Andrea Stella blames McLaren’s poor performances on outdated methodologies ingrained in their DNA

McLaren have failed to maintain consistency in the first five races of the season.


Andrea Stella blames McLaren’s poor performances on outdated methodologies ingrained in their DNA

Andrea Stella (Credits: SI)

McLaren have been as underwhelming as ever in the initial phase of the 2023 F1 season. They are stuck in the midfield and are on the verge of becoming backmarkers. Other teams like Alpine, Haas, and Alfa Romeo are delivering more positive results. McLaren’s only solid result this season was at the Australian GP, where only 12 cars finished the race.

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Andrea Stella, team principal of McLaren, has spoken out on their struggles. He said, “So, there’s a possibility that what you call DNA is associated to some limitations of the methodologies that we have used now for years and that somehow, they seem to be leading despite even a change of regulation to the same operating point.”

McLaren are convinced that the limitations in the design of their Formula 1 cars stem from unrepresentative conditions. It is simulated by their outdated wind tunnel and methodologies, which do not accurately reflect real-world performance. The construction of a new wind tunnel and simulator at McLaren’s Woking facility, will be completed by June.

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Speaking on the new wind tunnel’s possible impact, Stella also said, “So, we will know more in a few months once we compare what we see in the [McLaren Technology Centre] wind tunnel to the wind tunnel that we’ve been using for the last two years.”

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McLaren’s 2023 season has been disastrous so far

Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris (Image via The Guardian and SI)
Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris (Image via The Guardian and SI)

With McLaren’s recent lack of producing competitive cars, the performance of the MCL60 has been largely disappointing. The team finds itself in a perplexing situation. The car is neither fast nor slow, which leaves the drivers in a somewhat tangled position.

Both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri have struggled to get a grip on handling the car. The Miami Grand Prix proved to be another disastrous outing for McLaren. The weekend got off to a poor start as both the McLaren cars were eliminated during Q1.

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Sunday’s race added to the pain for McLaren as Oscar Piastri finished in 19th place, a lap down, while Lando Norris managed a slightly better finishing position of 17th. McLaren’s performance seems unpredictable as the pace varies from track to track. While McLaren have demonstrated decent speed in a few races, they have struggled to maintain the same level of consistency in other rounds.

McLaren have scored only 14 points in 5 races and are fifth in the championship standings. Their position is not quite reflective of their performance. They frequently fight with the likes of backmarkers such as Haas, Williams and Alfa Romeo. Their struggle continues, and they should hope their new wind tunnel alleviates it.

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