McLaren arrived in Malaysia buoyed by their result in Melbourne with Ron Dennis claiming ahead of the event they had updates that would lead to a further gain of 0.5 secs per lap.
The most obvious of these changes comes in the form of a new nosecone, taking a more extreme approach to this year’s regulations in order to facilitate the passage of more airflow under the nose of the car.
The controversy of Fuelgate and a clear disdain by many for the new sound of F1 was a distraction from the pre-season dissatisfaction of the nose shapings seen up and down the grid. McLaren’s nose is one such bone of contention for many but aesthetics rarely come into a design team’s ethos, which relentlessy chases performance.
With this in mind the new nosecone is not a massive departure from its predecessor but pushes the limits of the design further.
The gently downward curving upper surface of the nosecone is replaced by a flatter profile to meet with the curvature regulations, allowing for the increased height for which the airflow can pass underneath. The height differential also means the ‘finger’ extension has increased in length and droops more rapidly whilst the team have also worked hard to reduce its width.
The mounting pylons have of course been increased in height to accommodate the changes to the nosecone but you’ll note that their length and shape has also changed in order to better manipulate the airflow in the region. This of course comes off the back of the team’s change to new under chassis turning vanes in Melbourne. (Analysis by Matthew Somerfield)
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