The key to keeping the threat from rivals Red Bull and Mercedes at bay was impressive straight line speed performance in the race.
This meant that the efforts of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to overtake the McLaren cars were ultimately unsuccessful as they were never able to get close enough to the braking zones.
The basis for that straight-line speed advantage was the way McLaren configured its already aerodynamically efficient car for the low-downforce Monza circuit.
As much as the Mercedes power unit helped its pace, top speed was boosted by a Monza-specific low downforce arrangement.
McLaren had used a scoop design for its low / medium downforce setup at Baku and Silverstone, as well as a lower downforce design at Spa.
This was cut even further for Monza and a more conventional route was followed.
As expected, the Monza rear wing featured a much lower angle of attack than the Spa setup (inset, left), while the trailing edge of the upper wing was also trimmed to be within maximum tolerance. allowed (box, top right).
The Gurney flap found on the trailing edge of the upper wing was also scrapped in an effort to further reduce drag.
McLaren MCL35M front wing detail.
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
The story is similar at the front of the car, as the team trimmed the front spoiler wing significantly at the inner end. This was done to reduce the downforce generated and help achieve a better aerodynamic balance between the front and rear.
The adjuster marks the point where the static outer wing section ends and the movable wing section begins, and highlights the trend that F1 teams have followed for some years.
Designers take this approach to compartmentalize the spoiler in a way that provides the necessary downforce, while creating enough contact surface to reduce the impact that tire turbulence has on the car.