15 May 2014
I'm sure the McLaren team will be the first to admit that their start to the 2014 season could have gone better, especially as they have the advantage of the best powerunit on the grid. It's not all about the powerunit though and their rival Mercedes has clearly done a better job of the catering the whole package including the aero side to the 2014 regulations.
For Barcelona the team arrived with new components to try and close the gap to the front but with a deficit of around 1-1.5 seconds to the Mercedes any upgrades they bring would need to find around 2 seconds per lap, a monumental amount of time to find.
Struggling to replicate the level of downforce some of their rivals are achieving McLaren arrived in Barcelona with a new perforated diffuser gurney. You'll note that the perforated Gurney extends much further around the periphery of the diffuser toward the footplate, looking to extract more downforce from it.
Why not just extend it to the bottom of the diffuser? I hear you say, well it's all to do with the quality of airflow in the region, placing something like a gurney here requires enough airflow otherwise you get separation and therefore lose downforce. You'll note that the team have also made some changes to the rear brake duct fins too which are undoubtedly allowing a better quality of flow into the region around where the diffuser gurney has been extended.