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F1 2024 team preview: Can McLaren finally be title contenders?

Published at :February 17, 2024 at 2:59 PM
Modified at :February 17, 2024 at 2:59 PM
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(Courtesy : Mclaren)

Hisan Kidwai

McLaren are entering the 2024 F1 season with both optimism and fear. The team, which won a race in 2021 and secured several podiums, started 2022 on a poor foot with new regulations. However, they have since recovered with an upgrade package and a focus on choosing the right car concept and development direction.

Unlike the 2022 F1 season, McLaren are in better shape now, with the new simulator and wind tunnel allowing them to challenge at the front of the grid. The team’s driver lineup and the upgrade package have helped them recover from past struggles. The team’s focus on innovation and development has set them well for the 2024 season.

Prospects for the 2024 Season

McLaren, the only team other than Red Bull, has been able to predict the car direction in 2023 and has been the second-fastest car in the second half of the season. This puts the team in a better position to continue developing the car compared to competitors like Ferrari and Mercedes.

However, there is a question mark over whether both teams will achieve the same performance jump as McLaren when they switched to the Red Bull concept. McLaren and Aston Martin’s massive jump to the front of the grid last season was due to their astute decision to switch to Red Bull’s car concept, while Mercedes and Ferrari had not. The team is now unsure if the migration will benefit both teams and if McLaren has an answer in place.

Driver Line-up Dynamics

Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri are the duo for McLaren this season. Despite Lando’s contract extension beyond 2025, the team is taking risks.

Piastri has shown potential in his first season and has challenged Lando in races. With a 12-month database this season, he could potentially lead to a closer battle between the two drivers.

Lando has momentum, but if competition increases, unexpected events could occur. The team is considering risks and potential battles in the lineup.

Predicting the pecking order

McLaren is expected to be in the top four of the grid, potentially challenging for wins and pole positions. Where it would be placed is unknown, though.

The team’s success with the MCL60 led to nine podium results and a fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship in the 2023 season. While it is unlikely to challenge for the title, we can’t wait to see the new MCL38 compete.

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