Newey admits Leyton House design cues

McLaren technical director Adrian Newey has admitted finding inspiration for elements of the radical new MP4-18 challenger in the cars he designed for Leyton House in the late 80s and early 90s

Newey admits Leyton House design cues

Speaking to autosport.com after the car's first test at Paul Ricard last week, Newey also said that the McLaren could have been designed differently if the new Formula 1 regulations introduced for this season had been clarified earlier.

Asked whether the MP4-18s dramatic nose had been inspired by the Leyton House's similar styling, Newey said: "Yes, it's from the Leyton House car I designed. Also, the sidepod shaping is from that car. I'm just reusing some old tricks."

Newey was happy after the car's first test. "There have been some small problems with the car," he admitted, "but we've just been getting on with the test programme and getting miles on the car. We had a hydraulic problem, but we're on top of that. Now we're just going to slowly build up the speed."

The car ran at Paul Ricard with an interim gearbox. Newey refused to confirm that the team is developing a double clutch gearbox for the car, but did say that the team hopes to test it before the F1 testing ban in August.

Newey said that the MP4-18 had been over a year development. "It was first conceived about a year ago, but this shape was frozen in February of this year," he said. "We have taken a long time to develop this car, probably the longest time I've ever spent on the development of a car."

When asked if the car would have been different if the new regulations introduced for this season had been clarified earlier, Newey said: "Yes. I had to spend a long time over the winter considering how stable the regulations were going to be. Had it been made clearer earlier, it would probably have been developed earlier.

"This car requires a whole new set of parameters. Not only for the mechanics, but for the driver and engineers. So we've had to start with a blank sheet of paper."

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