Archive for the ‘Mc Laren MP4/26A Mercedes’ Category

Mc Laren MP4/26A – Protecting the brakes

         In Melbourne Mc Laren covered both the front and rear brake ducts with wire netting to prevent debris from entering inside the braking components . The Melbourne track is a street circuit surrounding the man-made Albert Park Lake and the track surface  is full of small and dangerous materials ( stones , plant parts, rubbish etc ) that could cause malfunction to the braking system.

          The net covered ducts have not been abandoned since Melbourne , proving their value and are being used to protect against  toffee-like debris shed by Pirelli tyres  this time .

Mc Laren MP4/26A – New front wing in last winter test


Mc Laren tested a new front wing in last Winter test ( Barcelona ) to boost car’s performance and overcome the inability to challenge Red Bull and Ferrari . The new wing had totally new endplates (1) with a single huge slot  in contrast to the old one which had four smaller slots . The philosophy of this concept is to increase the quantity of air passing under the wing by trapping air flowing outside the endplate surface . The triangular fin at the top of the endplate is also removed while the rear of the endplate is altered to cope better with the new design . Finally the endplates are placed now a bit outer  on the endplate floor (2)  to increase the wing’s effective span .  As regards the flap separator (3) , it is now much shorter and traditional  because there is no need to house the flap adjusting mechanism any more .






Mc Laren MP4/26A – Front brakes

The multiple upward bending winglets on the brake surface help to reduce the turbulence created by the wheel rotation and increase aerodynamic stability . The brake duct itself is very narrow but quite long to provide enough cooling to the brake components  but also to block less the air .

Brakes  usually undergo many revisions through the season according to each circuit braking special needs .

Mc Laren MP4/26A – Sidepod winglet addition


Mc Laren added a rectangular winglet  on both cockpit sides to smoothen the airflow passing over them and inside the U-channel created by the L-shaped sidepods and cockpit sides ,  reducing any unwanted turbulence . In the past we have seen similar winglets used by Mc Laren for the same cause but placed on nose sides , an area now unable to carry such winglets due to regulation restrictions .

To better understand the flow dynamics in real time conditions on this area mechanics even needed the use  of flourescent paint .

Mc Laren MP4/26A – Diffuser


Mc Laren MP4/26A not strangely tested till now a quite simple diffuser design because the team did not yet finalize its exhaust system  pipes regarding if they are to  blow forward or traditionally backwards . A simple diffuser would give simpler data to built upon any new developments , developments that would be bound to the way exhaust pipes blow the hot emissions .

The engine starter opening resembles a lot to the MP4/25 while there is  only a pair of vertical fences located in the middle of the side sections . Under the rear light  a larger tab was added  at Jerez to create a shadow of air behind it increasing diffuser sanction effect .  The endplates bottom are mounted onto diffuser roof via twisted outwards elements to divert air to the back of the rear wheels , a low pressure area , reducing drag .


Mc Laren MP4/26A – Studying front tyres performance


Mc Laren among other tasks at Jerez was also to examine carefully  the front tyres temperature variations . For that reason mechanics planted an infra red tyre sensor below the radiator inlet . Teams till now expressed  concerns about Pirelli tyres excessive ware and it is obvious that managing tyre performance balancing ware and optimum grip would give an advantage over rivals.

Mc Laren tries crown wheels at Jerez

February 14, 2011 1 comment

Jerez , February testing

Mc Laren is the first team to copy and test at Jerez the Ferrari’s innovative  crown front wheel rims (  presented last year by F10 and retained for the 2011 contender  F150th . This rim design helps to extract hot air from the brakes in such a way to disturb less the air flowing around the outer wheel surface improving air quality towards the rear . The main difference between  Mc Laren’s approach and Ferrari’s one is the number of the concentric rims , a single for the MP4/26 but double for the F10 and F150th .

Mc Laren MP4/26A – Special shaped sidepods

To offer a  cleaner and richer airflow towards the rear beam wing aiming extra downforce production ,  Mc Laren mechanics  sculpted specially the MP4/26A sidepods giving them  a distinctive L- shape . This configuration was also seen at past and particularly on the Ferrari F399 (1999) and F310 (1996) , the Benetton cars ( 1994-1997) and  the Ligier / Prost team ( 1996-1997) . The  channel created though on the MP4/26A case between the sidepod outer section and the cockpit sides is dramatically deeper and more obvious .

KERS introduction for sure increased car’s cooling needs so the question how Mc Laren managed to reduce the radiators size and inlets and at the same time to cope with car cooling needs  can be quested a little above, at the airbox zone . There we can see  a second inlet which  provides the gearbox radiators and hydraulic system with sufficient cooling letting the sidepod inlets to provide with air only the engine radiators and the chassis electronics . This clever approach , not new for Formula 1 , made it possible for Mc Laren to construct such intensively sculpted  sidepods   with the engine radiators inside the cover’s skin to follow also the sidepods L shape .


Possibly top teams will try to copy the eye-caching  MP4/26A sidepod design or even might try to evolve it . Depending on where to cut off the radiator the following variations of the Mc Laren’s L-shape exist .


1.Radiator  , full piece .

2.Cutting off the outer bottom section

3.Cutting  off the outer up section



1.Super sculpted sidepod  BottomS

Cutting of the outer bottom section would in theory create  super sculpted sidepod bottoms  or even a twin floor configuration like Toro Rosso STR6 that would provide a far better airflow towards the rear .


2.Reversed  L- shaped

This shape derives from cutting the outer up radiator section . The sidepod would be very slim going away from the car centre forming also an air channel with the aid of the panel .



Mc Laren MP4/26A – Technical specs

Monocoque McLaren-moulded carbonfibre composite incorporating front and side impact structures
Front suspension Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement
Rear suspension Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pullrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement
Electronics McLaren Electronic Systems. Including chassis control, engine control, data acquisition, dashboard, alternator, sensors, data analysis and telemetry.
Bodywork Carbon-fibre composite. Separate engine cover, sidepods and floor. Structural nose with intergral front wing Driver-operated drag reduction system [active rear wing
Tyres Pirelli P Zero
Radio Kenwood
Race wheels Enkei
Brake callipers Akebono
Master cylinders Akebono
GS Yuasa Corporation
Steering McLaren power-assisted
Instruments McLaren Electronic Systems
Paint solutions AkzoNobel Car Refinishes using Sikkens Products
Mercedes-Benz FO 108Y
Capacity 2.4 litres
Cylinders 8
Maximum rpm 18,000
Bank angle 90°
Piston bore maximum 98mm
Number of valves 32
ExxonMobil High Performance Unleaded (5.75% bio fuel)
Spark plugs NGK racing spark plugs specially designed for Mercedes-Benz F1 engine
Lubricants Mobil 1 – combining greater performance, protection and cooling with increased economy and lower emissions
Weight 95kg (minimum FIA regulation weight)
KERS [hybrid]
Type Mercedes-Benz
e-Motor Engine-mounted electrical motor/generator
ESS Integrated energy storage cells and power electronics
Power 60 kW
Gearbox McLaren-moulded carbon-fibre composite. Integral rear impact structure
Gears Seven forward and one reverse
Gear selection McLaren seamless shift, hand-operated
Clutch Carbon/carbon, hand-operated
Lubricants Mobil




credit : Mc Laren


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