McLaren upgrades perform “beyond expectations” – Andrea Stella

Jaden Diaz

McLaren secured another podium in Monaco, this time with Oscar Piastri, whose results in 2024 do not accurately show his impressive performances. The MCL38 exceeded expectations at the low-speed circuit. Since introducing their upgrades three race weekends ago, McLaren has performed at three very different circuits. According to team principal Andrea Stella, this consistency is beyond what the engineers at Woking anticipated.

As ever, the Monaco GP resembled more of a chess match than a flat-out race. Patience was the key component in last weekend’s race, especially after an early red flag largely killed any potential variations in strategy.

Still, there was enough data for McLaren to draw positive conclusions about the MCL38’s performance. Slow-speed circuits have generally been a point of weakness for the papaya team.

Prior to their upgrades in Miami, this vulnerability meant that McLaren’s podium chances often fluctuated.

Even with their recent upgrades, it was anticipated that low-speed corners would remain an issue. However, the Monaco GP showed that the Woking-based team is now a more well-rounded machine.


Not only is it better in a straight line and less draggy, but Andrea Stella confirms it is fast in low-speed sections:

“It seems like the car we brought to Miami performs well at low speed, almost beyond our expectations. I think we have also understood how to use this car from this point of view.”

“It seems that the picture of our competitiveness is finally starting to change, where slow speed no longer appears as a clear weakness.

“A situation that we have been able to change thanks to developments. I think it’s positive news.”

Mechanics bring Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38, to the grid

The importance of this development cannot be overstated. Last season, Aston Martin went backwards in trying to address their high-speed weakness. Their efforts to eliminate their main vulnerability actually took away their biggest strength.

For McLaren, the opposite is true. The MCL38 remains formidable in medium and high-speed corners, capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone in F1.

Moreover, the lack of straight-line speed that previously plagued it is no longer present. Andrea Stella’s team are now firmly at the front, and there is confidence in competing consistently the remainder of 2024.