Andrea Stella, McLaren Team Principal, revealed the team’s MCL60 will be given an ‘overhaul’ over the course of the next three races on the 2023 Formula 1 calendar.
Stella has been facing a major uphill task since taking the reigns of the McLaren F1 team from Andreas Seidl earlier in 2022, with a drive to bring the team back to competitiveness.
The team’s 2023 single seater, MCL60, named as such to celebrate 60 years since the team was founded by the late Bruce McLaren, has plagued the team with many issues, with former Technical Director James Key shown the door at Woking as a result.
McLaren have brought a major upgrade to the MCL60 for the weekend of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but their struggles continued, but it appears the team are banking on a triple upgrade planned for the next three grands prix, to help them turn a corner.
Facing the media in Montreal, Stella was quizzed about the team’s upgrade plan; he said: “Most of the upgrades we will see over the course of the following events – so there will be a major overhaul of the car that will be delivered across Austria, UK and Hungary.
“At the start of the season, we realised that the car needed a fundamental redesign, so this redesign is actually interesting.
“I would say pretty much every single aerodynamic part [will change]. That’s why the upgrades will be spread over the course of a few races. It will be decently noticeable,” he maintained.
McLaren going for a major redesign for the MCL60
Providing even more insight into what is planned for the MCL60, Stella added: “We had to redesign even some parts under the bodywork. That’s also why it took some time to be in condition to deliver these upgrades. I would say pretty much the entire car.
“We haven’t tested them in the simulator yet, but they just pretty much deliver more downforce with similar characteristics. So actually, the key point is whether they will correlate trackside. But I think correlation so far has been good. I think with this generation of cars in general, correlation with development tools is good. So we expect a few tenths of a second of lap time improvement,” he explained.
“I’m banking on this package, but across the pretty much three races in which we will introduce it, these should be a few tenths of a second – it will be noticeable from a lap time point of view,” the 52-year-old Italian concluded.
McLaren, whose CEO Zak Brow has recently announced a ‘five year plan‘, are struggling in almost every area of the car this season, and currently sit sixth in the 2023 F1 Constructors’ Table, behind main rival Alpine.
Stella promising major upgrades to the car is sure to give Papaya fans something to anticipate, however time can only tell if this is enough of a development to save the once-great team’s 2023 campaign.
As part of a major technical shakeup that saw Key leave the team, McLaren have hired Rob Marshall from Red Bull where he used to head the engineering process. They also signed Ferrari’s former head of vehicle concept, David Sanchez.