Formula 1 news | Gary Anderson lashes McLaren for fundamental failure in F1 test, Oscar Piastri drive
A fundamental failure by McLaren in pre-season testing has been branded a ‘cock-up’ and a major setback for the team.
The comments have come from ex-Formula 1 designer Gary Anderson, who was a mechanic at McLaren in the 1970s.
Pre-season testing is the time to iron out gremlins, but the team spent much of it drying glue on its winglets.
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Across three days of testing, McLaren completed the fewest laps of any team at the Sakhir circuit.
Their meagre 312 laps paled in comparison to AlphaTauri’s whopping 456 laps, equivalent to competing the forthcoming Bahrain Grand Prix eight times.
“I think you could say that this was the only team in the pitlane that had problems that it shouldn’t have had,” wrote Anderson for The Race.
“We have only had three days of pre-season testing and the most important thing was to be out there trying to understand your car as much as possible as it’s just after this test you will need to define the development update direction.
“No matter if the car met the winter objectives or not, the fact it sat in the garage on numerous occasions with heat guns drying glue on the front tyre mudguard section was simply a design and operational cock-up.
“I have been there and suffered the pain of a problem that couldn’t be fixed quickly but that was a long time ago – the problems McLaren is having shouldn’t happen with today’s technology and processes.”
Anderson questioned McLaren’s spread of categories it is committed to.
In recent years, the team has expanded into the IndyCar Series with the acquisition of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
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The team replaced Mercedes in Formula E this year, acquiring some of its assets in the process.
McLaren also joined the Extreme E off-road series.
“Perhaps it’s time for McLaren to narrow its focus,” Anderson continued.
“Lately, it seems to be dipping its toe in any formula that has wheels on it.”
McLaren has been open about the new MCL60 and its shortcomings.
New team principal Andreas Seidl said he is “not entirely happy” with the car but confirmed developments will come as the season progresses.
In the meantime, its young driver pairing of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri may have to make do.
“To me, Lando Norris’s body language didn’t look like that of a happy camper – you could see the frustration in his actions and his eyes,” Anderson wrote.
“For Oscar Piastri it’s too early for him to stamp his foot but Mark Webber – his manager and mentor, who has seen and experienced it all before – will be kicking some butts at the back of the garage.”
A major milestone will be the completion of its new wind tunnel, which if ready this year will give the team much-needed development time for its 2024 car.
The Formula 1 season gets underway on Mach 6 with the Bahrain Grand Prix at 2am.
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