McLaren will revisit extreme setup changes at the Russian Grand Prix after reverting to a more conventional approach in Singapore.
This year’s McLaren has been uncompetitive on a number of circuits, with a clear weakness being the amount of drag it creates that limits top speed. In Monza, Fernando Alonso said the team investigated a different approach in order to attempt to reduce drag, and after the Spaniard finished seventh on Sunday with the previous setup philosophy, the next race in Russia will see further work done.
“We are always trying to do the best we can to step forward,” sporting director Gil de Ferran said. “We are trying to bring a little bit of aero development every race but that’s not the only thing. We’re now exploring different spaces like Fernando said.
“In Monza we decided to take a completely different direction and it worked out well for that type of track and maybe we will explore a similar direction again in Russia. But the work hasn’t stopped. We are full-on on next year’s car but we come to every weekend trying to do a little bit better, fight for points and improve our position in the championship.”
McLaren has been making changes to its technical structure this season following the disappointment of the 2018 car, and while it is still waiting to see when James Key can start in the role of technical director, Pat Fry has returned as engineering director. However, de Ferran warns against expecting the former Ferrari man to have an instant impact.
“Pat has joined us a week and a half ago. Pat is somebody with a great deal of experience in Formula 1. Somebody that has been in McLaren for many years and we welcome his wisdom and experience, but to be quite honest with you this is very much a team effort.
“As you have probably heard me say before I believe there is a lot of talent throughout the team and I think Pat is a good edition, is a welcome edition, but it’s a team effort.”