McLaren MP4-28 has hidden stepped nose 1 February, 2013 The recently launched McLaren MP4-28 appears almost identical to its predecessor, but the real differences are actually significant and well hidden. First, there is a ‘step’ nose, even though it’s not visible, as McLaren has taken up the FIA’s option of installing a laminate ‘modesty panel’. Tim Goss, McLaren’s engineering director, said that the panel “weighs practically nothing”. But when Lotus unveiled its 2013 car with a clearly visible ‘step’ in the nose, technical director James Allison said the laminate would weigh too much and have no performance benefit. “I don’t understand that,” Goss is quoted by Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport. “The cover is not only because of appearance; a smooth surface is aerodynamically always better than a split level.” Also unlike Lotus, McLaren has not taken up the option of a ‘passive’ double-DRS system for its 2013 car. Goss admitted his team had “experimented” with the concept, ultimately concluding that the potential advantage is quite small. “Three teams tried to develop such a system for racing last year,” he explained, “and none succeeded.” But a major difference between the 2012 McLaren and the new MP4-28 is a Ferrari F2012-style ‘pull-rod’ front suspension; a concept not seen before 2012 in F1 since the days of Italian backmarkers Minardi. “Naturally, you look at the ideas of the competition, but to be honest, when Ferrari did it, we asked ourselves ‘Why on earth would they do that?’ “Only a long investigation showed that it is quite useful. The aerodynamic benefits outweigh the potential problems,” said Goss. (GMM) Subbed by AJN. Tweet Related NewsMcLaren preview Singapore Grand Prix weekendIncreasingly likely McLaren will retain current driversFerrari and McLaren face tough road back to the topMcLaren-Honda may run at Abu Dhabi testMcLaren running out of star driver options for 2015McLaren: We’re making sure and steady progressMcLaren eye Hamilton-Rosberg feud with interestHonda powered McLaren could test this yearMcLaren: There’s more to comeMcLaren to decide 2015 drivers before season ends fools That’s right…copy Ferrari. McLaren needs too. Plus, Fernando is much more comfortable using the pull rod system as that it what he learned with Minardi as well in his younger days.