Friday, February 15, 2008


McLaren, who are desperate to wrestle back the Constructors’ title and Driver’s title from arch-rivals Ferrari, took the plaudits for sending out their 2008 MP4 model with a new set of front rims in Jerez, Spain yesterday.

The team decided to try out an extended front rim shield design which the McLaren engineers have been working on for the past few months.

Quite a few of the other teams have attempted to launch their own versions of front shields last season with the primary purpose of directing the hot airflow generated under braking away from the wheels and underneath the car but none were successful. McLaren’s latest front rim design looks way more complex than any of those seen before and if successful, the new component will be fitted onto the MP4 and used for the entire 2008 season.

The MP4-23’s latest shield design features a new section that extends forward to form a kind of fairing that sits parallel to the tyre sidewall.

Another part of the MP4 that McLaren is trying to improve this year is the car’s rear wing positioning. The engine air intake has been fitted further behind the headset to improve the quality of air directed to the rear wing. Whether or not it will be used when the first race day flags off in Australia is still undecided.

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