McLaren’s Jerez test pace due to “unrealistic” set-up

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sergio Perez, McLaren, Jerez, 2013In the round-up: McLaren say the impressive pace their car showed on the first day of testing was due to a suspension component being fitted incorrectly.


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How a factory mistake made McLaren unrealistically fast in Jerez test (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“A suspension component was fitted incorrectly to the new car ?ǣ apparently it was simply the wrong way round ?ǣ and the unexpectedly low ride height that resulted happened to work well at the Spanish track. Button set the pace that day, suggesting that the MP4-28 could be the car to beat.”

Ecclestone says Hamilton and Mercedes F1 team are dangerous combination (Autoweek)

Bernie Ecclestone: “Ron said that he could have kept Lewis if he had wanted to but he didn?t want to. Lewis told me that he would have rather taken a year off.”

On the line: Lewis Hamilton slams “dangerous” black paint on rain-lashed circuit (Mirror)

“There were a lot of white lines painted black. As soon as you hit those the car slides and aquaplanes and oversteers. That?s why you saw so many people going off.”

Button: Officials made the right call (The Sun)

“You can say 30 years ago that they probably would have raced in these conditions, but safety has come a long way in terms of the circuits and the way that we view safety.”

Ted’s qualifying notebook – Australian GP (Sky, subscription required)

An interesting view of Ferrari’s front wing, though ‘not too close or Ferrari will get cross’.

Ralf Schumacher moves into management (Reuters)

“Mercedes said the 37-year-old German had relinquished his seat in the DTM (German touring car) series for a new role as managing shareholder at RSC Mucke Motorsport where he will support young drivers.”

Mercedes will protect data from Honda (Autosport)

“Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said in Australia on Saturday that a continued partnership with McLaren could not be ruled out, but that measures would be taken to ensure Honda gains no benefit from what happens in 2014.”

The Pursuits Interview: Monisha Kaltenborn (FT, registration required)

“At one end is a glass cabinet lined with more than 20 empty champagne bottles. ‘Each bottle represents a podium place. When the drivers are given champagne, the tradition is that every mechanic has to take a sip because they helped build the car.'”

Q&A with Pirelli?s Paul Hembery (

“Q: Who is the best driver when it comes to handling the tyres? You get the tyres back so you get to see who is using them or abusing them…
PH: Ha, everybody wants to draw that out of me! There is not really one that I would say is the best. There are races where one is using the tyres better than the other. Look at today ?ǣ this strange aborted qualifying session: Jenson Button went out on intermediate tyres when there were pretty much rain conditions and I thought to myself ??wow, that?s courageous?. He felt that he could manage that ?ǣ also on parts that were clearly pretty much under rainy conditions ?ǣ and he managed to get a time. These are things that are very interesting to watch: that mixture of ability, skills and experience.”

Sahara chief Subrata Roy faces arrest, SEBI moves SC (Deccan Chronicle)

Problems for Force India owner and investor Subrata Roy Sahara.

Rating Formula One Races by How Fans Might Fare (New York Times)

“The scoring system is based on 10 factors: history; seating, visibility and general comfort of track facilities; culture and nightlife, or what be called away-from-the-track life; general ambience and acceptance of spectators; total cost of the trip; activities at the circuit apart from track action; other support races and on-track action; transport to and from the track; expected quality of racing; and general tourism interest of the location.”


Comment of the day

MJ4 thinks start times for the major sessions at the Australian Grand Prix should revert to their earlier time:

I live in Europe, and still I hate this fuss about pandering to European audiences.

Anyone who bothers enough and feels the need to watch the qualifying/race live is going to watch it even at an earlier time.

Anyone who does not bother enough will watch the replay later in the day.

This set-up is favourable primarily to those who want their fix of F1 live but are not willing to get up early even during a weekend (when they could sleep it off immediately afterwards). That is basically the “I want the best of both worlds” crowd. I say, to hell with them.

(Sure, getting up at, say, 4:00am instead 7:00am would be a bit more inconvenient, but perfectly manageable. Now I have a qualifying till 2:00am, then a race starting at 7:00am. Great!)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Herman, JP from Treasures, Themagicofspeed, Tmax and Alistair C!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Bruce McLaren won the non-championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch on this day 45 years ago in his own Cosworth-powered car.

A second McLaren belonging to Denny Hulme finished third with Pedro Rodriguez’s BRM between them.

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

32 comments on “McLaren’s Jerez test pace due to “unrealistic” set-up”

  1. And there was me hoping they’ve been sandbagging since Jerez. And hope for a McLaren world championship challenge in 2013 seems to be disappearing… fast.

  2. Mclaren’s race (test!) operations are pathetic.
    See also quali two seconds ago: Sorry Checo, we got the tyre choice a bit wrong.

  3. Wait.. McLaren’s car was faster when they fitted a piece of suspension upside down??

    1. And Lewis was mad to leave them for Mercedes.

    2. @nickj95gb Martin Whitmarsh suggests that by fitting the suspension the wrong way, it lowered the car, therefore probably making it illegal and that is why they can’t just simply fit it wrong for the race weekend.

      1. @dragoll He didn’t actually say it made the car illegal, but that the part could not be run that way for any prolonged time period i.e. a race-distance. As well as the fact the car was rather light when they drove it that way, but on a full tank the car most likely would just be bottoming out

        1. @timi nod, agree he didn’t say it would make it illegal, but if the car was potentially going to bottom out, then the plank would wear out and therefor they would be excluded, hence my comment :)

    1. Hahahaha! Made me laugh :D

    2. Lol great one!

  4. Well the NY Times rating will be welcome news to the Melbourne organisers and may go some way to offset the gloom caused by this years unseasonal weather.

  5. “A suspension component was fitted incorrectly to the new car – apparently it was simply the wrong way round – and the unexpectedly low ride height that resulted happened to work well at the Spanish track. Button set the pace that day, suggesting that the MP4-28 could be the car to beat.”

    People have been suggesting that Paddy Lowe’s imminent departure to Mercedes is a huge blow to McLaren, but I have to wonder: is it really such a disaster for them? Lowe has been overseeing McLaren’s development since 2003, and in that time, McLaren have had a string of cars that they simply didn’t understand at the beginning of the season. The MP4-23 might have won a World Championship, but the MP4-24 was an unmitigated disaster. The MP4-25 and MP4-26 were strong enough to place second in the Constructors’ championship, but then the MP4-27 was plagued by mid-season development problems and technical glitches that cost the team dearly. And now they’ve got the MP4-28, which they don’t understand as well as they thought they did because of a misplaced part, and has been disappointingly slow since the problem has been rectified.

    While some of the problems the team experienced with – like their pit stops last year – are outside the scope of car design, I cannot help but notice that Paddy Lowe has something of a tendency to design cars that are as fast as they are difficult to understand. With this in mind, is his departure from McLaren really going to be as disastrous as it has been made out, especially with a major overhaul of the rules scheduled to come into effect in just nine short months?

    1. Yeah right, should have been clearly marked ” This way up”

    2. I think I remember hearing that the MP4-27 was actually a Tim Goss designed car, but I agree with your point. Obviously it’s not all down to one man, but maybe a bit of a shake-up would help McLaren re-realise their potential.

      1. I remember hearing that the MP4-27 was actually a Tim Goss designed car

        I believe Goss and Lowe might have overseen it together. And while the in-season development was flawed, it only really affected Jenson Button. For some reason, raising the centre of gravity on the car seemed to trouble him and not Lewis Hamilton. Nevertheless, it’s never a good thing when your development hinders one driver as much as it benefits the other. I can’t recall the last time that happened.

        Obviously it’s not all down to one man

        No, but as Technical Director, it’s Lowe’s responsibility to oversee the entire car.

        1. Higher CG = more instability perhaps? Jenson does like his cars to be well-planted and stable, moreso than Lewis.

          1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
            17th March 2013, 3:07

            jenson is taller than lewis so any issue with cog would effect him more and/or before lewis.

    3. And Wolf said today

      “I think it’s too early to say that he’s coming. It’s not just that you hire someone and off you go, there are discussions ongoing. Paddy is obviously a good guy and it’s about fitting somebody in the organisation. So it’s not yet done.”

  6. “A suspension component was fitted incorrectly to the new car – apparently it was simply the wrong way round – and the unexpectedly low ride height that resulted happened to work well at the Spanish track. Button set the pace that day, suggesting that the MP4-28 could be the car to beat.”

    1. Lol true! It can only happen with McLaren.

  7. Some people here, know that I´m from Latinamerica. What I want to say is about the scheduale of the races, I have being in twitter and tumblr earlier and lots of people complaining about the time; but for true fans that wont or shouldnt matter. I mean, how many races are not on good European hour?

    All but 3 races are live broadcast in my country in the middle of the night or as earlier as 7am, and certanly is hard but is worth it.

  8. This is way beyond operational problems mclaren had last season. This sends operational errors to a whole new level only Mclaren could achieve!

    1. @snafu I would suggest it is starting to show that the 2012 season finished too late for the team and they rushed a bit too much getting the car ready for 2013…

      The impact that this will have on McLaren shows on the track, Button already saying they’re lucky to be 10th on the grid… 1 mistake, 1 test sessions worth of data completely corrupted and that is the consequence.

      F1 isn’t tolerant

  9. seriously it was attached the reverse way. and nobody noticed the ride height ????/ Dear Ron…. I am sure you are hearing all this …..

  10. @KeithCollantine Thank you for the Birthday Wishes…..

    1. Happy birthday.

  11. Have they tried running the entire car the reverse way? Perhaps that will give some insight into better performance.

  12. And their supporters will keep saying FI are not in any finiancial turmoil right? Even with Roy Sahara going to but into custody for not paying up the billion he owes investors and Mallya sinking ever deeper in trouble with Kingfisher airlines.

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