Formula 1: McLaren to trial top-speed fix in Azerbaijan GP practice

McLaren will try a "different philosophy" in Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice to try to reduce its top speed deficit at one of Formula 1's fastest circuits, according to Fernando Alonso.


Formula 1: McLaren to trial top-speed fix in Azerbaijan GP practice

Despite switching to Renault engines for 2018, McLaren had the worst top speed in qualifying in Australia and Bahrain, although fared better in China by getting Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne to tow each other down the back straight.


Last year, McLaren had a top speed deficit of 15km/h to the fastest car in Baku, which has four flat-out kinks before the start-finish straight, as both drivers failed to make it out of the first part of qualifying.


"Here was quite a difficult grand prix for us in the past years," Alonso said. "We had some limitations on the power side. 


"It seems this year we still have quite a slow car on the straights but hopefully here we can improve that. 


"We have a different philosophy, a different test, to do on Friday to gain some extra speed and hopefully we can minimise that deficit.


"We've not been in Q3 so far this year and I think it's going to be difficult again, but hopefully we are a little bit closer."


Baku is mostly a traditional street circuit, but poses a unique set-up challenge for teams because the start-finish straight, the longest in F1, means they also need a high top speed.


Alonso said any experimentation on Friday was a reaction to the specific needs of the Baku circuit but said it would also be good for future races like Canada, where straightline speed is also significant. 


Asked by Autosport if the risk of sacrificing the rest of the lap made it harder for McLaren to minimise its top-speed deficit, he replied: "In a way yes, there are very different parts of the circuits here. 


"The compromises you make on one part will be quite bad for the other parts.


"We need to think carefully about that, tomorrow's just a test day so we will test different solutions.


"Overnight it's up to us to balance all of those solutions and make a decision.


"In a way, in a race situation there are not many overtaking manoeuvres on the slow part of the circuit, because it's a narrow street circuit, so normally here to be faster on the straights would be a winning situation."

shares
comments
Formula 1: Williams drivers explain why 2018 car is off the pace
Previous article

Formula 1: Williams drivers explain why 2018 car is off the pace

Next article

Max Verstappen: China F1 errors down to wanting victory too much

Max Verstappen: China F1 errors down to wanting victory too much
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022