McLaren confident competitors won’t be able to copy unique design on MCL36 – “They don’t have enough time now”

McLaren has joined a select number of teams to unveil its 2022 F1 car design. It is, however, only the second team after Aston Martin that is believed to have shown the real car that will be used during testing in Barcelona.

Teams have worked hard to maintain an added layer of secrecy in their preparations this season. This is largely due to the fact that there have been major technical changes in the regulations which have made it pivotal for teams to keep their designs private.

Little is known about the floor area of the new McLaren, with the camera angles obscuring any real reveal on that end.

Following the public display, McLaren technical director James Key was upbeat about the chances of the MCL36.

MCL36. Credit:

“I think we can be proud of presenting our real car, because it absolutely is,” he said.

“It’s the car we’ll be taking to Barcelona. Yes, we’ve hidden a few bits and pieces, for obvious reasons.

“There are some sensitive areas, but they’ll be seen when we’re running the car.

“As far as the development plan is concerned, like every team I’m sure we have development steps to come early on, because we’re still very much in the process at this stage where the development rate is pretty strong.

“So, we’ll be bringing some updates to Bahrain. The next parts are already in process now.

“You’ll see the car change but I’m sure everybody’s car is going to change.”

The wings, aerodynamic surfaces and components such as the suspension have undergone a massive change as a result of the changes in regulations.

This is apparent even in the limited reveal of the MCL36, where a pullrod front suspension can be seen. This is quite different compared to recent F1 car history.

One big noticeable change

Key reiterated the fact that this was one element the team did not mind revealing. He believes it is already too late for any other competitor to replicate such an innovation in this time frame.

James Key. Credit:

“There’s been added complication that we’ve done it with the cost cap,” Key said.

“That wasn’t originally planned, it wasn’t until the COVID-19 situation arrived that things were delayed and we ended up designing the car in the cost cap so we’ve all had to try to adapt that way too.

“And we had this topsy turvy situation to be able to mechanically develop the car for a long time, two years basically, but a delay on the aerodynamics until 2021. Which is completely the wrong way round.

“So, with all those added complications, it’s going to be really interesting to see what everyone’s done and how everyone’s interpreted these regs.

“The subtleties in there are very, very influential and that’s the sort of thing that’s going to be of most interest.

“There’s zero data, there’s no reference point for these cars. They’ve been digital and mathematical for two years, until recent months.

“Comparing to what others have done, for all teams, is going to be a fascinating exercise.”

A filming day of the McLaren MCL36 is set to take place before pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Read more: Lawrence Stroll shuns Toto Wolff advice in ambitious Aston Martin rejig

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