"Further development wouldn't have taken us far"

22-11-2020 14:00 | Updated: 22-11-2020 14:53
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Further development wouldn't have taken us far

McLaren has made big leaps forward lately. The team is currently competing with Racing Point and Renault for third place in the championship. In addition, the team will be using Mercedes engines next year, which is likely to bring even more progress.

James Key, technical director at McLaren, has 15 years of experience in Formula 1. He can compare the engines of today with those of previous generations like no other.

Engine change more complicated than ever

According to Key, an engine change is much more complicated nowadays than it was ten years ago. "With a V8, there was a gap between the chassis and the transmission that had to be filled. The engines were all about the same size, with small differences in cooling. The architecture was simple," says Key in conversation with Auto, Motor und Sport.

"It was easy to make an engine change. Now the power source is integrated into the car. The geometry of the chassis is determined by multiple parts. Whereas there used to be three or four cooling systems, there are now seven. There are many more things to consider when changing the engine," says Key.

The rules and requirements for the 2021 floor were announced late. Key says that some of the updates will have to be modified as a result, but others will be compatible. "The rules have changed for a good reason. One more year of development wouldn't have improved the cars far, but it would have taken the tires to the limit.

"Some of our updates will work in 2021, like the new nose. Others will have to be reviewed and redesigned," said Key.

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