McLaren delays Hungary F1 upgrade package

The McLaren Formula 1 team has delayed the final step in its transformative car upgrade package that was originally scheduled for this weekend’s 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella stated that “pretty much every single aerodynamic part” on the MCL60 machine will change as part of a three-stage development package.

The first step, which accounted for 50% of the modifications, was given to Lando Norris’s car in Austria. A revised sidepod inlet, halo fairing, engine cover and overhauled floor featured.

Stage two, put at around 25%, arrived for Silverstone and was marked by a new front wing and nose cone plus tweaked rear suspension and rear brake duct geometry, again for Norris.

While team-mate Oscar Piastri has now gained the second suite of upgrades for Budapest, McLaren confirmed that the final part of the update originally planned for this round is delayed.

Asked by Autosport to explain the new schedule that may stretch beyond the Belgian GP and the summer break, Stella cited “design and production” lead times

He said: “So, first thing to say is here we have the front wing to be allocated to Oscar.

“The new front wing wasn’t possible because of the limited number of parts in the UK.

“Then when it comes to the upgrades, actually we realised that we need from a design and production point of view a bit more time to complete the full round.

“So, what we will actually see is that there will be some new parts coming in the next races and above all, post-shutdown.”

McLaren took a marked step forward following the first two steps of its upgrade, with Norris qualifying third for the Austria sprint race and fourth for the full GP on Sunday.

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren, Franz Tost, Team Principal, Scuderia AlphaTauri, in the team principals Press Conference

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren, Franz Tost, Team Principal, Scuderia AlphaTauri, in the team principals Press Conference

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

He then backed that up in the British GP, where he passed polesitter Max Verstappen to lead the race before classifying second, with Piastri running to fourth place.

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This result, Stella reckoned, marked a “milestone” for McLaren’s recovery plan - which has included the construction of a new wind tunnel plus hiring leading engineers from Ferrari and Red Bull as part of a major technical department restructure.

The Italian said: “It’s obviously a bit of a milestone in our journey.

“It’s important for McLaren, it’s important for the people that worked very hard to develop and deliver these upgrades, and our fans.

“But having said, it doesn’t really change what we are doing. It’s about working hard to deliver upgrades to the car and letting the results come to you and try to have this as regular as possible.”

Asked if the result at Silverstone validated the design team changes, Stella said: “By having enabled some conditions, especially when it comes to the aerodynamic development, [it] definitely accelerated the development of the car. This has allowed us to take this performance step.”

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