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McLaren

McLaren explain F1 upgrade risk

The Woking-based outfit is continuing its push through the field.

Piastri Belgium wet
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella has conceded aerodynamic development will always carry a "degree of uncertainty".

The Woking-based outfit endured a testing start to the campaign with an underperforming MCL60 leaving Lando Norris and rookie Oscar Piastri battling just to reach the points.

But a radical upgrade package introduced to Norris in Austria and Piastri at the British Grand Prix has led to a stunning turnaround in form that has seen the team secure two podium finishes in four races before the summer break, as well as a second in the Belgian Grand Prix Sprint.

More upgrades will arrive whilst McLaren switches focus towards its challenger for next season with the ultimate aim of returning to winning ways, but Stella has warned each package carries a degree of risk when added to the car.

Always a little nervous

"When you have aerodynamic development, you carry a degree of uncertainty," Stella told media including RacingNews365.

"In mechanical design, it is much of a consolidated science in terms of the tools you use to go from point A to point B - you kind of have more control of the process.

"But in aerodynamics, air has such a non-linear behaviour, things can vary quite significantly just by changing starting conditions just a little bit, it always retains a degree of uncertainty even when the tools tell you this works.

"You put it trackside and you are always a little nervous.

"So that's the specifics of aerodynamics as a science, so that's why you see me prudent. If it was something to do with metal design, I would be more certain in my conclusions.

"But with aerodynamics... otherwise everyone would have cars within one-tenth, but this variation is because it is so difficult to harness the behaviour of air when you start to generate vortices and when you start to generate high levels of suction around the car, then air tends to be quite temperamental."

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