Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022

McLaren expect ‘very high rate of development’ from next test

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In the round-up: McLaren’s technical director James Key downplays the team’s position in the pecking order after George Russell named them and Ferrari as the pace-setters in the opening test.

In brief

Key: “We can’t read anything into what we’re seeing at the moment”

Speaking on the final day of the opening test, Key said it was too soon to judge whether Russell’s assessment was correct.

“It’s nice to hear that from Mercedes of all people, obviously, but I honestly think we can’t read anything into what we’re seeing at the moment,” said Key. “I think there’s a whole plethora of different types of tests going on.

“These are launch spec cars and the development rates are going to be very high at this time of year. So no doubt we’re going to see developments coming along anyway for the next test, the next race.”

Key said the test had “gone okay” for McLaren. “The important thing for us is it’s been a productive test so far. We’ve got through a lot of test items and programmes, have measurements, they’re the sort of things you need to do with something fresh and new to us.

“But the pecking order, I think, is extremely difficult to establish right now,” he reinforced. “And to be honest, we haven’t really been looking at that. It’s more a case, I think everyone should be focussed on themselves and that certainly as a team what we’re doing.”

One Formula 3 seat left unconfirmed before first day of testing

Following the signing of Nazim Azman to Hitech and Enzo Trulli to Carlin, only one space remains open on the 2022 Formula 3 grid for 2022. Pre-season testing for the championship starts in Bahrain today, running until Friday.

TeamDriverDriverDriver
PremaOliver BearmanArthur LeclercJak Crawford
TridentJonny EdgarZane MaloneyRoman Stanek
ARTGregoire SaucyJuan Manuel CorreaVictor Martins
HitechIsack HadjarKaylen FrederickNazim Azman
Van AmersfoortReece UshijimaRafael VillagomezFranco Colapinto
MPAlexander SmolyarCaio ColletKush Maini
CamposPepe MartiHunter YeanyDavid Vidales
CarlinZak O’SullivanBrad BenevidesEnzo Trulli
JenzerIdo CohenWilliam AlataloTBA
CharouzLaszlo TothFrancesco PizziAyrton Simmons

Uralkali branding removed from Hitech GP Formula 2 cars

Following Haas’ decision to remove Uralkali branding from its livery for the final day of Barcelona testing, images posted to social media by Hitech GP’s Formula 2 driver Marcus Armstrong showed the same logos missing from his car’s livery, despite other branding being in place.

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Comment of the day

After Australian Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin took pole and win at St Petersburg in IndyCar, Dex says it’s a shame that Formula 1 drivers can’t experiment with racing in other series during their careers.

One must appreciate when a racing driver proves himself in two totally different categories, both being tough competitions. We don’t get this with F1, drivers like this can’t even get a license to try…

In the end most interesting characters ended up outside of F1, we mostly have robots left (not because it’s their fault, they have to be). It was a very interesting race to watch, I only wish there wasn’t such a long break between first two races of the season. It’s a bit anticlimactic.
Dex

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Kaushal and Royal-Spark!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born today in 1962: Gabriele Tarquini

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 12 comments on “McLaren expect ‘very high rate of development’ from next test”

    1. I get where Key is coming from, but it’ll be interesting to see how much budget caps impact the amount of development that happens.

      No longer can any team just throw money at a problem or a solution so I’m not expecting the sorts of in season development that we normally see unless a team has been really budget conscious for their first iteration.

    2. To the COTD I get what Dex is saying and these days it’s the norm for F1 drivers being only F1 drivers. Two reasons I can think of. First is time because of the crowded calendar and second, the teams do not want to take the risk of their multi-million dollar stars injuring themselves and not being available on Sunday.
      I remember when drivers did race in other races often on the same day and of course Bruce McLaren was very successful in the US Can-Am series while competing in the WCC/WDC.
      I would love to see the F1 drivers racing in a pre-GP race maybe on a Sunday morning, say in spec sports cars or for a laugh four-door family econo boxes.

    3. I think McLaren are going to be very competitive this year and the Norris, Ricciardo combination will be quite impressive.

    4. One Formula 3 seat left unconfirmed before first day of testing? Chadwick not available?

    5. The Dolphins
      2nd March 2022, 4:57

      I hope Mercedes are correct and Ferrari and McLaren are the two teams fighting for the championships this season. A Leclerc-Norris battle would be a breath of fresh air.

    6. Key’s spot-on.

      So not every single W Series car will have precisely the same coloring anymore.

      Vandoorne has been away from F1 racing too long for someone who hasn’t achieved anything in the series, so realistically, he won’t return.
      Drivers generally haven’t become regulars again after more than a single season away unless they’ve achieved decent success before, hence, why Gio effectively has to return for next year to stand a realistic chance.

      I don’t mind F1 drivers being unable to try different categories.

    7. “We can’t read anything into what we’re seeing at the moment”.

      Relevant, even here.

    8. As a mother the message to my 8yo daughter is that she can become whatever she likes, I believe in her! There’s no limits, no boundaries.

      Why do these kind of campaigns typically involve this sort of blatant lie? Of course there are limits and boundaries, for anyone.

      1. @aapje No one can rise above their station they should not try or have the audacity to even dream about eh?
        I hope you’re not a teacher.

        1. @johnrkh

          Thanks for demonstrating how many people interpret statements not for what they actually say, but based on their perceived effect:

          Assumption/Stereotype: girls have goals below their capabilities, below what the environments allows them to do, etc
          Message: You can do everything, etc
          Perceived effect: women will have goals more in line with reality

          Your response to me only makes sense if you reason like this. However, this type of communication is very fragile. It is based on stereotypes about women that are often false. There are women who either have an inflated or accurate belief in what they can actually do/become, and telling them they can do more is bad for them. An untalented girl who believes that she can become a professional ballet dancer, can waste a lot of effort and emotional investment into that, to no avail, being deceived by her environment into thinking that she is failing due to a lack of effort and it is thus her fault.

          Also, there are plenty of people who don’t interpret statements like these relative to a context, but interpret them as statement of fact. If you interpret them that way, they are outright lies, that are extremely deceptive.

          1. The Dolphins
            2nd March 2022, 17:20

            So you are okay with the narrative when the parents are billionaires who are capable of paying for the best training, private track time, and a racing seat in all categories leading up to and including Formula 1 on order for their child to achieve their ambition of driving in this sport?

      2. People say stuff like that all the time, and of course it is a blatant lie, of course there are limits, and of course nobody in their right minds believes that krap for a second.

        That’s why I think this is mostly harmless. If you say your children there are no limits and everything is possible for them, and they believe it, they might just jump out of the window, try to fly with their bare arms and get seriously hurt or killed. But I guess they won’t do that, because they won’t believe you.

        You may think everybody would be probably better off without the lie, but alas, everybody lies, pretty much all the time.

    Comments are closed.