McLaren MCL36 Technical Analysis

McLaren MCL36 Technical Analysis

McLaren has unveiled the MCL36, the 2022 single-seater with which it hopes to take another step toward reclaiming its rightful place among Formula 1’s greats.

McLaren’s new MCL36 is already on the market.

And, as was the case with Aston Martin and its AMR22, the Woking-based team was kind enough to show us their actual vehicle, albeit certain details will remain hidden until pre-season starts.

Regardless, we are already seeing that, although the new technical restrictions limit innovation compared to prior seasons, they still enable teams to interpret items critical to the car’s performance differently.

The MCL36 compared to the Formula 1 scale model.

This year, at least for the time being, that region is the pontoons and floor of the vehicle, which McLaren and Aston Martin interpret somewhat differently. This and many other things that the new MCL36 with a Mercedes engine has left us will be revealed.

Weight Loss

If the Formula 1 cars of 2022 have a weakness, it is surely their weight, which is already approaching 800 kg due to increased tire size and chassis safety, among other factors.

As a consequence, we must make every effort to lighten the automobile, which includes removing any unnecessary stuff.

A prominent illustration of this is the nose of the MCL36, which, like the AMR22, opts for a very thin form (2) and a very short tip (1).

Additionally, this enables for the greatest amount of aerodynamic flow to be directed towards the lowest portion of the floor and the pontoons, since the key this year is in the ground effect and the ability to feed the huge diffuser on this new vehicle to its fullest capacity.

Similarly, as with the Aston Martin, the lower primary plane is hung above the higher one.

The nose is much shorter and narrower than that of the official model.

Additionally, we can see the front wheel’s aerodynamic hubcaps (4), which were previously forbidden from Formula 1.

As we return to the Aston Martin AMR22, we notice significant variances, as the MCL36 has a pull-rod suspension (3) and entirely new sidepods.

McLaren foregoes the pontoon base’s undercut in favor of a fully straight wall and more elongated and rounder air intakes (pink lines).

It is a less radical design that will eventually impact the forms of the pontoons’ midsection and ends.

The McLaren pontoons are similar to those of 2021.

Additionally, we can observe a feature that is not entirely novel, such as the lower deflector positioned in the brake casing (6), which was not included in the Aston Martin but was present in the official Formula 1 model.

The earth’s surface and its lower channel

The centre and rear sections of this new automobile are unquestionably critical to its performance, since ground effect replaces wings as the primary source of downforce.

The aerodynamic concept of the McLaren moves away from the undercut of the base model and the Aston Martin AMR22.

The centre picture of the three-way combo seen above demonstrates how the MCL36 maintains a similar attitude to past seasons, eschewing the AMR22’s very noticeable lower channel (also known as double bottom). The pontoon is not hanging in the air in this example, yet the lower channel feeding the diffuser is plainly seen in the contour of the ground (7).

View from the side shows the form created by the bottom channel, which provides ground effect and supplies the diffuser under the ground.This proposal adds additional base to the pontoon but decreases the section in the top half, reducing the center of gravity and increasing the width of the engine cover’s rear section, which allows for efficient hot air extraction from the interior (8).

A completely different approach from Aston Martin’s, which opted for longitudinal grilles or gills in the pontoon’s top section.

This chart illustrates how the McLaren MCL36 has evolved from its predecessor.Surely, once the vehicle touches the track for the first time, there will be much to witness from McLaren.

Unsurprisingly, the team has already revealed that the first race in Bahrain would feature a new aerodynamic kit.

However, elements are already visible that reveal a discrepancy in design in some locations.

Which one will be the most prosperous?