McLaren plans to introduce the second part of its
major update package at the Monaco Grand Prix, after being hugely
encouraged by the first step that ran in Barcelona.
New wings, floor and other bodywork elements
helped Fernando Alonso deliver the team’s best qualifying performance of
the season so far at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, as he lined up
seventh on the grid.
But even more encouraging than the pace potential was the fact that
the new parts showed such good correlation with the team’s windtunnel
and CFD data – something which has given it a big confidence boost about
the steps that can be expected from parts currently being worked on.
Racing director Eric Boullier told Motorsport.com that the team’s
behind-the-scenes work to get its correlation sorted was now paying off,
and that what was coming for Monaco should help it make another step
“We have restructured and rebuilt the team and now it is working and
operating very, very well,” said Boullier. “You can see the results: and
our correlation rate is unbelievable.
“In Spain we brought a new front wing, new bodywork, new floor, and
new rear wing and it is correlating 95 percent. And with this year’s new
regulations meaning there are big gains every time you work in the wind
tunnel or CFD, we see big potential still.
“So what we had on the car [in Barcelona] was the first part of the
package and the second part will be in Monaco. It has allowed us and
Fernando to step up into this midfield pack – and this is a fact not
Although Alonso’s hopes of turning his Spanish GP qualifying performance into McLaren’s
first points of the year were dashed after a collision with Felipe
Massa at Turn 2 of the race, the team believes it now has a car capable
of finishing in the top 10.
“It is not hope – we know that on the less power sensitive tracks
that we can be in the points,” added Boullier. “That is it. But we are
not racing to be seventh. I told Mansour [Ojjeh, McLaren shareholder] that on Saturday.
“He got excited about qualifying, and especially when you watch the
telemetry live, you can see where he [Alonso’] was gaining and where he
was losing, so for maybe three seconds you will go, ‘yes, another step
“But the next thought is – ‘it is just seventh you know’. So nothing to be really excited about.”