McLaren's Key: 2021 rule tweaks can upset pecking order

McLaren technical director James Key believes the limited changes to F1's rules for 2021 still offer a potential... The post McLaren's Key: 2021 rule tweaks can upset pecking order appeared first on F1i.com.

McLaren's Key: 2021 rule tweaks can upset pecking order

McLaren technical director James Key believes the limited changes to F1's rules for 2021 still offer a potential for change in the pecking order.

To limit costs amid the sport's economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FIA and Formula 1 have frozen the technical rules for next season and extended the life of this year's chassis into 2021.

However, a few tweaks to the rules to cut downforce levels will be implemented, allowing teams to revise the design and aerodynamic characteristics of a car's floor.

Key believes the changes could provide an opportunity for McLaren to achieve performance gains despite the team using the same basic chassis as in 2020.

©McLaren

"I think there’s a chance," said the British engineer, quoted by Motorsport.com.

"This creates new roads that may not have been there before. Behind Mercedes, the midfield is taking new steps year after year and continuing to do a great job. It is now very exciting.

"That gives opportunities to maybe take a step forward. Of course it’s also a chance to take a step back, but the pecking order behind Mercedes is a bit open for next year.

"There is enough room in the regulations to take a step forward."

At the end of the year, McLaren will part ways with Renault and revive its engine partnership with Mercedes whose power unit has set the standard since the advent of the hybrid era in F1 in 2014.

However, Key can't evaluate the eventual performance gain the switch may induce

"They have done a great job, so it's exciting to go there," said Key.

“But Renault has also done a great job for us in recent years and the performance levels of the engines are quite close.

"I think we'll see what the change looks like and if there is some sort of extra performance potential in it compared to what we're used to. We do not know yet.

"It will be nice to see that data as soon as it becomes available. I think there is still work on the engine for 2021, so we will not see that for the time being."

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The post McLaren's Key: 2021 rule tweaks can upset pecking order appeared first on F1i.com.

Source : F1 i More   

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Hulkenberg: Accepting reserve role in F1 'makes little sense'

Nico Hulkenberg was happy to sub for Sergio Perez at Silverstone earlier this month, but the German driver... The post Hulkenberg: Accepting reserve role in F1 'makes little sense' appeared first on F1i.com.

Hulkenberg: Accepting reserve role in F1 'makes little sense'

Nico Hulkenberg was happy to sub for Sergio Perez at Silverstone earlier this month, but the German driver sees no point in accepting a reserve role with a team in the future.

Hulkenberg was drafted in at the eleventh hour by Racing Point to fill Perez's vacant seat in the two rounds of racing at Silverstone while the Mexican remained in a COVID-19 quarantine.

The Hulk never made it to the grid at the British Grand Prix, sidelined by a mechanical failure, but a P3 performance in qualifying a week later for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix followed by a solid drive to 7th conveniently reminded everyone that the 33-year-old was worthy of a permanent seat in F1.

Hulkenberg's return has apparently sparked interest from Alfa Romeo and Haas for 2021, but regardless of the opportunity that may come knocking, the German has made clear that it will be racing or nothing in 2021.

©RacingPoint

"I personally do not see myself in the role of reserve driver," he told Sport 1's AvD Motorsport Magazin show.

"I sat in a race cockpit for 10 years and stood at the start lights, so accepting a step backwards without much chance of getting back in makes little sense to me. That's not the path I want to take."

Hulkenberg says talks to rejoin the fray are continual and have been occurring even before Silverstone.

"[I've been] talking to a lot of people since the beginning of the year," he said. "Silverstone hasn't changed that. The process runs constantly in the background.

"During the brief comeback, honestly, nothing was going on. You concentrate on the work.

"The important thing was simply to deliver a good performance when you have the chance. Planning the future is part of a bigger process."

F1 teams remain vulnerable to the coronavirus creeping in and sidelining a driver. Hulkenberg remain a prime go-to substitute, but he admits he isn't holding his breath for another opportunity to race this season.

"I don't expect any more races this season," he added. "Of course something can always happen during corona, but I don't expect it.

"I keep myself fit and ready as far as I can. But I don't think it will happen every other week now. I'm working on my return for 2021."

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The post Hulkenberg: Accepting reserve role in F1 'makes little sense' appeared first on F1i.com.

Source : F1 i More   

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