McLaren Comes Short(er) in Valencia


What Happens When Modifications Go Radical

— Part of the reason Lewis Hamilton could not finish Friday’s Practice 2 at Valencia was his lack of extra front wing assembly.  Typically, teams bring plenty of spares to races (except for Brawn GP early in the season when they simply did not have the money for too many extras) and are prepared for the loss or damage of wings in close racing.  McLaren, however, had no spare front wings for Friday in Valencia because they “were running a shorter wheel-base version of the car,” according to team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

This shorter car resulted in many other changes, said Whitmarsh, “We knew that if you change the wheel base you have to change the floor, the nose and the front wing assembly as well as we had moved the front axle position” which lead to Friday’s “insufficient parts.”  Also complicating the situation was the new front wing assembly on Heikki Kovalainen’s car, which would not fit on Hamilton’s shortened car.  More parts are on the trucks on their way to Spain and the team hopes to be competitive during qualifying Saturday.  There is no information as to whether Hamilton and Kovalainen will be running the same car configuration (wheelbase, front wing changes, etc.) Saturday or during the race.

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