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mclaren:-aero-handicap-from-2021-as-a-blessing-or-a-curse?

(Motorsport-Complete.com) – Only 45 percent for the world championship team, but 112, 5 percent for the worst crew of the Formula 1 season 2020: In the coming year a handicap map will be introduced for aerodynamic development in the wind tunnel . This means: those who successfully warfare are easily slowed down, those who have some catching up to do get more time.

Lotus-Windkanal 2009

© Motorsport Pictures

The time for wind tunnel checks is from 2021 even more restricted (archive) Zoom Download

McLaren Chief Technology Officer James Key is “torn,” as he says, faced with this prospect. “There is a very big difference when you look at the top and bottom.”

In concrete terms, the new regulation also means that not only the time in the wind tunnel is adjusted, but also the number of allowed attempts professional week. The most successful crew is allowed to test 28 times, the bottom light 45 Times. And from 2022 to 2025 this handicap map is even expanded .

Why Key too Has doubts

Why do key doubts come? He puts it this way: “With a scenario like this, you no longer have equal opportunities. Especially when you are developing a completely new car, it is quite unfair to impose such a handicap on groups that work well. After all, success should not be punished . “

On the other hand, they also want to upgrade Formula 1 by trying to reduce the distances between the groups. “Some groups have to catch up, and that gives them half a likelihood of doing it. That’s good,” says Key. “From a purely sporting point of view, it’s not a bad thing. In the long term, it’s not bad.”

As long as it helps to support weaker groups, the handicap rule is okay, explains the McLaren technical director. “But if it leads to a different balance of power every year, then that would no longer be a valid point.” In other words: The ranking must not be turned upside down.

This is how McLaren deals with the region

But how does a private team like McLaren face this prospect? Would you rather end up ahead this year and grab a plus in prize money or would you prefer to do worse, but have more freedom of development?

The McLaren philosophy allows only one conclusion, says Key. It reads: “We want to finish every race and every championship as high as possible. That is the main goal.”

In addition, his crew has drawn up a good business plan. “In the short term it doesn’t matter whether we end up in P3 or P5,” says Key. “For Americaal’s private team, it is crucial that we make clear progress. We still have a long to-pick-up list ahead of us until we are where we want to be. That is what we concentrate on.”


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