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We're not entirely happy with launch car, admits Stella

NEWS STORY
14/02/2023

McLaren's new team boss, Andrea Stella has admitted that he's not entirely happy with the team's 2023 contender at this point in time.

Ahead of the moment the Woking outfit revealed the MCL60, a video showed some of the team's incredible successes over the years, success that wasn't limited to F1.

And now, as the team which has won 12 drivers' titles and 8 constructors', seeks to battle for best of the rest behind Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari, the team's new boss admits that he is not entirely happy with the first iteration of its 2023 contender.

"Assessing our performance last year and looking at competitors, we identified multiple areas of opportunities," he told reporters. "The good news is that pretty much all of them have been addressed.

"I wouldn't want to be too specific," he continued, "but certainly they have to do predominantly with aerodynamics... aerodynamics is the name of the game in Formula 1, so no mystery, but there's some more areas.

"For instance, in terms of interaction with the tyres, there's some work that we needed to do and this was done over the winter. There's some other areas of the car that will be interested by developments in the early stage of the season. So we are not entirely happy for what is the launch car but optimistic that it should take a good step."

Demoted to fifth in last year's standing by Alpine, with which it battled off-track also for the services of Oscar Piastri, Stella is hopeful for the year ahead.

"It's fair to say that, over the course of the season, we would like to establish ourselves as part of the top four," he said. "We know realistically that with the top three teams this may mean, potentially, just being the fourth-best car over the course of the season.

"We are realistic in the very short term," he insisted. "There's good developments already in the pipeline, that should land trackside very soon. This should allow us to take a decent step forward."

Behind the scenes the Woking outfit has been updating its infrastructure.

"We are not na´ve," he said. "We know that pretty much every team will be staying the same. We have good developments. We also have some more high-level developments ongoing, overall in the team.

"I would like to remind the importance of letting the new wind tunnel come to fruition which should happen around mid-year. That should be a step change for many reasons, not only the fact that it improves your methodologies.

"There's also the new simulator as well, we have a new manufacturing facility, so large investments that should come to fruition mid-year. This should be an extra boost in this race to become top four over the season and hopefully race for more in the medium term."

Check out our MCL60 gallery, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 15/02/2023 0:56

"This year is going to be extremely important for McLaren insofar as they have made serious changes to management and drivers and these changes will only become more important as the season unfolds. Oscar Piastri is, ATM, untried and somewhat rusty after not having a competitive drive for 18months! I foresee the British media looking to undermine his performances in relation to Norris and he needs to be savvy to all of this. He appears to be an extremely mature and sensible lad for his age and that will augur well for him, that, and having Mark Webber covering his back. I would like to see McLaren do better this year with a car that is conducive to both drivers specific needs and wants. Looking forward now to actual tests where we see a little of what teams have been able to come up with."

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2. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 14/02/2023 23:37

"Good
The team should not be happy with the cars they make until the cars are winning races and championships. "

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