McLaren’s ‘innovative’ hint on eagerly-anticipated MCL38 challenger

Michelle Foster
Rear view, McLaren MCL38.

Rear view, McLaren MCL38 livery.

McLaren’s 2024 car, the MCL38, will be an “innovative evolution” of last year’s MCL60, revealed team boss Andrea Stella.

Last year’s McLaren claimed the tag of the most improved team during the season as the team went from scoring 17 points in the first eight races to adding 285 in the last 14 following the introduction of a B-spec car.

At a time of budget caps which are alleged to hamper in-season progress, McLaren proved that’s not the case.

McLaren’s MCL38 billed as an ‘innovative evolution’

Finishing the championship with nine podiums and a Sprint race victory, McLaren are set to carry over some parts of the MCL60 into this year’s MCL38.

But declaring there has also been some “innovation”, Stella says some of the new-for-2024 changes may not be “clearly” noticeable.

“It will be an innovative evolution, I would say,” revealed the team principal.

“I think there will be some areas of the car that we’ll show that there’s been innovation, there’s been some steps compared to the MCL60.

“But very often in Formula 1, it’s much more about the incremental gains that you can share in all the areas of the car.

“So there will be some visible elements of almost discontinuity with the past.

“But for the bulk, most of the improvement from an aerodynamic efficiency point of view, mechanical grip, interaction with the tyres, it will come from many details that not necessarily will be so clearly visible.” recommends

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McLaren admits results also dependent on rivals’ improvements

Along with the late-year completion of McLaren’s heavily upgraded wind tunnel, the team also has a few new faces, most notably Rob Marshall and David Sanchez who joined the team from Red Bull and Ferrari respectively.

Bolstering the team’s technical department, Stella is confident McLaren are in a “good place” to bring in the results this season.

He, however, accepts McLaren won’t know for sure until they see what their rivals bring to the track.

“The investment of resources is ultimately to put McLaren in a condition to keep the gradient of development that we established last year that led to the development in Austria, Singapore,” he said.

“We needed to make sure that we are not plateauing now, that we keep these gradients of development. This is what we seem to have been able to do so far.

“And you do have to have these investments in human resources, in infrastructure, and then you need to keep investing on continuing developing your know-how

“On all these elements I think McLaren is in a good place so hopefully this will be rewarded by results. But results will also depend on what our competitors have been able to do.

“So for us, it will be important to see that we’ve been able to deliver according to our objectives.

“First of all, in terms of performance, but also improving some of the operations that [were] definitely highlighted based on the 2023 season. And then we will see on the track where we are in relative terms based on what our competitors have done.”

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