The details of McLaren's nose-led Formula 1 tech upgrade push

McLaren introduced what it is calling its definitive 2018 Formula 1 car at last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, the most visually obvious part being the new nose section

The details of McLaren's nose-led Formula 1 tech upgrade push

It is a package created from what Mercedes has run since Spain last year and subsequently optimised.

McLaren's previous nose was the same width as the front of the chassis, using very long wing mounting vanes with vertical slots to help pull as much airflow as possible under the nose and chassis central section.

The new nose is narrower and has small turning vanes (4) running up the top outer corners of the nose.

These will help turn the airflow and keep it attached to the sides of the nose as it tries to fill the void underneath that is created by the droopy nose.

The leading edge inlet section (1) is very similar to Red Bull's and the side inlets (2) very similar to the solution run by both Force India and Sauber.

They exit under the nose along a horizontal slot that is divided into three sections (1 and 2).

This again takes more mass airflow and, in this case, exits it on the under surface of the Mercedes-style cape.

All of this is to increase the mass airflow that is going under the centre section of the chassis and to improve its direction as it comes off the trailing edge of the cape.

The cape (5) is mounted on a vertical vane (3) splitting the airflow left to right. This could also be a bit of a problem in turbulent airflow or cross-wind conditions.

McLaren's other updates

By Matt Somerfield

McLaren also introduced numerous other updates in Spain, including the underside chassis vanes.

While conceptually the same, these have been altered to work with the new nose.

The rolled surface tightens much more towards the trailing edge, as the airflow it receives is focused by the nose cape ahead of it.

McLaren's designers had already set the wheels in motion on this area of the car when they introduced a new set of deflectors in Bahrain.

In Spain an optimised version was placed on the car, featuring a new vertical element (arrowed) that now sits astride the floors axehead.

The larger panel behind has been split into two distinct sections.

The floor ahead of the rear tyre is a sensitive area and has recently become home to various slotted solutions that help the airflow around the inner edge of the tyre and seal off the diffuser to improve its flow stability.

The 2017 regulations have altered approaches to this, as the regulations permit fully enclosed holes in the outer 100mm of the floor for the first time since 2008.

Teams didn't harness this fully in 2017, but are starting to jump on the bandwagon this year, with ever more mature solutions appearing at each race.

McLaren revised its solution just a few races ago (inset) but introduced a new version in Spain.

The previously upturned scroll ahead of the rear tyre has been discarded, in favour of a wider and fully enclosed hole just ahead of the tyre.

The MCL33's diffuser was also revamped in Spain, with the geometry of the central section and the perforated Gurney extensions revised (see inset for comparison).

shares
comments
Barcelona F1 testing: Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas sets morning pace
Previous article

Barcelona F1 testing: Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas sets morning pace

Next article

The ambulance driver who runs an F1 programme

The ambulance driver who runs an F1 programme
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022