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McLaren MP4-26 - L-shaped sidepods 11 February 2011

There is no doubting the new MP4-26 is very different from all the other 2011 cars. Technical director Paddy Lowe has exploited to the extreme the idea of higher outer sidepods, last seen on the likes of Benetton's B195 from 1995 and Ferrari's F310 from 1996. The aim is to clean up and better direct the airflow to the beam wing at the rear of the car, an area now even more important thanks to the ban on double diffusers. This solution also gives McLaren the possibility of running Renault-style forward exhaust exits.