McLaren set for Spain changes

McLaren (4/6f –¬†Constructors’ Championship Outright) supremo Martin Whitmarsh has revealed the team is likely to use a new nose design at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix after testing the design at Mugello last week.

The Woking-based outfit had almost been alone in their decision to opt for a sloped nose at the start of the season, with the other team being Marussia, while the others had gone with a ‘step’ to keep the front section high.

It had not appeared to be too much of a hindrance as McLaren made a good start to the campaign, although the disappointment in Bahrain last time out, when the team fell nine points behind Red Bull, has appeared to have forced a rethink.

“There’s a reasonable chance we will see it,” Whitmarsh said.”We got a lot of feedback from Mugello, so we have the data to set it up and can find the performance on track.

“Classically, of course, you are looking for lower drag and higher downforce, but be aware that nowadays incremental improvements are generally modest.

“You are managing the airflow that is enjoyed by the rest of the car. Nowadays, in quite a critical part of the car, you are looking to find very small improvements.

“There are a lot of restrictions around the back end of the car, so you generate more improvement by managing the flow that arrives there than by developing the rear itself.”

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are still very much in contention in the drivers’ standings, lying in second and fourth respectively, and McLaren will be hoping that the anticipated changes get them back challenging at the front at the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend (Hamilton 3/1, Button 4/1 – Race Winner).

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