There is a saying that comes to mind at times, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. Of all the cars on the grid that could use a nose job, I would never have pegged the beautiful McLaren MP4-27 as being one of them.
Aside from being the prettiest car on the grid, It’s also one of the quickest and perhaps even the title favorite. Aside from some bad luck in a couple of races, it has easily been one of the most solid performers.
So why then has McLaren felt the need to give its stunner a nose job? At the end of the in-season tests earlier this month in Mugello, Italy, McLaren unveiled a revised nose that is noticeably higher than the original. They have successfully avoided the esthetically unpleasant step that their rivals are sporting. As mentioned, it’s higher up but now slopes down slightly. In chatting with an F1 journalist who was present at the tests in Mugello, he made the comment that it appeared to be similar to Alain Prost’s nose if straight and somewhat horizontal. Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion I suppose.
The change is said to allow more air to flow underneath the car to improve downforce and allow more air to be channelled as desired. The gains may be minimal and the drivers are expected to be unaffected. This may be one of the reasons neither Jenson or Lewis were in Mugello for the tests.
Anyway you slice it, even the slightest gain, is still a gain. When the title race is this close, a team must take the odd risk, calculated or otherwise…
Author: Ernie Black