McLaren and Ferrari discuss about the upgrades planned in the second half of F1 2021, which will certainly heat up the fight for third in the standings.
For McLaren, it’s been a great 2021 F1 season so far, where Lando Norris is currently the best of the rest in the drivers’ standings. His points and some contribution from Daniel Ricciardo has helped the team to be tied for third in the constructors’ standings as of now, with Ferrari on 163 points.
Despite some points losses, Ferrari has edged closer due to podiums for both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc. With 2022 regulation changes coming quicker than ever, the upgrades situation on the 2021 machine will slowly end. In fact, McLaren introduced some upgrades in Hungary and they will have some more to come albeit only refinement.
They are unlikely to bring anything fresh on board. But when it comes to the upgrades, regardless of the part, there is much more to it that meets the eye. Andrea Stella explained briefly the upgrades they had Hungary and added on some of the intricacies McLaren will face with the new additions.
“We do have some upgrades here in Hungary, they will not be the last upgrades of the season simply because when you release upgrades then it takes some you know time to produce them and learn the track side,” said Stella to media including FormulaRapida.net. “So there will be a few more [in the second half].
“Also, in F1, you always keep acquiring some information once you test the parts track side because you never get a perfect correlation with the development tools. So, once you test some upgrades track side, you normally get information for further fine tuning which doesn’t necessarily require to go past the wind tunnel.
“You simply can adapt based on some runs in CFD for example associated with what we’ve learnt testing parts trackside. So, the upgrade in Hungary is not the last one there will be some more tweaks that will be tested in future races nothing major but some further will come yes,” summed up Stella.
In a nutshell, with upgrades, it is the proverbial “baby-steps” process which McLaren will encounter. As per above, in a third place battle with Ferrari and if these tweaks do work then the battle will become interesting to say the least.
Going into the second part of the season, Ferrari are not to sit idle too, the Maranello side are bringing some power unit developments, which they were holding up since the start of the season, where they did not push all in, as most of their rivals.
“We will bring power unit developments,” said Mattia Binotto to written medai. “Just to clarify what the regulations are in 2021: you may have a brand new power unit in 2021. It means that you may bring an update in all the components of the power unit, whatever it is ICE, turbo, MGU-H, batteries, MGU-K, etc.
“But what we did at the start of the season, we didn’t complete the entire power unit. So there are still components which are the ones of last year. And we will bring an evolution of those ones. So, I think, that will be for us a significant step for the end of the season.”
Very thorough explanation which can only be a plus from Belgium onward against McLaren, even though, they are behind Mercedes and Honda in terms of power. Over half a second at least and on a circuit like Spa, it could be quite significant for Ferrari’s end result.
“It will be a difficult race for us, because we are seven tenths short of the best and most of these tenths, at least 60 per cent, comes from the engine,” stated Binotto. “We lack this compared to the best and therefore we consider ourselves to be behind Mercedes and Honda to date. On a track like Belgium, if you look at our simulations, it’s a track where the engine matters a lot and on a qualifying lap I think the difference will be significant.”
The engine does and will matter quite significantly and this might be good timing for them to bring the power unit developments – although they will certainly have to take penalties after damage sustained, but the battled between Ferrari and McLaren, is far from over.
The story was written by Neil Farrell
Here’s Jock Clear on F1 podcast about Ferrari
Here’s Daniel Ricciardo, Andreas Seidl on chassis swap
Here’s Andrea Stella detailing on their car’s strenghs/weaknesses and more
Here’s Lando Norris on having the best run of his career