New Mercedes F1 car 'the one that stands out' - McLaren

The Mercedes is the most impressive of the 2017 Formula 1 designs to emerge so far, according to McLaren chief engineer Peter Prodromou

New Mercedes F1 car 'the one that stands out' - McLaren

McLaren became the seventh team to unveil its F1 car for the new rules when it launched the MCL32 at its Woking base on Friday, following the emergence of the Williams, Sauber, Renault, Force India, Mercedes and Ferrari through the preceding days.

Prodromou said it was clear Mercedes had been able to put plenty of focus on the new rules package even while dominating the previous era.

"The car that has impressed me so far is the Mercedes," he said.

"Clearly Mercedes has put a huge amount of man hours into the car.

"That's the one that stands out."

T-WING A POSSIBILITY

The 'T-wing' on the Mercedes W08 and Ferrari SF70H has been the most attention-grabbing innovation of the week, and Prodromou said it was on McLaren's radar too.

"In terms of major surprises, I don't think we have seen anything yet that looks like a big loophole," he added.

"One of the regulations boxes that wasn't covered in the way people expected when they were designing the regulations has allowed these T-wings to go in that area.

"It is something we are looking at."

McLaren's chief technical officer Tim Goss expects innovations to emerge around cars' front ends and sidepods too.

How McLaren's innovation goes beyond its livery

"If you take the bodywork from just in front of the cockpit template to the rear wheel centreline, you've got the rule that we call the 'R75' rule that restricts the amount of furniture - winglets and so on - that you can put on the car," he said.

"But in the areas where you've got more scope, which is between the front wheels and the sidepod inlet, the new bargeboard/sidepod wing area, you'll see very, very different solutions.

"Looking at the cars that have been launched, there's two or three of them, ourselves included, that put a lot of detail into that area."

He predicted rapid change and development even during testing as teams learned more about the new rules on track.

"We're on a fairly steep learning curve, and we'll continue like that, especially as further things happen," said Goss.

"We've been kind of flying blind for a bit, without track testing, so as we take the car to the track we'll learn about the way the car and the aerodynamics are performing in real life.

"Also as we start seeing other cars and other teams start to see our car you just learn how other people have done it.

"Everyone is still going to be on a steep learning curve for a while."

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