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McLaren Admits Early ’22 Failure

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Posted on September 29, 2022 Tags:



McLaren teamed up with primary partner OKX to create this bespoke Feature Mode livery for the Singapore and Japanese Grand Prix, featuring the MCL36’s Fluro Papaya colourway with neon pink embellishments and dynamic, cyberpunk-inspired engine illustrations.

W Series Back with a Vengeance

Images courtesy McLaren.com, Pirelli.com

INTERESTING TO READ McLaren’s admission that it’s been on the backfoot through much of 2022 after brake problems wrecked its final test early March and left it near the tail end for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Such a shame McLaren didn’t cough up to this publicly considering the massive damage done to Daniel Ricciardo’s reputation throughout this year.

But the 33-year-old is one seriously cool character, and he has weathered his recent storm in his own inimical style, with carefully crafted panache.

And in getting on top of those initial problems in March McLaren had to divert resources away from other key performance areas, to not lose too much ground against main rival Alpine.

No doubt I’ll be corrected if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall the big Mac’s CEO Zak Brown speaking about this in defence of Daniel Ricciardo as the 33-year-old struggled through months of interrogation – quite likely the most stressful time of his career.

Sure teammate Lando Norris has driven his car with much greater success than Daniel has his. But are the two McLarens identical? I don’t know that.

And it just happens that this weekend in Singapore McLaren’s new upgrade package includes a new floor and sidepods, with Norris getting priority on it with Daniel believing he’ll take delivery of the upgrades next up in Japan!

But Daniel’s Happy to be Back in Singapore

Singapore F1 GP
Singapore Island State

“Singapore, it’s good to be back! The atmosphere should be electric with the return of night racing in Asia.

“We’re celebrating the return with a bespoke OKX livery, which will look ace under the lights!

“I’ve had some good weekends in Singapore with podiums in the past and I’m looking forward to the challenge the Marina Bay Street Circuit provides both physically and mentally. It’s an intense weekend and you have to be on it but that’s all part of the fun.”


“If I were his manager, he’d be racing!”

SEVEN-TIME world F1 world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton was keen to have his opinion on Daniel noted:

“I think he should be racing. He’s far too talented, and he’s earned the right to be amongst us racing. And if I were managing Daniel, he’d be racing!”

Meanwhile young Oscar Piastri is full of praise for his fellow Aussie after receiving an encouraging phone call from Daniel at the height of the drama.

“That was a really great thing, for Daniel to get in touch. I was planning on getting in touch myself and was trying to think what to say, but he beat me to it. A true professional, Daniel is. My respect for him was already extremely high, and it’s only gotten higher in the way he’s responded.”

Knowing the relationship between the two of them was intact and not fractured relieved a heavy toll from his shoulders, he added.


Teams at the Front more than a Second Quicker

Asked this week if the current MCL36 concept would be carried over next season or the team would keep things similar, McLaren boss Andreas Seidl said: “I think it’s a mix.

“With the technical regulations staying pretty much the same as well, it’s pretty clear it will not be a total revolution.

“But, at the same time, acknowledging that the teams in front are running more than a second quicker, it’s also clear that we are aiming for big steps in terms of development.”

On the other hand McLaren technical director James Key has no doubts that to enjoy a successful season in F1 starting the year with a good car is vital, because trying to attack when you are behind expends too much resource.

“I think the standards that we’ve seen within the top three teams show what you’ve got to be able to achieve,” he told the McLaren website, reflecting on the upgrade philosophy.

“If you start the season with a competitive car, you can adapt your development plans from there and do less than what we have done, whilst being more focused on the areas that you feel will be the most prolific.

“That’s where we want to be next year, as we wouldn’t be able to maintain this aggressive level of development because it’s full on. We can learn a lot from this year, and the team have done a great job to achieve what they have.”

While the team is focused on a big step for 2023, it is still planning to bring some further refinements to its 2022 car before the end of the year.

Just such a crying shame they didn’t start the year with a “good” car!

It’s all about Slow Corners – all 23 0f them!

“With completely different tyres to last time in Singapore, it’s almost like a totally new race.

“We’ve really missed the spectacular night action of Singapore’s streets!

“With 18-inch tyres that have a completely different compound and structure compared to the ones used three years ago – as well as new asphalt this year – it’s almost like a totally new race.

“Singapore is all about slow corners – all 23 of them – and maximising traction.

“We’ve got the three softest compounds for maximum speed and grip but looking after the rear tyres to ensure the drive needed will be key.

“With the tendency of the latest cars to understeer, it will be even more important to find the right set-up balance to ensure a strong front end without compromising acceleration at the rear.”

The Boots for Singapore

For the first time since Austria, Pirelli has chosen the three softest compounds for Singapore: The P Zero White hard C3, Yellow medium C4, and Red soft C5. Chosen, says Pirelli F1 guru Mario Isola, to match the typical street circuit characteristics of the Marina Bay track, ensuring high levels of mechanical grip.

             There’s some new asphalt for Singapore this year, laid by Italian firm Dromo. This isn’t as smooth as the asphalt usually seen on street circuits, having been put down with a view to the grand prix.

•             As a street circuit, the Marina Bay track is used by normal road trafficand the surface contains ‘street furniture’ such as white lines and manhole covers.

    A high degree of track evolution is expected because there are fewer support races scheduled, which normally would help to lay down rubber.

Singapore

With the race starting at 8pm AWST and continuing for about two hours, track temperatures are generally stable for most of the race, while high humidity levels provide a huge physical challenge for the drivers, the cars and also for the tyres, with thermal degradation.

Add the thunderstorms predicted Sunday and a brutal 30C forecast for race time, it’ll be a testing time for drivers – and crews!


W Series Primed and Ready to Fire

W Series is all fired up to support F1 in Singapore this weekend for its first-ever race in Asia, where reigning double champion Jamie Chadwick, pictured, (Jenner Racing #24) favourite to win her third consecutive title.

The Briton has won five of the six races so far in 2022, her run of victories finally ended by compatriot Alice Powell (Click2Drive Bristol Street Motors Racing #29) last up in Hungary July 30. Jamie’s runner-up finish gives her a 75-point lead over Alice and Holland’s Beitske Visser (Sirin Racing #27) with four races remaining and a maximum of 100 points to be won.

If Jamie finishes higher than Alice, Beitske and another Brit Abbi Pulling (Racing X #19) – who is a further three points adrift in the standings – this weekend, then title number three will be hers.

All 18 W Series drivers are eager to begin this final flurry of races with a strong result, with only Philippines racer Bianca Bustamante (W Series Academy #17) during her karting career has previously driven at Marina Bay, and that was not on the full circuit.

Following a nine-week break – the longest mid-season gap between races in W Series’ history – the event at Marina Bay kick-starts a sprint to the finish, with four races at three events across five weekends in October.

From Singapore, W Series heads to Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, Texas, October 22-23 before the season-ending double-header the following week at Mexico’s Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.


Perth Racer in Barcelona  

Jordan Love and teammates Jannes Fittje and Alain Valente are in Spain this weekend at the iconic 4.6km Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the final round of the 2022 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup.

The #4 Haupt Racing Team take their magnificent Mercedes-AMG GT3 ll into Sunday’s race – with a confirmed field of 49 cars – sitting 8th in the Silver Cup Drivers Championship.

“The season so far has been filled with many highs and lows, but I’m determined to finish the season at Barcelona on a high. Having experienced the circuit before gives me the opportunity to push from the get-go and focus on getting the best out of the car.” – Jordan Love, Perth racer.

•             Beginning at 9pm AWST Sunday, you can watch the three-hour race here https://www.gt-world-challenge-europe.com

Aston Martin for F2 Ace

2022 Formula 2 Champion Felipe Drugovich has joined Aston Martin F1 Driver Development Programme. The team has confirmed the Brazilian will replace Lance Stroll in FP1 (free practice) for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November. Felipe is the latest F2 driver to join F1, following in the footsteps of Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Nyck de Vries and Oscar Piastri.

World Rally Championship

Rally New Zealand, exclusively equipped by Pirelli, is another event returning to action after a prolonged absence, having last been held at world level in 2012.

Formula 3

The official post-season F3 test took place at Jerez in Spain last week for three days, with 16 new drivers lining up alongside 14 established names. The teams used Pirelli’s P Zero White hard tyres, with each car allocated eight new sets alongside three sets of the wet compound

EDITED by AC

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