In many respects, McLaren have led the trend in car design over the past few years. For the last two seasons McLaren have raced a car that includes most of the technical developments other teams have only just incorporated this year, items such as carbon gear cases, seamless shifts, deeply undercut sidepods and zero keels. Thus it seems that looks alone cannot be the judge of a race car.
McLaren were successful during the no tyre change season of 2005, but were let down by reliability and the pace of development by Renault. Last year the team struggled with tyres, aerodynamic stability and, again, their Achilles heel, reliability, and ended the season win-less.
During this time McLaren has seen some of their key technical staff leave the team, starting with Adrian Newey, who switched to Red Bull and as soon joined by several senior staff. Other staff left for other teams but, despite this, McLaren are far from unstable at the top level of technicians as Paddy Lowe, Mike Coughlan and Pat Fry are still resident and are steering the design team.