Expensive year for McLaren after postponed regulation changes

23-03-2020 15:03
by Editorial Team
Expensive year for McLaren after postponed regulation changes

In 2021 McLaren was scheduled to switch to a new engine supplier. Mercedes' champions engines would become McLaren's new drivetrain. Well, it's not that this deal won't go through, but the cost to the British team is going to be a bit different now that the changes to the regulations have been postponed.

Because of the coronavirus, the changes in the regulations that would come into force in 2021 are postponed. The agreed budget cap will enter into force next year though, but the other rules will not. This means that in 2021 the teams will still drive with the old chassis and they will improve this one even further. However, it's McLaren who has a problem. The new power source does not fit in this old frame.

McLaren is going to have to put a lot of money into rebuilding the car to fit the new power source. They will also lose time on the further development in 2020 and 2021 and on the preparations for 2022. McLaren is willing to risk these losses because the team has indicated that they will go into partnership with Mercedes from 2021.

Investment year

Of course, the investment in the 2021 car does not have to be an unnecessary expense. If McLaren is a bit smart and looks at Mercedes they can build a strong car with the same power source in the back. F1 journalist Lawrence Baretto, however, writes on Formula1.com that it is indeed going to be a big cost item for McLaren.

"It's not as simple as taking out the Renault engine and then just plugging in the Mercedes engine. To make it work smoothly with their 2020 car a lot of money has to be invested".

In addition to this unforeseen investment, the team already made substantial investments earlier this year in, among other things, a new wind tunnel. The team tackled this smartly. They don't have to write the money for this renewal into the account when the budget limit comes into effect next year. The McLaren-team do hope to get the most out of it before 2021 and 2022.

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