McLaren make the most upgrades as teams prepare for Spa difficulties

Sam Cooper
Lando Norris's McLaren goes beyond track limits. Hungaroring July 2022.

McLaren have made a total of eight upgrades to their car as they look to turn attention back to on-track matters.

In the week in which they announced Daniel Ricciardo will not be racing with them past the end of the 2022 season, McLaren have made the most upgrades of any team to their car.

Many of the teams have opted for just circuit-specific changes given Spa’s high-speed nature which results in a need to produce less drag.

Here are all the upgrades made by all 10 teams ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend:

Red Bull

Just the two changes for Red Bull as they have what they describe as “mildly reprofiled sidepods” which have been altered to gain cooling range with reduced consequences when opened.

The other upgrade is to the rear suspension with a reprofiled shroud to reduce the local aerodynamic losses downstream.

Ferrari

Ferrari make the same amount of changes as their title rivals with the rear wing being redesigned for the Spa circuit to produce lower downforce and that has also occurred on the beam wing.

Mercedes

Mercedes have made a change to both their front and rear wing with reprofiled wing tip elements added to the front which will improve flow and reduce pressure peaks. On the rear, reprofiled flap and wing tips will lower wing load in which they say is appropriate for the Spa circuit.

Two changes have also been made to the floor with the fence alignment being readjusted to improve the flow that feeds into the floor vortex system and improve downforce. A new floor edge wing with reduced chord will improve the flow into the the diffuser and increase downforce.

Alpine

Two changes for Alpine with the brake duct inlet on the rear corner improved to boost the air flow around the rear corner of the car which will help the flow to the rear wing.

The final change is several minor changes to the floor fence geometry which will improve flow conditioning by moving the wake more outboard and improve aero performance further down the car.

McLaren

McLaren have brought a raft of upgrades with a total of eight changes as they hope to turn attention back to on-track matters.

The diffuser has been modified to improve aerodynamic performance while a lower drag ring wing has been brought just for the Spa circuit.

That change is one of five made specially for the race in Belgium with the beam wing and rear corner also changed to a lower drag model.

McLaren have also fitted a smaller lower cooling bodywork which they say will reduce cooling capacity and improve aerodynamic performance. The final track-specific change is the addition of multiple blanking panels to suit the low cooling bodywork.

Additionally on the rear corner a winglet has been added to improve local flow and aerodynamic load and the front suspension has been revised to be aligned better with the local flow.

Alfa Romeo

Alfa, who have announced they will not be continuing their partnership with Sauber past 2023, make two changes with one to the front wing and one to the rear wing.

The new front wing will allow the team to rebalance low drag rear wing level and the redesigned rear wing will provide a low-drag option that will suit the circuit.

Haas

Haas also make two changes with trimmed brake duct winglets on the rear corner which reduce drag and the beam wing has also been trimmed to reduce drag in what Haas described as “a cost efficient manner.”

AlphaTauri

Of AlphaTauri’s four upgrades, two of them are circuit specific and two of them are more long term.

The long term changes are the incidence of the lower wishbone shroud has been adjusted to work better with the change in bodywork introduced in France.

The other change is the upper cascade of winglets on the rear brake duct have been reprofiled and the number of elements has been increased. Alpine say this will have a positive impact on the control of the flow around the rear tyres and provides increased local load.

The circuit-specific upgrades are on the rear wing and the beam wing which have both been modified to produce less drag at the cost of less downforce.

Aston Martin

Only two upgrades for Aston Martin with both of them being specific to the Spa circuit. The front wing has a new flap which reduces the chord of the final element with associated reprofiling to achieve lower aero balances.

The rear wing also has a shorter chord flap to allow the car setup to be optimised for the characteristics of the circuit.

Williams

Williams make three circuit-specific changes with all of them concerning the wings. The front wing has a trim to the wing flap trailing edge to reduce front downforce.

The beam wing has is a smaller single element which also lowers drag and the rear wing has trims to the flap element of the upper rear wing to achieve the same effect.