McLaren operations boss hails ‘phenomenal achievement’ of preparing all-new MCL36 for 2022 season
McLaren are plotting a route back to the top of the Formula 1 standings. But for that to happen, they must win the race to adapt best as the new era of F1 dawns in 2022. And McLaren operations director Piers Thynne has spoken of the enormous challenge of putting together an all-new car for the upcoming season, as the team prepare to unleash their MCL36.
Soon, all 10 Formula 1 teams will unveil their cars that they hope will be best-suited to the new rules, with McLaren set to take the covers off the MCL36 on February 11.
Speaking in an interview on McLaren's website, Thynne detailed how McLaren had used a “laser focus” in the face of the new regulations and the continuing challenge of the cost cap, which stands at $142.4m for 2022 and aims to bring the field closer together.
“The layout of the programme is fundamentally different for the [MCL36] compared to previous cars,” he said. “The programme is difficult, and when you factor in the constraint of the cost cap on top of a significant engineering and manufacturing challenge, that’s when you really have to rely on great teamwork, great collaboration and a total laser focus on achieving targets.
“It’s been a 10-month programme, passing through all areas of the team. It’s a phenomenal achievement.”
Thynne added that preparing for the 2022 season wasn’t simply a question of designing an all-new car either, revealing the wide-ranging infrastructure changes the race team had had to make to prepare for this year.
“Most years we would be using – or at least modifying – parts from the previous car, but that’s not the case with the MCL36. It’s all new – and obviously, that puts significant pressure on our resources, and strain on our supply chain as well. We’re feeling a little indigestion in some of our key projects.
“With the new car, all those things are redesigned as well, from jacks and wheel-guns, through to the flight cases and other packaging equipment that keeps everything secure in transit.”
In tandem with the new rules, Thynne revealed that McLaren would employ a "subtly different" approach to trying to win the developmental battle against their nine rivals, too, saying: “We are very keen to be as late as possible and as lean on stock as we can be, to ensure there is opportunity to deliver upgrades in sync for race one.
“There are no prizes for having six floors and six front wings at the first race. We’ll be taking some subtly different approaches this year to make sure production capacity is available and can respond to aerodynamic evolution. That will be key to success this year.”
The MCL36 will be unveiled on February 11, with Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris set to pilot the new car as they prepare for their second season as team mates. After the launch, they head to Barcelona as pre-season testing begins on February 23.