McLaren has rightly labeled Hungaroring as one of their biggest opportunities for a good result due to the Honda engine’s power deficit while aerodynamic changes helped them secure best result of 2017.
The Woking team has been working hard to improve their MCL32 despite the fact that the Honda engine development did not go well, and at Hungaroring, they continued the development started in Barcelona and Monaco, which has continued to a lesser extent in the upcoming races.
McLaren’s MCL32 is becoming more and more complex and the team adds more and more detail as their understanding is getting better and one of these details is the new six-element T-wing designed for the maximum downforce on a track where air resistance is not so important due to the lack of long straights.
The triple T-wings were seen for the first time in Monaco on the Force India and Renault cars, and McLaren added a slit on each of the three horizontal elements, creating a six element wing.
This wing can work harder at higher angles of attack and create more downforce because it is more difficult for airflow to deattach which creates more downforces (and more air resistance).
A small wing beneath the rear wing and behind the central exhaust pipe, which is 20 cm wide, is a new design for Hungary, not just with a shape that is more accentuated, but its position too.
The new wing is now shifted significantly behind, thanks to a longer carrier (marked orange) with the aim of better interaction with hot exhaust gases from the exhaust pipes due to which it is a different shape of the wings.
The wing almost does not have a side plate (only the minimal edges that connect the upper and lower elements) and the bracket is fastened to the upper element, minimizing the surface attached to it to minimize impact on aerodynamic efficiency.
McLaren started the season with a completely flat floor in front of the rear wheels, where many different slots were common, and during the season they gradually experimented with different solutions.
In Hungary, they used a 10-cm wide double wing that seeks to reduce the impact of turbulent rear wheels and the impact they have on the diffuser’s work, and the floor is partly curved at its edge (marked red) to better control the airflow coming from the front end and which travels further on the top and bottom of the floor.
Leading edge of the floor, under the main bargeboards (with Johnnie Walker label) – they now have six instead of four slots, and few races did not have slots at all, which only confirms that McLaren gradually adds complexity to its aerodynamic package.
Teams are struggling to isolate the airflow below the car from external turbulence, especially from the turbulence of rotating wheels that cause high air resistance and making the F1 car aero a real chaos.