McLaren didn’t exactly have their best qualifying session at the Bahrain Grand Prix for the 2022 edition of F1. This was their worst qualifying performance since the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix when they failed to qualify for Q3. McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo finished the session in P18, British teammate Lando Norris in P13.
After a hugely positive first pre-season test at Barcelona, where the team appeared to be able to match Ferrari, the on-field performance came as a shock. A number of issues have entered the equation, according to Technical Director James Key, as the car is found to be less well-suited to cornering at low speeds. “Barcelona was quite encouraging for us and I think it was a track that spoke to our strengths at the moment.” he explained.
“I’m afraid I have to admit we’re both terrified. It was a difficult weekend for us and we clearly came into play with the back foot after not testing effectively the week before due to braking issues that had surfaced.” The braking issues that hampered McLaren’s performance at the Bahrain Test had a significant knock-on effect, according to Key, as the team was unable to meet the schedule as intended. “We knew we were a little tight with the front brake temperatures, but they suddenly shot up to levels we weren’t expecting. It took a lot of study and patience to correct that.” he added.
🗣️ | McLaren fans, look away now:
“With Ricciardo P18 and Norris P13, this is the first time since the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix that McLaren has failed to get a car into Q3.”
– The Race (@wearetherace) March 19, 2022
What was really the reason behind McLaren’s poor qualifying performance in Bahrain?
Key highlighted how the MCL36s were stuck in the garage during testing to address the temperature issues encountered while the car is running reliably. On a positive note, he mentioned that he was pleased to do a few laps and do some reliability runs with the MCL36. However, neither Ricciardo nor Norris had time to get a real feel for the car and how it worked.
While aware of the reasons holding back the team, Key confirmed that the McLaren MCL36 lacks grip. Key further added that the car’s maximum potential is still unknown and that they may be able to reap it. “The car itself, the platform works well. Mechanically it’s fine. Aerodynamically it does what it should. The riders don’t find the extremes that we’ve had in previous years with varying levels of balance and difficulty. So it’s much more consistent in that regard.”
He emphasized McLaren’s need for more aerodynamic grip. This particular aspect of the MCL36 worked well for the Woking-based racing team during testing in Barcelona.
Also read: McLaren reports that they have signed a “big” sponsorship deal with multinational tech giant Google
https://firstsportz.com/formula-one-mclaren-fails-to-put-forth-a-stellar-performance-in-bahrain-gp-qualifying/ McLaren fails to qualify for Q3 for the first time since the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix » FirstSportz