The McLaren F1 team is already planning to introduce the first huge update to its car at the first round of the season in Bahrain, meaning that the car on display for the launch event coming soon, or even the car used in winter testing, will not be their real car for the 2022 Formula 1 campaign.
The Formula 1 cars for 2022 have been designed according to a new set of technical regulations that allegedly will create closer and more exciting racing for fans. The new cars will also be the first to be fully designed and developed under the budget cap, which was introduced in Formula 1 in 2021, and is set this year at $140m. It appears that this cap will hit McLaren hard.
McLaren says the cost cap, in conjunction with the new regulations, means its approach with the MCL36 needs to be different compared to last year’s car, particularly when it comes to the production of spares:
“We’re making fewer [spares].” said McLaren operations director Piers Thynne.
“It’s a cultural change, but it will allow greater flexibility to consider upgrades. It’s a difficult change to make, but we will have smaller quantities of parts available for the MCL36 than we had for the MCL35M,
“We will never run out of parts to run the cars, we will always protect that, but where in the past we would have made five or six parts, we are down to five; where it was four or five, we are down to four. Where there are multiple options for configuring a part to fit, we’re looking at streamlining how those choices are made.”
“We’ll be able to work with the race engineers to make sure we’re providing the choices they’ll want to use, rather than the choices they might want to use – because every monetary pound counts and we need to make sure we spend it wisely.”
Despite this change in strategy in terms of parts production, McLaren has already planned an initial update to its car, so the McL36 that will be spotted at winter testing will not be the final version that will compete in the 2022 world championship.
“We know that performance in the first race is key, and we will provide an upgrade package for that event – but we expect much more to follow. We will be taking subtly different approaches this year to ensure that production capacity is available and can respond to aerodynamic developments. That will be the key to success this year.”
McLaren will introduce its car for the 2022 season on Friday, February 11th at an event broadcast live from its headquarters in Woking, UK.