Cars

McLaren brake duct fixes slowed development of MCL36 F1 car

Adam Cooper

After experiencing brake issues during testing in Bahrain, McLaren had to divert resources to find a solution ahead of last weekend’s race.

Although this was successfully accomplished with a revised front brake duct design, this effort meant that McLaren was, along with Haas, one of only two teams to officially declare to the FIA ​​that it had made no parts improved in Saudi Arabia.

Although other teams changed the rear wing specification for Jeddah, McLaren retained the wing used in Bahrain.

McLarens were at the bottom of the speed trap numbers on Friday, although, curiously, Lando Norris was seventh fastest in FP2 over a full lap, suggesting the team may have found a more competitive setup for the weekend. -end of Jeddah.

Seidl admitted that efforts to fix the brake duct issue have had an ongoing impact.

“Let’s say the team was very, very busy to fully focus on this mission,” he said. “Which took away a lot of ability to do other things in parallel, which is obviously a bit of a compromise.

“At the same time, I think with the parts that we have in the pipeline, that we have.

“For that reason they’re not ready yet, or not really a step forward for this specific track here. And we’re happy with, for example, the rear wing that we have in place and that we used in Bahrain. to use it here as well.” .”

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL36

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport footage

Seidl acknowledged the car showed decent form on Friday, helped by the overall high level of grip offered by the track surface.

“I think we got off to a good start. We had a good session without really big problems. I guess everyone was a bit surprised at the high grip we saw today from the first run, I think I saw some other comments on the radio from other teams.

“Again, I think there was no specific problem with the car. In terms of competitiveness, we have to see if this track here suits our car a little better and is more in line for example, this what we saw was in Barcelona when we first tested our car, and if we can be more competitive at the same time.

“I don’t expect any big miracles here again, we just lack the aero load on the car. And it’s not so easy to reach the level where our competitors are.

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When asked if the MCL36 has a fundamental problem, Seidl said, “To be honest, it’s still part of the hard work that goes on at home.

“We clearly see that we just don’t have enough performance, we don’t have enough grip, which is ultimately the result of a lack of mechanical grip, but at the same time, a load aerodynamics on the car.

“And that’s what we’re working on at the moment back home, to see how we can add a lot more performance as quickly as possible, or bring more performance to the car with new parts.

“I think the car works. There is no particular problem, when we also listen to the comments of the pilots, in terms of balance. So I think we have a healthy platform. It’s just that it lacks a general grip.

“It will take time, so we have to be patient as well. But again, I’m very confident with the team in place at home with all the work everyone is doing now, that we’re going to fight back.