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Stella explains reason behind McLaren's 'DNA' problems

With McLaren continuing to face issues with their car that have blighted the team in recent years, Andrea Stella believes there is a key factor behind the problem.

Andrea Stella believes that problems with the "DNA" of McLaren's car may be linked to outdated methodologies within the team, as well as using an older wind tunnel. The squad have faced a difficult start to the 2023 F1 season, with the MCL60 continuing to face the mid-corner handling issues that were previously prevalant in 2021 and 2022. Stella – who was promoted to Team Principal ahead of the current campaign – acknowledges that the "pattern" does not appear to have changed.

Pattern 'associated to infrastructure'

"I have to say that it seems like the pattern hasn't changed," Stella told media, including RacingNews365.com . "I know that we talked in some of the previous conversations that it's more a matter of aerodynamic efficiency. It's true because if you see the time we lose in the straight, we do lose because of drag. "Overall, if you have more load without changing the characteristics, you would go quite a bit faster. "But within these advantages of having overall more load and less drag, there's this pattern where potentially associated to the infrastructure that we're improving, conditions that at the track are very challenging because you are in a curvature, you can't simulate in the wind tunnel properly."

Results from new wind tunnel

McLaren are in the process of constructing a new wind tunnel and simulator at their headquarters in Woking, with the project expected to be completed in June. Stella hopes that the team will have an increased understanding of the issues with their car by comparing the results from the new facilities with their previous findings. "Certainly with the wind tunnel that we use, it is even more difficult than other facilities and it will become easier and more representative in the wind tunnel that we'll have available in the short-term," Stella explained. "This is because you have a better representation thanks to, for instance, having adaptive walls in the wind tunnel of what the car sees on track. "So, there's a possibility that what you call DNA is associated to some limitations of the methodologies that we have used now for years and that somehow, they seem to be leading despite even a change of regulation to the same operating point. "So, we will know more in a few months once we compare what we see in the MTC [McLaren Technology Centre] wind tunnel to the wind tunnel that we've been using for the last two years."

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