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McLaren team boss: & # 34; Deep nose doesn't have to be bad & # 34;

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McLaren team manager Martin Whitmarsh
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J enson button showed up after the first few kilometers in Jerez in tidy mood. He has 'a much better feeling with the new McLaren MP4-27 than with its predecessor in the comparable period.' Lewis Hamilton was more skeptical. Given the fact that all other cars have their noses up, the 2008 world champion quietly expressed doubts. 'We have to ask ourselves the question: Are they right or we?'

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh also asked his engineers this question when it became clear that the competition was following the step-by-step solution without exception . Even Adrian Newey with the new Red Bull. And he would have done anything to create a nice solution if it hadn't cost any lap time.

Newey's soul hurts when it looks clear. 'The rules force us to build ugly cars.' But what answer did Whitmarsh get from his technical staff? 'I asked our technicians if they were sure we did the right thing and they told me not to worry.'

McLaren front is fundamentally different

McLaren knows its way around deep noses. You don't just do it out of defiance to be different from the rest. If you look at the front end of the McLaren MP4-27, you will notice that the complete air flow below the chassis differs from the rest of the cars. No other car has such a powerful splinter under its nose that distributes the flow towards the underbody and radiator.

Whitmarsh cites other reasons why McLaren is 75 millimeters lower than the competition on the front axle with the chassis. 'There are a lot of compromises at this point, and the question is what you sacrifice and get for it elsewhere. Yes, with a higher nose we could get more air through below. But we have a lower center of gravity, more freedom in the suspension geometry, and a more comfortable seating position for the driver with better visibility. '

According to Whitmarsh, McLaren stayed on the safe side. 'This car is an evolution. At the Barcelona test you will see some new features in the car. At the start of the season in Melbourne, even more. But in terms of radical innovations that are directly visible on the car, I have to disappoint you. The rules no longer leave any room for that.' He shares Adrian Newey's opinion. The FIA ​​has broken down the cars.

Ambitious onesAiming with the McLaren MP4-27

Whitmarsh doesn't want to complain. Making more out of less can also be a challenge. 'Compared to its predecessor, the MP4-27 has been refined on the outside and greatly changed on the inside. This optimization process is heavily dependent on the quality of your tools and the extent to which you can trust them.'

As usual, McLaren has ambitious development goals set. As long as the engineers do not know the cars of the opponents, their only clues are a downforce value and a lap time that you have specified yourself. Whitmarsh: 'We sat down nine months ago. It was clear what the exhaust rules and engine maps would lead to. The big price question was to estimate what we consider a competitive level.'

' It would be unusual for a Formula 1 team to set a goal of building a slower car than last year. That's why we have set ourselves the ambitious goal of getting to where we left off in 2011. We haven't got there yet. but if I look at the course of the development curve so far, then I am confident that we will get there by the first race. '

Exhaust effect reduced by 75 percent

The McLaren boss anticipates a loss of between 75 and 80 percent in the exhaust effect. 'I think we can be happy when we reach 20 to 25 percent of that. Not at the beginning of the year, but later.' The biggest handicap is not the restricted exhaust position, but the restrictions in the engine management.

'Last year the exhaust blew regardless of the position of the accelerator. Now the driver has to reckon with the fact that the exhaust effect is missing when braking. If you want to compensate for the losses in this area, you have to optimize all other areas that do not benefit from blowing the exhaust gases. Not just in aerodynamics. '

The Barcelona Test will be the answer to the exciting question of whether McLaren really gambled with its concept. It would be inconceivable if the deep nose ended in a dead end. Then a new chassis would have to be found, and that could take time. Button remains confident. 'One of the qualities of this team is that they keep getting up.'

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