Stella dismisses concern about McLaren’s Baku upgrades
It will be “relatively easy” for McLaren to bring their long-awaited Formula 1 upgrade package to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, despite it being a Sprint event, according to Andrea Stella.
The team identified a new development path late in the design of their MCL60, opting to lower expectations for the first three races while the floor parts were developed in time for Baku.
However, as the Grand Prix weekend will feature a Sprint event, there will be just one hour of practice before qualifying and cars heading into parc ferme, as opposed to the three hours on a normal race weekend.
In addition, there is also a second race start to get through, with contact on the opening lap in Baku common as cars battle for position.
Despite this, Stella is confident that the upgrades will be applied seamlessly.
Stella on McLaren upgrades
“If there’s no anomalous behaviours, then it is relatively easy [to bring upgrades on a Sprint weekend], because in modern Formula 1, you have the data,” Stella explained to media, including RacingNews365.com.
“You can read the aerodynamic performance through the forces that you measure and through the pressure map around the car to the dozens of pressure sensors.
“We are not too worried in assessing whether it is positive or not unless there are some anomalies, but the cars have proven to be correlating well with the development.
“That is why we decided to introduce it even if it is a Sprint race.”
Stella also backed the new format for Sprint races, with a standalone qualifying session set to be approved to set the grid for the Sprint, which will now have no impact over the main Grand Prix.
“We support what F1 are trying to achieve, we support making Saturday even more exciting and with more racing content, compared to simply having the Free Practice 2 session where you have cars running around, but we don’t think that’s a very useful session – so we are supportive.”