McLaren "not entirely happy" with launch-spec F1 2023 car

New McLaren boss Andrea Stella says the team are “not entirely happy” with their 2023 F1 car but is hopeful early-season developments will bring “a good step”. 

The British squad unveiled their MCL60 challenger at their McLaren Technology Centre headquarters on Monday to kick-start a busy week of F1 car launches ahead of the new season. 

While team principal Stella said McLaren have addressed most of their targeted areas for improvement, he admitted some elements of their 2023 car were not fully capitalised after the team “realised a little late into the development some really strong directions”. 

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Addressing media at the MTC including, Stella said: “We have to say that assessing our performance last year and looking at competitors, we identified multiple areas of opportunities. 

“The good news is that pretty much all of them have been addressed. I wouldn’t want to be too specific, but certainly they have to do predominantly with the aerodynamics. 

“Aerodynamics is the name of the game in F1, so no mystery. But there’s some areas, for instance, interaction with the tyres, there’s some work that we needed to do and this was done over the winter. 

“There’s some areas of the car that will be interested by development in the early stage of the season. We are happy - not entirely happy for what is the launch car - but optimistic that it should take a good step soon.”


McLaren head into 2023 looking to claw back fourth spot in the constructors’ championship from rivals Alpine in a bid to re-establish themselves at the top of F1’s tightly-contested midfield. 

Stella conceded missed development opportunities may end up costing McLaren at the start of the campaign, but revealed the team are aiming to bring upgrades “that may coincide with race four” - the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on April 30. 

“It’s always difficult to translate what you see over the winter in terms of development into where you’re going to be in terms of pecking order,” he explained. 

“But, we try to relate this to ourselves and, as I said before, I think while we are happy with the development of the car in most of the areas, there is some areas which we realised a little late into the development some really strong directions.

“So, not necessarily we will be able to capitalise these directions in the very short term, and that’s why I also talk about the developments coming just after the start of the season. 

“So in this sense, I just invoke realism. In a way, it’s more relative to ourselves but it’s such a competitive game that I would be surprised if – normally you need to be totally happy and totally at the top of what you can do to achieve your targets let’s say – that’s why we talk about realism."

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