McLaren will use a Mercedes engine next year instead of the Renault engine of these last seasons, but Andreas Seild has specified that they will continue to use their own gearbox instead of buying it from those of the star, as Racing Point does.
Seidl assures that they want to follow their own path, maintain a certain independence with respect to Mercedes. “Our philosophy is not going to change because we use a Mercedes engine. We are going to use their engines, but it is not a question of also using their gearbox. We will continue to design and use our own changes”
Declaration of principles or forced temporary decision ?. There are important parameters to assess when making such a choice. On the one hand, the economic ones, of course, but on the other hand, the practical and regulatory ones.
And, not least, a philosophical decision: if you buy many parts from Mercedes, you end up with a clone or as a customer. In both cases McLaren believes she would always be weighed down and several of her title or victory opportunities disappeared.
It is clear that buying the gearbox from Mercedes also – and consequently most likely the rear suspension – would entail some easements. Racing Point has said it, that when buying the Mercedes gearbox they had to abandon the ‘High Rake’ path because the change is not adapted to it and therefore take the ‘low rake’ that Mercedes uses and to the one that has designed the gearbox.
There’s also the fact that chassis development is frozen next year and limited to two tokens. Although McLaren will have permission to make the necessary changes to locate the new engine, it would be difficult for these rules to also assume a radical change in aerodynamic philosophy, perhaps involving several changes in suspensions and chassis.
The logical idea is to follow your own path, waiting to see what is most interesting for 2022. Perhaps the decision has to do with keeping freedom to choose your own path with the new rules, which always represent an opportunity to recover suddenly the lost ground and it is very possible that Seidl believes that it is better to face the challenge from his own philosophy without being a prisoner of what others do. nor waste time waiting for the provider to set the parameters in which you can move and have to go against the clock.
The decision should be made after studying the global nature of the problem, taking into account the available human and technical resources.
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