Is McLaren revealing secrets in 2022 car photo?

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The angle of the photo keeps us from seeing a whole lot of the new design, but there are still clues to another design that we can dig deeper into. These may already reveal a little more about the design of the new McLaren and how the team approaches the new rules.

What is immediately noticeable is that the design of the roll bar and air inlet are almost identical to last season’s design. These are again provided with two support pieces in the middle of the whole. The design at the top is narrowed here. We also see the shape, position and air intake of the sidepods. These appear to be positioned lower than last year, which is in line with expectations. The decision for this design change is largely due to the revised technical regulations, which change the dimensions of the body and especially the position of the Side Impact Protection Spars. [een geavanceerd beschermingssysteem dat zijwaartse klappen absorbeert] should now be higher than in previous seasons.

This means that last season’s high intake position, which was introduced by Ferrari in 2017, is much more difficult to achieve. Moreover, that high position would also be less effective due to the changed airflow. Because the front of the car changes drastically, the airflow to the sidepods is logically also different.

At the front of the photo we also see that the chassis not only slopes downwards, but also tapers inwards. This is similar to the 2022 chassis predecessors and suggests McLaren wants to keep the sleek nose design. Of course, that design has been adapted to comply with the new regulations, especially when it comes to the height of the nose and the elements of the front wing.

It is also suggested that teams will again use a tie-rod suspension at the front of the car in 2022. This is due to a number of factors, including the change in suspension geometry. The extensions used in the last seasons are now banned. This has consequences for the position of the suspension arms and therefore also for the airflow towards the inlet of the sidepod, which, as mentioned, will be placed lower.

Due to the new 18-inch wheels and tires with a lower sidewall, the suspension will be loaded differently from 2022. This can be a small advantage for the center of gravity and so a drawbar can be considered, as it puts the weight at a lower point in the chassis. McLaren used a tie-rod front suspension on the McLaren MP4/28 in 2013. It was an imitation of the design Ferrari had applied to the Ferrari F2012 a year earlier. Ferrari continued to use this design until 2015, while McLaren opted to go back to a pushrod a season before that. It will be interesting to see if either team dares to try this again.

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