The McLaren team – the only team on the grid to have to homologate its 2021 chassis by passing a crash test with the FIA ​​- announced that the MCL35M had successfully passed this compulsory passage.

Due to the little change in technical regulations in 2021 compared to 2020, nine of the ten teams on the grid have postponed the 2020 single-seater chassis to build their 2021 single-seater without having to pass a homologation crash test.

McLaren for its part had to start from scratch due to the change of power unit for this new season (McLaren went from Renault engine to Mercedes) and therefore had to have its 2021 chassis homologated with the FIA.

This famous crash test was passed last December under somewhat special conditions due to the health crisis which did not allow FIA members to be present on site.

The homologation of the chassis is always an important step. It’s a difficult and anxious time for a lot of people on the team. “ explains Piers Thynne, production manager at McLaren.

“It reminds me of when my wife gave birth to twins – the only difference is that we have to undergo probate every year! Although we are the only team to have had to do it for this year’s car, because all the other teams have postponed their 2020 chassis until 2021. “

“We didn’t have that luxury because of the chassis modifications to accommodate the move to the Mercedes PSU. “

There were a few challenges, as they do every year, but good teamwork between build and design got the chassis homologated on time in December. “

“The process wasn’t much different, but due to covid-19 restrictions, the FIA ​​couldn’t be physically there to witness the crash test. “

“Instead, we had to set up cameras and live links, so they could see all the instrumentation and closely follow every step of the process. “

Big changes

While all the other teams will be carrying most of their cars from last year to this year, our move to the Mercedes engine block means that is not the case for us. “

“It made a lot of changes and basically we built a new car. “

“The number of new parts on the MCL35M is about the same as when we built the MCL35. “

The rear of the chassis and the gearbox housing around the engine have changed significantly to accommodate the new power pack. “

“The change in the power unit dramatically changes the architecture of the car and the way everything is packaged, so that the entire cooling system and all the piping – whether for the fluid or the air – have changed, as well as all electrical conduits and control boxes. “