McLaren 'giggling' with excitement for 2018 Formula 1 season

McLaren says it is "giggling" with excitement about what it can achieve in Formula 1 next year, on the back of its engine switch and progress with its chassis

McLaren 'giggling' with excitement for 2018 Formula 1 season

After securing a Renault customer supply to replace its Honda engine deal, the Woking-based team has been buoyed by the step forward in pace a new front wing concept has brought.

The development has been so good that Fernando Alonso reckons that McLaren now has the 'best' car in qualifying.

McLaren executive director Zak Brown said the step forward the team has made in recent races is hugely encouraging for next year, and is raising excitement levels about what can be achieved in 2018.

"Almost everything that we have developed over the year in the factory corresponds to the car, so we have a high strike rate of success," Brown told Autosport.

"Sometimes it can work in the factory and not on the car, but the chassis has been getting better and better and better.

"Our GPS says we are right near Red Bull: maybe a little better at some tracks and a little worse at other circuits.

"But they have won a couple of races, so we are cautiously optimistic [for 2018]. We almost have a few giggles getting ready for next year. We are excited."

Although there is no dramatic change to the F1 car regulations for next year, some tweaks to the rules - including the arrival of the halo, plus the banning of monkey-seats and T-wings - will have an impact on aero designs.

That is why McLaren racing director Eric Boullier is slightly cautious about having total confidence in his team fighting right at the front in 2018.

"You can never ever have faith of this," he said. "If it was the same regulations 100% then I would say yes.

"But obviously there will be some changes next year: no T-wing, no monkey seat, a lot of cleaning up at the back of the car which makes it a little bit harder - plus the halo, which obviously is a disaster in terms of aero. So there is a lot of work to do around this.

"But I trust the team we have, and what they achieved in the last three years.

"There is no reason why they cannot keep doing it, building up and catching up."

When asked if he was at least confident of McLaren joining the fight among Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, Boullier said: "Yes. 100%."

shares
comments
Felipe Massa announces he will retire from F1 at the end of 2017

Previous article

Felipe Massa announces he will retire from F1 at the end of 2017

Next article

Bottas didn't realise how hard Hamilton works at Mercedes F1 team

Bottas didn't realise how hard Hamilton works at Mercedes F1 team
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Jonathan Noble
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Plus

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Plus

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Plus

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021 Plus

The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Plus

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Plus

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The big F1 questions of 2021 Plus

The big F1 questions of 2021

After an unprecedented season last year, there are plenty of questions and storylines for the upcoming Formula 1 campaign. Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok gives his verdict

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Plus

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz Jr in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new team-mate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021