Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Formula 1 McLaren launch

McLaren "not entirely happy" with launch-spec 2023 F1 car

McLaren has admitted that it is not "entirely happy" with all aspects of its new Formula 1 car, but hopes early season upgrades can help it address any shortcomings.

The Woking-based team unveiled its new MCL60 at its factory on Monday evening. The car features some bold aerodynamic steps compared to its 2022 challenger, including a much more aggressive sidepod solution.

Although McLaren hopes to be able to use the 2023 campaign to close in on the top three outfits, new team boss Andrea Stella has urged caution about expecting too much in the early races.

He thinks the launch specification car is not at a level he reckons it can get to, which is why hopes are high that early-season upgrades in the pipeline can propel it forward.

Asked about the progress the team has made with the 2023 car, Stella said: "Assessing our performance last year and looking at comparing those, we identified multiple areas of opportunities.

"The good news is that pretty much all of them have been addressed. I wouldn't want to be too specific, but certainly they have to do predominantly with aerodynamics.

"Aerodynamics is the name of the game in F1 so no mystery, but there's some areas, for instance, in terms of interaction with the tyres, where there's some work that we needed to do and this was done over the winter.

"There's some other areas of the car that will be improved by developments in the early stage of the season. So we are happy, not entirely happy for what is the launch car, but optimistic that we should take a good step soon."

Pushed on where he anticipated McLaren to be at the start of the year, Stella suggested that it was impossible to know what rivals had produced.

McLaren MCL60

McLaren MCL60

Photo by: McLaren

However, he said that it would be wrong to be too optimistic if the team already knew it was giving performance away.

"It is always difficult to translate what you see over the winter in terms of development to where you're going to be in terms of pecking order," he said. "But we try to relate this to ourselves.

"Like I said before, I think while we are happy with the development of the car in most of the areas, there's some areas in which we kind of realised a little late in development, some really strong directions. So not necessarily we have been able to capitalise on this direction in the very short term.

"That's why also I talk about the developments coming after the start of the season. So in this sense, I just invoke realism.

"In a way, it's more relative to ourselves. But it's such a competitive game that I would be surprised if [we are there immediately]. Normally you need to be totally happy and totally at the top of what you can do to achieve your targets."

Stella said he expected the upgrades to be ready by around the time of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, although there was not a fixed date yet.

"In terms of development [timing], hopefully a couple of months into the season, hopefully less," he said. "So this may coincide with race four. We will see how rapidly we can get this project to land."

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation

Related video

Previous article McLaren reveals MCL60 F1 car with Norris, Piastri
Next article Norris: FIA clampdown will make drivers feel like they're in school

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe