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McLaren

How McLaren fixed one 'fundamental' issue - and now must do it again

McLaren's Miami upgrade helped to soothe long-standing problems in low-speed corners, but boss Andrea Stella has already identified another area that needs addressing.

Piastri race Monaco
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren boss Andrea Stella has identified the area of the car it must fix next after appearing to cure its low-speed weakness.

A common trait of McLaren machines over the past few seasons has been a strength in high-speed corners coupled to low-speed deficiencies affecting all the drivers the team has had, not just incumbents Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri. 

The team has added three sizeable upgrades to its car in the past 12 months, although the first two did not solve the low-speed problem, but the package introduced in Miami appears to have reduced McLaren deficit in this area.

However, Stella has now identified the kerb and bump-riding characteristics as needing "fundamental" development.

"It will require some more fundamental development than simply adaption of what we have available on the car right now," Stella explained to media including RacingNews365 of the kerb-riding traits of the car.

"Clearly we will play with the set-up, but we don't seem - even if this is more of a qualitative judgement - able to achieve this aim of ride and kerbing performance as we seen qualiatitvely on other cars.

"Our drivers are pretty vocal that some other cars seem able to ride the kerbs with more confidence. 

"It is more fundamental than simply playing with the cars we have available now."

Given the struggles at low-speed, Monaco was not expected to be a track that suited the MCL38, but Piastri qualified and finished second with Lando Norris in fourth for the team's best two-car result of the season.

This follows on from Imola where the car performed well in the medium-to-low speed corners where the two drivers qualified second and third, before Piastri picked up a grid penalty, with Norris taking second, less than a second behind race-winner Max Verstappen after a late charge.

According to Stella, it bodes well for the team.

"In general, I would say looking at the sector times [in Monaco], we see to be behaving alright in the low-speed, this is because it looks like the car we took to Miami - it sort of behaves well in the low-speed, almost beyond our expectations," he said when asked by RacingNews365 if the team was now on top of the low-speed problems.

"We have understood how to use this car in low-speed [corners], which seems to work well, and even in Miami, the track layout is dominated by low-speed - and in Monaco, the sector where we struggled the most was the first sector where the lowest-speed corner is 120kph.

"It is a medium-to-high-speed sector, so it looks like the picture of our competitiveness is starting to finally change, where low-speed doesn't appear anymore like a clear weakness.

"There are plenty of opportunities as we are not entirely satisifed, for instance, with the behaviour on kerbs and bumps, there is more work to do.

"But the positive is that though development, we seem to have been able to alter this picture, as we were not performing well in low-speed."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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