If you say the word McLaren, generally people think of a British team with two British drivers but can this all British line-up prove strong enough to give McLaren their first Constructor’s Championship Title since 1998?
One of the new rules enforced by the FIA in 2012 is that the nose cone assembly has to be lower than most teams have been running in the last two years. This is previously, in the event of a T-bone crash (where one car impacts another car from a 90 angle and where the point of contact between the cars is where the driver’s cockpit is positioned), the nose assembly would have been high enough to go into the cockpit and impact with the driver’s helmet. This could cause serious injury, if not death to the driver in question.
In order to comply with the safety regulations the nose cone assembly must be lower however aerodynamically, the car performs better with a higher chassis and driver’s cockpit. As a solution to this, most teams have attempted a ‘stepped-nose’ design which has been labelled as ‘ugly’ by many pundits, however McLaren have found a different way to combat this loss. They have gone for a curved nose structure which enables them to have the lower nose and the higher chassis.
Will McLaren gain an advantage by doing this? All will be revealed as the season begins in Melbourne on March 18th.