly quick at the time.



#34 shure

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 12:46

If the new nose was presumably designed with the necessary aero changes that will have to take place (and be included in our tokens) for the engine change then it might not really be a hinderance to us, hopefully. Either way, we're not going to know for a few races of the new season. I'm trying to recall testing last season, I don't recall McLaren being particularly quick at the time.

Yes, I believe McLaren introduced a number of changes, including the new nose, for 2020 which were really intended for the 2021 season, so they could have them included before homologation.  So their 2020 development wasn't completely focused on the then current year, which is a little encouraging for 2021



#35 MirNyet

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 13:09

Ferrari have supposedly fixed their PU issues. 

 

Or removed the sandbags required by the deal with the FIA. :D

Doesn't help with their chassis issues however.



#36 SparkPlug86

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 15:06

Or removed the sandbags required by the deal with the FIA. :D

Doesn't help with their chassis issues however.

 

I think they did a decent job of improving the chassis during the season; it was quick in the corners and tracks that didn't have much in the way of a straight line.

 

 

Apparently, I was reading that the floor changes are quite dramatic and there is a pretty big nett loss of rear downforce. I wonder which teams it will affect more... I imagine Mercedes are quite strong in that area, so we may see a return to them destroying their rear tyres again. Red Bull I think have a more snappy car, so I don't think it will affect them as much. Anyone know how we rank for rear downforce levels? I imagine we are or were quite strong in that area. 



#37 TheMessiah

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 22:14

I think they did a decent job of improving the chassis during the season; it was quick in the corners and tracks that didn't have much in the way of a straight line.

 

 

Apparently, I was reading that the floor changes are quite dramatic and there is a pretty big nett loss of rear downforce. I wonder which teams it will affect more... I imagine Mercedes are quite strong in that area, so we may see a return to them destroying their rear tyres again. Red Bull I think have a more snappy car, so I don't think it will affect them as much. Anyone know how we rank for rear downforce levels? I imagine we are or were quite strong in that area. 

 

See I'd say RB would lose more with the floor change as it will be harder for them to balance the car front to rear.



#38 SparkPlug86

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 23:20

See I'd say RB would lose more with the floor change as it will be harder for them to balance the car front to rear.

 

Guess we'll find out... wanna put a fiver on it?  :rotfl:



#39 LightningMcQueen

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 08:13

Guess we'll find out... wanna put a fiver on it? :rotfl:


Mercedes will suffer of course but In all honesty I think all of the high rake cars will suffer more than Mercedes.. we know how important sealing the floor is to the high rake concept.. will be intriguing to see how they do that going forward

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#40 Flasheart

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 09:52

Yep, my thinking is also that the high rake card will suffer. Red Bull have redesigned the gearbox so as they can allow greater airflow to the diffuser to help offset this. McLaren also have a new gearbox casing, so maybe a similar thing will happen, if they are able.

#41 mclarensmps

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 19:43

Or removed the sandbags required by the deal with the FIA. :D

Doesn't help with their chassis issues however.

It's said that their 2020 chassis was deisgned under the pretense that they would be running their 2019 power levels, so if they've sorted that out, the chassis may automatically start "working" again



#42 MirNyet

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 12:25

It's said that their 2020 chassis was deisgned under the pretense that they would be running their 2019 power levels, so if they've sorted that out, the chassis may automatically start "working" again

 

Because it's that easy? :)

The Ferrari looked like a pig all year, the McLaren when you saw the teams encounter one another looked like a far better car - if not for Leclerc being a stronger driver than either of the McLaren boys, then it would have been a walkover whenever they met on track.  While they did pull out a couple of results towards the end of the year, there's nothing to suggest that was overall car improvement, it may simply have been track dependent.



#43 Quickshifter

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 15:57

With all due respect to Lando and Sainz, a pairing of Ricciardo and Leclerc in MCL35 would have scored a few more big results in 2020. I hope Lando develops in to a benchmark driver, one who can be a reference of car performance. Only 4 drivers are regarded widely  in that benchmark category- Max, Ricciardo, Leclerc and Lewis. This is why Mclaren must be massively eager to find out  what the car can do in terms of raw pace in Ricciardo's hands.



#44 Risil

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 21:27

I've removed some posts. No wide ranging driver discussions in here -- please keep your talk focused on the MCL35 car. Thanks!

 

(Btw does anyone remember when McLaren and Ferrari would've launched their new cars by now? Does anyone remember new car launches?)



#45 Nobody

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 22:55

I've removed some posts. No wide ranging driver discussions in here -- please keep your talk focused on the MCL35 car. Thanks!

 

(Btw does anyone remember when McLaren and Ferrari would've launched their new cars by now? Does anyone remember new car launches?)

 

January 14 to about 19 was the usual window (sometimes I would get the best bday present on the 16th)  :cool:



#46 Flasheart

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 02:05

Yep. From the new year I would start to get excited. Now it’s like....oh..😐

#47 SparkPlug86

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 12:31

I don't expect we will see any launches in January.



#48 numberten

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 12:53

I think I read something about Alpine revealing their livery in Jan, could be wrong though (and there's already a video which shows a glimpse of it).

 

Should at least get some 'fire up' videos coming soon!



#49 mclarensmps

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 14:55

Because it's that easy? :)

The Ferrari looked like a pig all year, the McLaren when you saw the teams encounter one another looked like a far better car - if not for Leclerc being a stronger driver than either of the McLaren boys, then it would have been a walkover whenever they met on track.  While they did pull out a couple of results towards the end of the year, there's nothing to suggest that was overall car improvement, it may simply have been track dependent.

 

I actually do think it can be "that easy". If you designed your car to have X amount of Drag vs Downforce with respect to Z BHP, and then you don't deliver that BHP; then your car is just not going to work. However, if you (think you've) got that BHP back... the car can just as easily "switch on".

You saw with Renault how a setup "breakthrough" pushed them from nowhere, all the way up to top 3 contention. It can be "that easy". 

Regardless, what I mean to say is, I'm not writing them off as easily as others. 



#50 SparkPlug86

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 15:51

I think the midfield is going to be tight again, more so than last year. I don't think Mclaren will pull away from it, but I think the entire midfield will have closed upto RBR and Merc.