McLaren‘s new team principal, Andrea Stella, has emphasized the need to be “realistic” in light of the team missing off-season development targets. Stella has revealed that a three-stage update for the car will be introduced over the next three Grand Prix weekends in Austria, Britain, and Hungary. The updates will involve overhauling nearly every aerodynamic surface of the car, with half of the update package arriving at the upcoming Red Bull Ring round and the remainder split between Silverstone and Budapest.
McLaren Racing CEO, Zak Brown, recently conducted a major winter review of the design department at Woking, leading to changes in the technical structure of the team. James Key, the previous technical chief, was replaced with a three-pronged structure and David Sanchez, formerly with Ferrari, was recruited as the head of vehicle concept.
Stella explained that the aggressive development path being pursued is a result of the need for a “fundamental” redesign of the car, which was identified after the early races of the season. He highlighted that almost every aerodynamic part will change as part of the updates, including some parts under the bodywork. Stella believes that the upgrades will increase the car’s downforce and expects a noticeable improvement in lap times, estimating a few tenths of a second.
The McLaren team views these updates as a potential turning point in their season. With the extent of the changes being made, the team hopes that the upgrades will be a “milestone” in their performance. Stella is optimistic about the package, confident that the lap time improvements will be noticeable over the span of the next three races where the updates are introduced.