The team principal of the McLaren
team, Andrea Stella
, revealed his team still has to improve some parts of the car, which won't be ready for the first race in Bahrain.
Even though McLaren managed to significantly improve its performance in 2023, the Papaya team ran into a few problems, resulting in unpredictability in handling on the limit.
Going into the 2024 season, one of the main goals of the team was to identify and eliminate issues that cause unpredictability. Asked about the progress of investigations, Andrea Stella told motorsport.com
"Yes, we definitely questioned ourselves – whether we had made the car quicker, but somehow slightly more difficult to be exploited when you go to the limit in qualifying."
The team principal revealed a notable portion of this problem relates to vehicle aerodynamics and ride height. The goal is always to run the cars as low as possible.
"On these cars, aerodynamics and ride, they go pretty much hand-in-hand – because you know that you would like to run these cars as low as possible to the ground. This is one of the challenges for every team."
As Lewis Hamilton
and Charles Leclerc
, who were disqualified from the United States Grand Prix
, proved, running the car too low can be risky. Stella continued:
"Looking at where the right compromise is from this point of view for instance, just to give you a concrete, real example of where we’ve been looking at, this is an area that deserves some attention."
The 52-year-old mentioned his team has integrated some improvements into the launch-spec car, but it isn't. However, there are some ongoing developments that require more time and will be implemented later in the season.
"Some of the benefits may be embedded onto the launch car, but actually some of the projects belong to a workstream that may land trackside with some other developments. Some things require a few months to be addressed, let’s say."