Aero upgrades for McLaren in Spain

McLaren are bringing a raft of aerodynamic updates for the MP4-25 to the Spanish Grand Prix as they strive to keep in touch with Red Bull and Ferrari.

Chief engineer Tim Goss explained the changes to the car this weekend:

We’re bringing a significant upgrade to Spain.

We’ve got a new front and rear wing, both are reasonably major changes compared to the last version.

There are also some subtle changes in to the floor at the rear of the car and other areas. It’s actually some of the subtlest changes that are the most significant in terms of the car’s performance.
Tim Goss

He feels the team have made progress on qualifying pace since the start of the season having been surprised by Red Bull’s performance in the opening round:

After the Barcelona test in February we were quite confident. But we were taken aback at Bahrain – we were some way off the pace especially compared to Red Bull.

At Malaysia we brought a significant change and we were really expecting to be competitive in qualifying. But due to the mistakes we made with the weather we never really got to demonstrate it.

At China barring the slip-up Lewis had in qualifying we’ve proved we’ve closed the gap. We were probably two to three tenths of a second off Red Bull in China.

How we do in Barcelona depends on the changes we made to the car. We’ve made decent step but expect other teams will have to – obviously Ferrari have their own drag-reducing rear wing now too.
Tim Goss

2010 Spanish Grand Prix

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19 comments on Aero upgrades for McLaren in Spain

  1. Scribe said on 5th May 2010, 11:37

    Come on McLaren! Partisanry aside if McLaren need to have a car capable of winning in the dry in three to five races, otherwise were kubudeld, an should concentrate on 2011.

  2. Derek said on 5th May 2010, 11:51

    Red Bull have just said that their areo changes for Spain will give them 0.3 secs! So McLaren will have to find 0.6 secs to catch them with this upgrade!!

    • Adrian said on 5th May 2010, 12:25

      Well, it’s been said the outboard mirrors are worth 0.05 seconds, so that gets it down to 0.55 seconds!!

  3. Tango said on 5th May 2010, 12:31

    At least, Ferrari have 0.6 seconds embedded between the baquet and the steering wheel.

  4. graigchq said on 5th May 2010, 13:15

    All this talk of 0.6s here and 0.2s there, come on really?

    the difference between say Massa and Alonso is sometimes 0.6s, so you have to wonder if there really is any gap between the top teams at all, the driver has the ability to get that final 1.0s out of any car they drive given the right setup.

    I know from my own experience of speaking to pit crews and mechanical engineering friends that the setup really is the main differentiator. Obviously these upgrades help, but the real final few tenths of a second are always found or lost by the driver.

    • Patrickl said on 5th May 2010, 15:14

      The setup will matter, but obviously only for the last few tenths. The basic speed of the car is pretty much a given.

    • macahan said on 5th May 2010, 15:16

      I would assume that reference by those pit crews and mechanics are for spec series racing. But yes driver can affect it lot as well but more important a clean lap can mean 0.5sec or more. getting to a slow car just before a corner means the driver have to take a less then optimal line through the corner which could easily mean 0.1sec.
      But as skilled the teams are most of them manage to get the maximum possible out of the car and drivers capabilities. But yeah it’s kind of silly when you hear teams make figure claims how much they improved the car. It’s one thing for Barca where they practiced before but does this mean that the 0.3sec is the improvement they expect from when they practiced or how in the world can they say that they will get 0.3sec based on how fast the car was at last track. Just never really made sense to me since it’s a different track and all..

      • Patrickl said on 5th May 2010, 16:46

        Of course they are talking about some reference time they predict that can come from the car.

        A more efficient wing will reduce drag and they predict how much faster this will make the car.

        Not sure what really is so hard to understand about the concept of improving the car?

        • macahan said on 5th May 2010, 20:52

          not the concept about improving the car but the concept hey we made the car 0.3sec faster. Who did you know that before the last upgrade your car was going to run so fast around the circuit that you not driven on either at all or 2 months and 5 aero upgrades ago.

          • Richard said on 6th May 2010, 1:05

            I would suspect that these top secret simulators that the top teams have can give them a good prediction of improvement on any given track with any given setup.

    • BasCB said on 6th May 2010, 11:26

      so Schumi might want Heidfeld to do the friday and find him a setup he can use not to be over 1 sec behind Rosberg!

      Off course all teams talk about their upgrades, but as they cannot be sure about the gains and do not really have a clue how much faster their rivals improve, is is only a guessing game.

  5. damonsmedley said on 5th May 2010, 13:33

    Oh I cant wait for this race! I love seeing the changes to the cars and I hope the tailenders have gained some time.

    • BasCB said on 6th May 2010, 11:39

      Me to, i am curious to see, where Glock will be with the improved Virgin and Lotus might have found almost a second by changing their clunky bodywork. HRT will have only minor things, they are still getting the

  6. Chaz said on 5th May 2010, 19:28

    With these new flight restrictions, I wonder if any teams have been caught out again. I hope the updates are a positive step forward for McLaren…

  7. steph said on 5th May 2010, 20:55

    Didn’t know where to put this but I;ve found a link for Webber going round Catalunya in the simulator. Enjoy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LV4vsXdDvk&feature=player_embedded#at=110

  8. I still don’t think that’s going to be enough to match the Red Bulls speed.

    0.3 seconds is the target to match atm for upgrades to the car.

    But hay, McLaren always have been the best team for upgrading the cars in the long run. The 2009 season prooved that.

  9. BasCB said on 6th May 2010, 19:22

    i like the pictures of the new mirrors. This looks far better on the cars. By the way, looks like Red Bull is getting on with a blown rear wing as well, as seen in this picture:
    http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/photolarge.php?photoID=152144&catID=1102-4460

    Virgin is testing a shark fin
    http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/photolarge.php?photoID=152155&catID=1102-4460
    and Ferrari has the RedBull style barge boards
    http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/photolarge.php?photoID=152149&catID=1102-4460

    Oh and it looks like Lotus uses the old Super Aguri motorhome.

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