McLaren to Debut New Exhaust, Floor in Australia

McLaren Mercedes have decided to completely scrap their forward exhaust system for the season opening Australian Grand Prix, while also introducing a new floor for the aforementioned race. This decision has been made by team principal Martin Whitmarsh in the wake of the reliability issues encountered by the MP4-26 during the pre-season testing.

I'm not satisfied with where the car was on reliability or performance in the test,” admitted Whitmarsh in a Vodafone video conference, according to Autosport. “We have made some fairly dramatic changes, and those changes we will see in Australia. There's some risk in that, but I think it was the right thing to do and we're hopeful that that risk comes off and the car is a lot more competitive in Australia.”

Apart from the new exhaust system – featuring a more classic and regular design – and floor, the British team will also debut some new aerodynamic tweaks meant to improve the MP4-26's pace by a full second.

We have a completely new floor and a new exhaust system. There are a lot of other bits and pieces, but they're the clear and obvious ones that people will see in Australia,” added the McLaren official, while admitting that the forward exhausts have been abandoned due to the reliability problems that came with that design.

If a few days back, Whitmarsh had suggested that his team would produce some surprises in Australia – given that nobody expects them to win, considering their poor mileage in testing – now he actually spelled the word “win” when referring to his team's goals for the race in Melbourne.

I can't make any predictions, but you always have the target of going to win races. I'm not predicting we're going to win it, I'm saying we're aiming to win it,” he concluded.
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