Nothing McLaren have ‘missed’ judging by AMR22

Michelle Foster
The McLaren MCL36 from above.

A view of the McLaren MCL36 from above. February 2022.

Having seen the Aston Martin AMR22, McLaren technical director James Key says it doesn’t look to him as if there is any innovation that his team has “missed”.

Although several teams have launched their 2022 cars, only Aston Martin and McLaren have unveiled real cars, Aston Martin’s launch taking place the day before McLaren’s.

As to be expected the teams have scrutinised what they have seen, which is one of the reasons Red Bull gave for not showing their car but rather an updated version of the FIA’s show car.

It is clear to see that McLaren and Aston Martin have interpreted the new regulations differently so much so that McLaren have gone with an unconventional suspension system for their MCL36, using a pull-rod front suspension and a push-rod rear.

But while Key has conceded that only time will tell if McLaren, so far the only team to adopt that approach, have got it “really, really right or…”, he says there is nothing he’s seen on the Aston Martin that has McLaren scrambling to copy it.

“With regards to Aston Martin,” he said as per, “it’s interesting to see a real car and slightly different philosophy in some areas.

“I suspect we’ll see that spotted across the whole grid with different interpretations. But we didn’t spot anything that was new to us. I think it does look different to our car, but nothing that we felt we’d missed.

“We’ll have to see how these performance levels drop out and where the trends go, it’s good to see a bit of diversity already in that respect. But nothing that really stood out to something new at stage anyway.”

Speaking about the design of McLaren’s 2022 challenger, which will be raced by Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, the Briton says the team took some “risks”.

With McLaren fourth in last year’s Constructors’ Championship and eager to get involved in the fight at the front for the titles, he feels it is risks that are worth taking.

He explained: “It is interesting to see what others come out with but certainly we took risks.

“We haven’t made life easier for yourself just by going for the easier options in some areas where we felt there was potential. So we’ve taken, we follow our own noses.

“We haven’t been influenced by anything else. And I think, it’s definitely some difficult designs on the car, which I guess we did for good reason. They’ll become more obvious when images of the car more readily available in winter testing. So I think, in that respect, we’ve got some some work on the track to prove that all works mechanically as well as aerodynamically.

“But I’m glad we did that because we wanted to come up with a platform we felt we could develop around and gave plenty of potential rather than just being good on the day it needs to happen as future proofed as possible.


“That’s some of the risks we’ve taken in a way is to try and build things in which perhaps they don’t feel right to begin with, but you know in future will offer up new opportunities where we develop in the car.”


PlanetF1 Verdict


Nothing McLaren have 'missed' judging by the AMR22

James Key believes that after seeing the AMR22, McLaren haven't missed anything on their car.