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McLaren explain rule impact on car philosophy

McLaren explain rule impact on car philosophy

F1 News

McLaren explain rule impact on car philosophy

McLaren explain rule impact on car philosophy

McLaren technical director James Key believes it is too early to determine whether the new aerodynamic regulations introduced to Formula 1 this season provide an advantage to teams running a high-rake configuration.

Changes have been made to the rear-end aerodynamics to reduce downforce levels, with the most noticeable difference being a triangular cut in the floor ahead of the rear wheels.

Red Bull and AlphaTauri appeared to prosper during pre-season testing with cars that looked happier under power than that of their counterparts, with many believing this is due to their low-front, high-rear ride height setups.

In contrast, a Mercedes team that runs a low-rake philosophy struggled across the three days at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Key has suggested there could be a benefit this year from running a more-raked car but insisted any major advantage has yet to fully reveal itself.

"We have only just seen each other's cars and where people are running them," said Key.

"I guess the two different philosophies will coalesce around something that ultimately works with these regs. We have kind of been a high-rake car but on the medium to lower end of that so probably not extreme.

"I guess you could say that the regulations have had an impact on that but not something that is unfamiliar to us with the way a car with rake in it works.

"Whether it has had a larger impact on cars with a slightly lower rear ride height range I think is difficult to tell because it depends on where you are coming from."

McLaren also impressed with pace and assuredness over the test as Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo became accustomed to the MCL35M.

Key pointed to the car's history of being mid-to-high-raked in set up as a potential plus point in its running.

"We have made modifications to a car that was typically quite raked, so it was based around a certain way of the aerodynamics working on the back of the car and everything that is upstream of that," he added.

"Had we been a team that was running a lower rear ride height like Mercedes for example, the impact could have been different so it is difficult to tell.

"I think things will begin to coalesce as the season goes on and we will begin to see trends emerging."

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