As the high-octane world of professional car racing gets ready for the highly anticipated Austrian Grand Prix this weekend, McLaren has unveiled the first part of its new upgrade package in the hopes of rejuvenating their season.
Andrea Stella, McLaren’s Team Principal, framed this moment as “an opportunity to ‘turn around’” after their challenging start to the 2023 campaign.
Despite their optimistic pre-season projections, McLaren didn’t manage to meet their targets and has to date only scored 17 points from eight races, leaving them in sixth place in the constructors’ standings.
However, things are looking brighter for McLaren. Following some promising developments at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the team is set to bring a raft of updates over the coming three races. This weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring is pegged to feature the first of these much-awaited improvements.
In the lead-up to the event, which also includes the season’s second ‘Sprint’, Stella expressed confidence in the forthcoming upgrades.
He expressed optimism at the transformative potential of the upgrades. “Ultimately for us it is a milestone in terms of possibly turning around the season, not only thanks to what we bring to Austria but also what will follow in the next races. Our focus then will not be the characteristics of the track but on the car itself.”
The Team Principal further elaborated that about half of the new upgrade package will be released this weekend in Austria, defining it as the “most consistent”, with the rest rolled out in 25% increments between Spielberg, Silverstone, and Hungaroring events. “These should be a few tenths of a second [that] should be noticeable from a lap time point of view,” he said.
Interestingly, the Austrian Grand Prix has proven fertile ground for McLaren in the past. The team has had double points finishes in the last four events, and chalked up podiums with Lando Norris in the 2020 and 2021 seasons. This bodes well for McLaren as they look to leverage their upcoming car upgrades to reverse a less than optimal start to their 2023 campaign.