Posted 1 years ago

Auto Racing General

Lessons for McLaren to learn from its disappointing season

Lessons for McLaren to learn from its disappointing season
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McLaren had a disappointing season in 2022, and ended it ranked fifth in the championship, and fell behind Alpine, as well its key metrics for the 2021 season, with no wins, no poles, one podium compared to 5 in 2021, and 159 points compared to 275.

With the dip in performance attributable to several factors, there are some key lessons for McLaren to learn from its season. According to departing team principal Andreas Seidl, the team struggled to tackle a drop in form after having delivered impressive performances for several years, while also dealing with the problems with the brake in the team’s car in Bahrain, where CEO Zak Brown doubted that either driver would be able to complete the race. However, Seidl has described how the team did not indulge in a blame game and focused on a concerted effort to find a solution.

 McLaren have also been struggling with infrastructure projects that were delayed due to the pandemic, including a wind tunnel, a driver-in-loop simulator, and renovations of the manufacturing facilities. The delay created financial constraints which affected McLaren’s capital expenditure on other projects.

The car itself, the MCL36, displayed several vulnerabilities, some of which have been attributed to the team’s wait for better tools. This included higher exposure in traction zones at higher temperatures, the new 18-inch wheels which posed a problem for both drivers, and issues with braking. McLaren have also admitted to a faulty team structure, where as one of F1’s biggest spenders, it had trimmed the development team to focus more on problem solving.

 Another area where McLaren need to make improvements in are the number of pitstops. Incoming team principal Andrea Stella has described this to be a priority for the team, which requires suitable infrastructure for practice, hardware development and crew training. According to him, the team have been fine-tuning their pitstops and have made consistent progress and is now among the top three teams for pitstops, and is the team who made the highest progress in 2022, according to DHL.

The team have made improvements in other fields too such as strategy calls, according to Stella. This is expected to play a larger role, once the team car has been developed more fully. As of now, Seidel insists the team has been taking steps in the forward direction, which have been behind the scenes and thus overshadowed by the race results.

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