McLaren wrap up end of season testing in Abu Dhabi

McLaren wrap up end of season testing in Abu Dhabi

After a long 2021 Formula 1 season, McLaren have wrapped their end of season testing of the new Pirelli 18 inch tyre in Abu Dhabi.

Two days of testing after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have come to an end for McLaren, with the Woking-based team now set for a short break ahead of ramping up for the 2022 Formula 1 season and the new regulations that come into play.

Day one saw Daniel Ricciardo behind the wheel, gathering data on the new Pirelli 18 inch tyre that will make its debut next year. While McLaren IndyCar driver, Pato O’Ward, took the chance to take the MCL35M for a spin around the Yas Marina Circuit as part of his winning bet against CEO Zak Brown.

It was Lando Norris’ turn to jump back into the cockpit for day two, with continued running of the new Pirelli tyre vital for the development of McLaren’s all new car for 2022, the MCL36.

“Today was another productive day of testing,” Norris said. “It was really good to get a feel for the new tyres and understand more about how they work. We’ve collected a lot of useful information over the last two days and this data will help us to work on things over the winter break and hopefully answer a few questions we had.

“There’s a lot of work to do ahead of next season, but I’m already excited. For now though, it’s important that everyone gets a well-deserved break after this long season.”

2022 will be a reboot year for F1, with the aforementioned new regulations, dramatic increase in tyre size and completely new construction of the race cars themselves. A shift away from high downforce levels to a more ground effects car design is hoped to increase the excitability of the races through better overtaking.

As such, teams have been long at work behind the scenes throughout the 2021 season in starting to develop and prepare for what will be new ground going forward. While the build of the 2022 cars has commenced in some form or another, the simulator is still what teams will be relying on prior to any pre-season testing kicking off in the New Year.

“Today [Wednesday] concludes our post-season test, and with it our on-track running for the 2021 season, McLaren Racing Director Andrea Stella said. “We’ve gathered a lot of data on the new 18-inch 2022 tyres over the last two days, which provides us with a strong baseline as we continue to develop the MCL36 in the simulator over the coming months.

“I’d like to thank Lando, Daniel and Pato for their hard work over the last two days, as well as the engineers, mechanics and the team back at the factory for enabling us to have a smooth and efficient test. We now head back to the factory to recharge, rest and reset before coming back to track in February ahead of the 2022 season.”

Pre-season testing is due to commence from the 23 to 25 February at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. With a second test to take place at the Bahrain International Circuit from 11 to 13 March, prior to the first round of the 2022 F1 season in Bahrain on 20 March.