McLaren say their target for the 2011 was to get 2010 levels of downforce without using the now-banned double diffuser.
They have tried to do that using what director of engineering Tim Goss describes as two “novel features”: a longer wheelbase and the car’s distinctive U-shaped sidepods:
“The thinking behind that is to feed as much good-quality air as possible to the rear-lower mainplane and the floor of the car.
“We want to get the rear-end working as well as possible following the loss of performance caused by the banning of the double-diffuser.”
However the team admitted there was already more in the pipeline for the car, indicating a different exhaust system.
Goss also gave an insight into the challenge posed by the new Pirelli tyres:
“The tyres only last for around ten laps, and making them last longer is quite a challenge. So we need to look closely at how we configure the set-up and suspension to make the tyres last.”
Another new item on the car for 2011 is KERS, which is being used for the first time in a car with a larger fuel tank sue to the refuelling tank.
Goss described how the system is installed: “The system was also more difficult to package because you?óÔé¼Ôäóve got to carry more fuel. That was the first challenge, but we got through that.
“There were a few difficult decisions concerning architecture around different aerodynamic concepts, but I think we ended up with a design layout we?óÔé¼Ôäóre happy with.
“KERS is now a single integrated unit that sits within the survival cell, beneath the fuel-tank. In 2009, it was housed in the sidepods. The hybrid?óÔé¼Ôäós cooling intake sits directly below the main roll-hoop intake.
“And, once again, we?óÔé¼Ôäóve really pushed the car?óÔé¼Ôäós cooling configuration: we?óÔé¼Ôäóve got a second air intake on the engine cover for gearbox and hydraulic cooling.?óÔé¼?Ø
See more pictures of the McLaren MP4-26 here: