F1: McLaren sees his engine “on par with the Mercedes”




The Woking team's technical director believes that last season the propeller took a “very visible step forward.”

Norris, in McLaren's garage, on Sunday in Montmel.

On Sunday, the McLaren team deployed its items in Montmel, where Lando Norris roared the MCL-35 for the first time on the 'filming day'. The regulation only allows 100 kilometers and the use of the tires indicated by Pirelli. It was a simple aperitif for official training, which starts on this same circuit next Wednesday, although optimism in the British squad was palpable in every corner of the garage.

James Key, technical director of McLaren, has highlighted the “very visible step forward” that the Renault engine took during 2019, the World Cup where his team is consolidated as the reference of the middle part of the grid. “We saw the Ferrari engine a little ahead, but the competitiveness of the Renault engine was quite good and very close to Mercedes,” said the engineer.

The MCL-35, the first car that bears the signature of Key in the Woking factory, assemble the propellers of the French brand for the third and last year, given that in 2021 return with Mercedes, with whom he already maintained a successful alliance between 1995 and 2014.

“Part of our improvement”

“One of the positive aspects of 2019 is that Renault took a very visible step forward and better speed in the straight. That was definitely part of our improvement,” said Key, one of the most respected men in the 'paddock' after his work for six years for Red Bull.

The performance differences of the engines, after six seasons with the same regulations, have diminished markedly. “The times when the engines were very different practically disappeared last year,” Key admitted.

On Wednesday, on the first day of the Test Days, Carlos Sainz premieres the MCL-35 in Montmel during the two sessions. The Madrid cede the witness on Thursday to Norris and on Friday he will be in charge of the afternoon session.

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