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F1 | McLaren talks 2022: from 18” rims to their new factory

McLaren Team Principal and Technical Director discuss technical regulations on pit stops, challenges teams will face with the new wheel rims and their updated facility.

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F1 | McLaren talks 2022: from 18” rims to their new factory
Fuente imagen: twitter.com/mclarenf1

Ahead of the Austrian GP FIA had announced, with a note to the teams, the introduction of a new set of Technical Directives to make pit stops slower. The new rules were supposed to debut at the Hungarian GP, but some last minute adjustments have been made.

“There was an update on the TD based on feedback that FIA collected after they sent it out initially from the teams, which makes sense from our point of view,” commented Seidl.

Seidl was in a media session MotorLat took part in, last weekend in Silverstone. “The main objective of these TDs was to make sure that it's subsidized in a safe way and anticipate let's say also bad things to happen.”

FIA is in fact concerned that the high degree of automation teams have implemented to speed up pits might endanger the pit crew members. Hence the main goal of the new regulations is making sure that human reaction times are taken into account. “I think we have a first introduction of this new TD in Spa I think now, and then the door is open for further changes for next year.”

Another factor that is going to have a significant impact on pit stops next year is the introduction of the 18” wheel rims.

“Obviously we have assemblies that are different shapes and heavier, so that's going to be a human to human thing to get used to really, we've also got different surfaces in that area as well,” observed McLaren’s Technical Director James Key during the same media session. “We all got exactly the same lessons to learn here, but some of it will be human with heavier wheel rims, some of it will be technique.”

“Beyond that there's other challenges of pit stops,” he continued. “The cars are heavier, you know, the front wings are going to be very different than sticking out in front of the nose now, as you can see with the cover spin here. And so they're less well supported.”

But next season is bringing another impactful change for McLaren, as they have been working on improving their factory for quite some time now. It is set to be a big step ahead for the team, with the implementation of new technologies and a wind tunnel. 

“We're all impatient. I think, you know, there's been some really positive impacts in our facilities,” said Key. “Great work by Andreas and Zak and great support by shareholders to get these projects on the way, even last year when there was uncertainty around.”

Currently there is a certain amount of information and data that they are unable to collect in Woking.

“There's data we simply cannot get at the moment with the facility we're in. It's a great facility, it's serving us incredibly well, but we know that facilities built much more recently have been built with the benefit of the technologies available,” he explained.

“We are compensating as best we can, but we're definitely missing some of that data and knowledge and information that we would get otherwise. So super impatient, getting that bit of information will help us take the next step.”

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