To beat Alpine, McLaren admits that it has a very aggressive development of the MCL36 coming soon. As McLaren battles with Alpine for fourth place in this year’s Formula 1 constructors’ championship, the Woking-based team will continue to make changes to its car over the remaining six races.
With McLaren now out of contention for the 2022 constructors’ title (438 points behind leader Red Bull), the British team is 100% focused on the battle for fourth place, currently held by Alpine, which leads McLaren by 18 points ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix – round 17 of the world championship.
Therefore, the Woking team feels that it cannot sit back until the end of the season and hope to dethrone an Alpine team that brings new features to its car almost every weekend. Alpine recently admitted that they have another upgrade for Singapore.
McLaren’s technical director, James Key, confirms that the plan is to bring one more big aggressive package, probably for Singapore, and then “a few smaller packages” to follow for the remaining races.
“We have another new package coming, which we are working on now, and then there will be a few small packages to follow in the remaining races,” Key confirmed.
When asked if the previous updates introduced to the MCL36 have always worked as hoped, James Key said: ”
Everything we wanted the car to do in terms of responding to a design or development has worked pretty well. At the beginning of the year we identified a few things that would help improve performance, and we acted quickly and proactively. So that’s a real credit to the people involved.”
Singapore memories got us like 🥺🧡🇸🇬 pic.twitter.com/mstFksY70C
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) September 23, 2022
“In terms of the upgrade packages we’ve done, it’s been an aggressive approach. For each stage of development, we’ve put a lot of work into them, and they last about five or six races, and each package has then worked as expected, producing several tenths of performance at each stage, so we’re happy with that.”
James Key admits, however, that if the MCL36 had been performing better from the start of the season, it might have avoided the need to introduce a lot of upgrades, and that’s exactly where McLaren wants to be next year:
“If you start the season with a competitive car, you can adapt your development plans from there and do less than we did while being more focused on the areas you think will be most prolific.”
“That’s where we want to be next year, because we wouldn’t be able to maintain that level of aggressive development because it’s full on. We can learn a lot from this year, and the team has done a great job of achieving what they have.”