McLaren MCL38 Season Start

McLaren MCL38: A Leap Forward or Stale Start?


In the wake of last year’s challenges, McLaren’s MCL38 debuts with high hopes and extensive improvements, aiming for immediate impact in Bahrain.

Will the MCL38 be competitive from the get-go at Bahrain this season?

Andrea Stella, the Woking team’s boss, isn’t entirely sure. What is certain, however, is that the MCL38 marks a significant step forward from its predecessor.

Despite regulatory stability, McLaren has refined every aspect of the car, Stella asserts today.

“I’m trying to think of any part of the car we haven’t worked on to improve.”

“The answer is… practically nowhere.”

“In fact, we’re aiming to enhance every aspect of the car. It would be far more challenging not to improve a particular area of the car – rather than letting development naturally progress.”

“By doing so, we can enhance the car’s overall performance, including its mechanical aspects, and improve the general architecture in terms of component installation. We’ve aimed to better the balance and interaction with the tires.”

McLaren has thus worked on every area of the car, but were there any particular priorities during the winter development?

McLaren Targets Weight, Aims for Performance

“We’re looking to shed weight, which affects nearly all parts of the car. We’re aware there will be some marginal improvements to the power unit – we say marginal because the engines are essentially frozen, but HPP (Mercedes) will be able to deliver some performance within the development limits set by the regulations. Improvements should come from all sectors of the car.”

Essentially, the work done this winter is a continuation of the highly effective series of updates received last year, Stella confirms.

“The development seems to be on a similar trajectory to what we had with the updates in Austria and Singapore.”

“However, when you’re working on developing a new car, you spend many months without being able to see the car’s performance on the track.”

“You do everything possible to ensure that, when the car does hit the track, it aligns as closely as possible with your development tools. So far, the signs are promising, but the real answers will come once we have the car on the track for pre-season testing.”

A more performant yet also more reliable McLaren?

McLaren has also focused on reliability this winter to avoid losing too many points on the road – like at the start of last year.

“I’m definitely pleased that we’ve made significant progress after a challenging start to 2023 in terms of reliability.”

McLaren’s Reliability Drive Strengthens Team Unity

“I’m satisfied, not because I’m looking at the outcomes, but because I’m looking at the work we’ve done on technical reliability, in particular. We’ve allocated more resources and efforts towards reliability.”

“We’re working on further developments concerning reliability, which we will continue into the future. We’ve also strengthened our team of reliability specialists.”

Beyond technical aspects, Stella has also ensured that every department works in close coordination – crucial in an era of interdependent parts and performance.

“We’re not just focusing on outcomes but on what leads to those outcomes and on the elements we control.”

“The standards we set and how we operate to produce the car must be as high as possible, all while emphasizing what matters most to us: collaboration and teamwork. If you lack a strong collaborative spirit, McLaren is not the place for you.”

“We’re committed to doing our best, working as a team. We’ll base our evaluation on our results to pinpoint where we need to continue to improve and where we need to accelerate the team’s development – that’s our philosophy.”

McLaren MCL38 Season Start. McLaren MCL38 Season Start

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