McLaren defends aggressive design of 2018 car

  • 10 Mar 2018 12:52
  • comments 13
  • By: Danny Sosef

McLaren has defended the 'aggressive' design of its 2018 car. Even after dumping Honda, the British team is still the team that endured the most troubled 2018 winter. Many believe the problem can be traced to the aggressive packaging of the orange car, with burn marks and emergency venting seen at the back of the engine cover.

But team boss Eric Boullier insisted: "If you want to get back to the front, you have to develop aggressively. "We have an ambitious design that will eventually pay off," he added.

The result of the troubled winter, however, is that Boullier cannot even guarantee a race finish in Melbourne. "We have not done enough for that," he said. "We cannot say with certainty that we have already seen all of the problem areas."

But Boullier says there are positive signs, including that Fernando Alonso is happy with the balance. "He says he has seen enough to judge the car," the Frenchman added. "It's not enough for the engineers, of course. They want to see more data."

However, Boullier says there are strong signs that McLaren is in the fight somewhere behind the 'big three' teams, with Renault and Haas believed to be leading that group. "At the front are Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari," he said. "The group behind them has moved closer together, and we're in the middle of that."

And so he rejected the claims of some pundits and fans that even after Honda, McLaren remains in crisis. "I propose to return to this conversation after the first three races of the season," said Boullier.

Replies (13)

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  • Burn marks even? Shees. Its nice that you are ambitious, Boullier, but ambition doesnt matter if you dont deliver.

    • + 0
    • Mar 10 2018 - 12:56
    • kngrthr

      Posts: 201

      ..or catch fire...

      • + 0
      • Mar 10 2018 - 15:08
    • Or lose a wheel... Or put me in a potato...

      • + 0
      • Mar 10 2018 - 18:09
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,066

      Or screw up the cooling of your pu ..

      • + 0
      • Mar 11 2018 - 12:23
    • Hepp

      Posts: 198

      Like he said, "... after three races."
      Were you perfect on your first days on your job?

      • + 0
      • Mar 12 2018 - 00:20
  • f1ski

    Posts: 301

    Same problems as they had with Honda.If you can't provide an environment in which the engine can perform optimally it doesn't matter how well it handles if you don't have power. Starting to look like the issue may have been where the problems continue.

    • + 1
    • Mar 11 2018 - 12:39
  • Barron

    Posts: 625

    He’s right though. You’re not going to get anywhere in F1 by playing ‘safe’. It’s a huge gamble for them on the back of the Honda debacle but I’m glad to see that they are still pushing. It would have been so easy for the team to play safe in 2018 and no-one would have blamed them. This is a sign that they really want to race...Forza McLaren!

    • + 0
    • Mar 11 2018 - 18:34
  • Major Tom

    Posts: 151

    I think that Boullier is right that an aggressive design was the way to go. That and the late start on the design (because of the change of engine supplier) meant it was almost inevitably going to be a difficult start to the season. They should be able to get on top of these difficulties, hopefully quickly, and then will end up with a big step forward.

    • + 0
    • Mar 12 2018 - 00:39
    • f1ski

      Posts: 301

      yes an aggressive aero design. this is what they did with honda working with the laws of physics to reduce aero drag. But there are thermodynamic laws and to shed heat (thermal mass) requires something to carry it coolant oil air. with the tight package all of that was problematic with honda and again with renault. Did Boullier for get about the heat transfer issue. Remember Red Bull catching fire and the heat issues with the transition to the hybrid. seems odd.

      • + 1
      • Mar 12 2018 - 10:57
  • I think you can fix reliability (especially with the kind of minor issues McLaren had) much faster and simply, than improving/increasing performance. Reliability will be sorted out. The question is and has always been performance. They are clearly in the midfield, but best case scenario slightly ahead of the pack. In either case, they will be much better than last season, and crucially ahead of Toro Rosso.

    • + 1
    • Mar 12 2018 - 04:39
    • Alot depend on the design. There is a limit to how much you can help with cooling. A too slim chassis, for an example, is likely something you cannot fix, and slim spaces tend to trap far more heat than extra holes can rid it off. They will most likely be ahead of Toro Rosso, true, but is that what they should compare themselves to? An underfunded, underprioritized B-team?

      • + 1
      • Mar 12 2018 - 06:00
    • RacetoWin

      Posts: 95

      some how i gave you a +1 when i was trying to give you a -1

      no way has mclaren shown that they have improved. the final day time is questionable as it was only .3 off a disallowed time when "the hero" missed the final chicane, no way could he go from a 1:19 fastest lap to a 1:16 without running the chicane as he did on his only other 1:16 lap.

      he was lapping in the 1:23's and 1:24's most of the day. the alonso time is highly questionable and i believe a stunt to try and lure sponsorship before the season starts.

      orange cars will remain as backmarkers.

      • + 0
      • Mar 16 2018 - 21:23
  • RacetoWin

    Posts: 95

    Aggressive??? are they serious? this is an evolution car, a 3 year old design.

    the car in testing was basically last years design with a modded, wider rear end to fit the renault.

    Mclaren had the same issues with car failures and where the problem started is the exact same as last season. Looks like Mclaren forgot how to build a race car.

    oh, and the sponsors? its looks like mclaren will be laying off staff and possibly shutting down if they cant produce this season.

    • + 0
    • Mar 16 2018 - 21:16

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