McLaren’s chief executive Zak Brown says its ongoing performance issues with its Formula 1 car don’t “show up in the wind tunnel” which is forcing countermeasures to be taken during race weekends.

Since splitting from Honda at the end of 2017 to take on Renault engines, McLaren’s resurgence has somewhat stalled this season, typified by its underwhelming qualifying performance for the French Grand Prix where both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne dropped out in Q1.

Marking its worst qualifying result since last year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix during its Honda troubles, McLaren remain confident its MCL33 remains a far more potent package in race trim but Brown concedes aerodynamic issues suffered since the start of the season which remained unidentified by wind tunnel testing. McLaren currently uses Toyota’s purpose-built wind tunnel in Cologne.

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“I think we have identified the areas in which we have problems in aerodynamics,” Brown said. “It’s something that doesn’t show up in the wind tunnel therefore we can’t try and solve it in the wind tunnel because we can’t replicate the issue or issues in the wind tunnel. So we have to try and fix the issues at the race track.

“I think you could see that we were running different configuration wings this weekend, different floors, and unfortunately we having to test and experiment at the race track. While most other teams are now on their development path and their base programme is working for them, we are having to identify and solve these issues. We know what we are chasing but what we don’t obviously have yet is the solution in place.

“I think the Toyota wind tunnel is fine, I completely agree with you on that, it’s not a wind tunnel issue. The characteristic of the race car because you can’t simulate everything in the wind tunnel and what we’ve identified as the areas of weakness simply doesn’t show up in the wind tunnel.”

McLaren is hopeful of recovering its midfield fight in 2018 having recently reshuffled its technical team with Tim Goss removed as chief technical officer back in April.

The Woking-based team were forced to shrug off suggestions of inner-team disputes when a report in the Daily Mail described the atmosphere in the team as “toxic” with team members rewarded with Freddo chocolate bars.

Brown also moved to quelled any further speculation on the matter.

“I think it’s a very small group of individuals or an individual. We are very engaged with our team and the staff and it is by no means representative of the wider group at McLaren,” he said. “I have seen many teams go through tough times and I can assure you that McLaren can rise above it all.

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