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Mercedes engine switch makes 2021 McLaren “essentially new car” – Motorsports

F1 announced in March last year that the team will continue to use the 2020 vehicle in 2021 to save development costs and financially support the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team was allowed to use two development tokens for major car upgrades. McLaren had planned a switch in 2021 before the carryover was announced, forcing it to spend on installing a new Mercedes power unit.

While most teams will maintain about 60% of cars in 2020 by 2021, McLaren reveals that the size of the Mercedes power unit switch means that most of the MCL35M chassis is new. did.

“All other teams will take over most of the cars from last year to this year, but that means switching to a Mercedes power unit doesn’t apply to us,” said McLaren production director Pierce Singh.

“It has made a big difference, and in essence, we are building a new car. The number of new parts in the MCL35M is about the same as when we built the MCL35.

“The gearbox bell housing on the back of the chassis and around the engine has been significantly modified to accommodate the new power unit.

“Changing the power unit drastically changed the car’s architecture and all packaging methods, so in addition to all electrical harnesses and control boxes, the entire cooling layout and all plumbing (for fluid or air) changed.

“When it comes to cost caps, there are several important factors in carryover. The FIA ​​has created a list of transitional carryover (TCO) components that are outside this year’s cost caps. In last year’s car. It is a part that can be used in 2021 if you run it.

“We have maximized these TCO regulations so that we can carry them over as much as possible, such as inside the gearbox and some suspension components. Therefore, we will use part of our 2021 budget for design and manufacturing. is not necesary to. “

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McLaren officially approved the design of the MCL35M in December, setting driver Lando Norris and new arrival Daniel Ricciardo to sample it for the first time in pre-season testing in March.

Since the aerodynamic development window opened on January 1, the team’s focus has shifted to the design of the car in 2022.

Mr. Singh said McLaren was “starting” in the 2022 car wind tunnel program.

“When it comes to the actual production of cars in 22 years, it’s a very early stage and the focus is mainly on the parts tested in the wind tunnel,” Thynne said.

“As aerodynamic design matures, we plan to manufacture more and more aerodynamic components for wind tunnel testing. These tests are very important because it establishes what works and what doesn’t. When building a 22 year old car, you need to be right from the beginning.

“Testpieces need to push the limits aerodynamically, because that’s a way to improve performance. It’s great if they work. If not, always step back into the actual production parts. I can.

“You need to aim at the stars, and that’s exactly what you were doing to get back in front of the grid.”

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Mercedes engine switch makes 2021 McLaren “essentially new car”

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