McLaren aims to close the gap

After a frustrating start to the season, McLaren is preparing to bring key updates to its racing cars.

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The McLaren team has been left perplexed as to why the cars lack pace, particularly in qualifying, in the first stages of the 2018 Formula One world championship.

A disappointing start

Fernando Alonso is currently sixth in the F1 championship after securing three points finishes, but both McLaren drivers have failed to qualify within the top ten at all three grand prix. races.

The expectations were high, and McLaren anticipated they would be fighting for podium finishes and wins this season, especially following the engine change from Honda to Renault. Renault were extremely confident of the reliability and power of their 2018 F1 engine.

Alonso finished in fifth place at the Australian grand prix, and seventh at Bahrain and China. His teammate Stoffel Vandoorne has failed to fare any better and has qualified behind Alonso at all three races, scoring points for eighth and ninth places in Bahrain and Australia respectively.

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While the Renault engine continues to perform well for teams such as Red Bull, questions are being asked as to how McLaren can improve its season.

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Car updates

Eric Boullier, McLaren’s racing director, has blamed the delay in launching the upgrades on reliability problems. Scheduled for production in the Spanish grand prix in May, it is hoped the upgrades enable McLaren to meet its ambitions for the 2018 Formula One championship.

Engineers from other teams have claimed the McLaren car is running with excessive drag, meaning the chassis was as much to blame as the engine in lack of speed in the straights. This suggests that McLaren has misinterpreted the chassis quality, and why the car remains slow despite switching to Renault.

McLaren has reassured fans that it is investigating all aspects, in order to secure better results in the F1 season going forward.

Formula One teams try to discover the ideal balance between drag and downforce to create an efficient racing car. If they attempt to reduce the drag, downforce will also be reduced, so a balance must be found that creates more or the same amount of downforce while producing less drag.

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