McLaren’s impressive performance at the British Grand Prix, thanks to their recent upgrade, has caught the attention of their competitors, particularly Mercedes. The Technical Director of Mercedes, James Allison, revealed that their analysis of the race was focused on studying the McLaren upgrade.
McLaren has made significant progress since the start of the season, starting with a relatively slow car. It took until the third race in Australia for Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri to score their first points. However, the team has steadily improved and delivered a surprising performance at Silverstone.
Russell think McLaren will stay fast for the season
George Russell is confident that McLaren will continue to be a competitive force for the remainder of the 2023 Formula 1 season. The team surprised the F1 world with their impressive performance at Silverstone, where their upgraded car resembled the prowess of Red Bull.
Despite Lando Norris cautioning that the McLaren car still struggles in slower corners, such as those found at the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix, Mercedes driver Russell holds a different view.
“I see no reason why they shouldn’t stay up there now,” Russell stated, as quoted by Italy’s Autosprint.
“We went from the Red Bull Ring to Silverstone, which are very different tracks, and on both occasions, McLaren was slightly ahead of us,” added the British driver.
Russell’s assessment reflects his belief that McLaren’s recent performance indicates their ability to consistently compete at the front of the grid. As the teams head to the Hungaroring, McLaren’s performance in slower corners will be put to the test, but Russell sees no reason why they won’t be able to maintain their strong form.
Mercedes look to copy McLaren
James Allison explained that Mercedes will be closely examining McLaren’s upgrades, as their impact on lap times has been substantial.
“We keep an eye on all the teams as they upgrade,” said Allison.
“We take lots of photos and try to find out what changes from race to race. It’s quite unusual for a team to make a big move mid-season, as McLaren have done recently.”
“We take note when something new or unusual comes up, and the interesting and unusual thing about the McLaren upgrade is that the effect on lap times is quite strong,” the Mercedes technical director muses about the great progress made by the competition.
“They [McLaren] did a good job there, but that also makes it interesting for us because we have the before and after shots and we know the lap time effect was big,” says Allison, who now has high hopes that Mercedes can learn something from the McLaren upgrade.
“So it’s worth paying more attention to a competing team’s upgrade than we normally would, because in this case we know that what was changed made a significant difference in lap time,” explains the veteran Engineer.
“It’s very useful for us to know what that was and see if it can feed into our thinking about developing our own car.”
Allison acknowledged that the McLaren upgrade had a significant effect on lap times, making it particularly intriguing for Mercedes. Having access to the “before and after” shots enables Mercedes to study the changes made by McLaren and potentially incorporate any relevant insights into their own car development.
Wolff: McLaren had more windtunnel time
McLaren’s progress during the season is encouraging not only for Mercedes but also for their team boss, Toto Wolff. It demonstrates that continuous improvement is possible throughout the year. However, Wolff acknowledged the advantage McLaren had in terms of spending more time in the wind tunnel to develop upgrades that significantly altered the car’s performance.
While acknowledging McLaren’s advantage, Wolff emphasized the importance of good development and decision-making rather than solely relying on additional wind tunnel time. He praised McLaren’s ability to put the pieces together and generate significant improvements.
Lewis 🤜🤛 Lando
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Wolff looks at McLaren for Hungarian GP
Looking ahead to the Hungarian Grand Prix, Wolff expressed curiosity about whether McLaren can replicate their strong performance in Budapest.
He emphasized the significance of marginal improvements and acknowledged that having more time in the wind tunnel can yield significant gains. Wolff recognized McLaren’s prowess in designing and implementing innovations while effectively utilizing wind tunnel and simulation technologies.
As McLaren continues to make strides, they have earned the admiration of their competitors and industry experts, proving that their development and decision-making processes are on the right track.