MCL38 is not a copy of the RB19: ‘To be honest, there seems to be a trend’

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MCL38 is not a copy of the RB19: 'To be honest, there seems to be a trend'

McLaren has made significant progress over the past year and the team is hopeful that this will continue in the development of their new car, the MCL38, which they will field in the coming Formula 1 season. In an interview with Motorsport.com, team boss Andrea Stella provides insight into the evolution of the project and takes a look at some crucial aspects.

Stella starts the conversation by reflecting on the situation twelve months ago. “At the beginning of 2023, we emerged from a situation that was not easy. The first figures we had seen from the concept were not encouraging, we knew we would have to radically change the concept of the car,” he explains. The team boss says that they were cautious about statements at the time, but now they can say with confidence that they are in a much more linear situation. “We are definitely in a better position,” he added.

Copy Red Bull?

Regarding the expectations of the new car and the possible similarities with the Red Bull concept, Stella says: “As far as the shape of the car is concerned, I don’t know, but to be honest there seems to be a tendency towards convergence when it comes to certain types of geometry.’ However, he emphasizes that McLaren’s performance development appears to be linear with what they defined last year and is therefore not necessarily a copy of the RB19.

An unpredictable car

On the issue of unpredictability, an issue that was raised last year after some mistakes by Lando Norris in qualifying, Stella explains: “We looked at whether these were just coincidental incidents or whether there was a technical connection. We think there are a number of areas that influence aerodynamics, but on this car aerodynamics and driving practically go hand in hand.”

Stella also reveals that unpredictability was a priority during winter development. “This is an area that deserves due attention, and then there are some other areas that I don’t want to reveal for the sake of protecting our intellectual property, but I can confirm that it has been one of the priorities over the winter. Some of these benefits could already be achieved with the first version of the 2024 car, others will come with later developments,” said the team boss

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