McLaren says even more gains to come from latest F1 upgrade package

McLaren says its Formula 1 car revamp is already unlocking more development potential in its wind tunnel, as further improvements are being readied for introduction. 

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60

The Woking-based team caused a surprise at the British Grand Prix as it made the most of a raft of recent upgrades to grab a slot on the front row with Lando Norris and finish second behind race-winner Max Verstappen

PLUS: The pre-qualifying pick that helped Norris battle Verstappen and "murder" Hamilton 

But rather than feel that this is the peak of McLaren's potential for the season, team principal Andrea Stella says that further gains are coming through the factory that can help make it even faster. 

As part of its original plan, McLaren is introducing an update to the MCL60 at the Hungarian Grand Prix, and the squad says that further changes will almost certainly follow at future races too.

Speaking about the plans, Stella said: “For Hungary, we have some further updates that will help more from the point of view of trying to improve the race pace. These will be available to both drivers.

“But, like any other team, we will carry on delivering some upgrades to the following races. And this is also thanks to the fact that, once we started redesigning the car, we kind of unlocked performance. And, through iterations, we keep seeing the aerodynamic development being quite effective.  

“As soon as you see that a project is mature enough to deliver, you press the go button and you go, so there will be some more stuff coming even after Hungary.” 

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

While McLaren had high hopes that its recent upgrade package would help lift its form, Stella admits that it certainly did not expect to make the size of jump that it did. 

“Sometimes you actually find surprises like these upgrades that we have taken to Austria and here,” he said. “Numerically, we weren't expecting this improvement from a lap time point of view.” 

And, while Stella remains mindful that the British GP performance was flattered by the high-speed nature of the track, he is clear that the MCL60 has made a genuine step forward in form.  

“Clearly the indications from the race are quite encouraging,” he said. “We were surprised ourselves in the first stint, to be able to keep our competitors like Ferrari and Mercedes behind. We thought they will be a problem for us in terms of pace.  

“So, we have to acknowledge that the improvement seems to be genuine, even in terms of race pace.

“However, as I keep reminding you, we are at a circuit with high-speed corners, and actually here in Silverstone some of the high-speed corners appear [only] in the race while they are flat in qualifying.

“And, at the same time, it was cold conditions. I keep being prudent that we may be flattering a bit the situation thanks to these conditions, but I think it's fair to acknowledge that the car seems to be more competitive in the race as well.” 

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