McLaren Chief Engineer: Mercedes Has Impressed Me the Most

Peter Prodromou, Chief Engineer for McLaren, shares his views on his competitor’s reveals thus far, praising Mercedes and indicating a potential dev path.

Imitation is always the sincerest form of flattery, and Peter Prodromou – McLaren’s Chief Engineer – could be on the horizon of showering Mercedes with flattery soon. It’s no secret that Mercedes has been hell-bent on holding on to their domination of the sport for as long as they can, and if their reveal at Silverstone is anything to go off of, they’ll get exactly that.

Mercedes W08

Prodromou spoke at the McLaren-Honda MCL32 launch, offering some insight into what he believes could become a very real development path for McLaren:

“There is an area, one of the regulations boxes that wasn’t covered in the way people expected when they were designing the regulations, which has allowed these T-wings to go in that area. It is something we are looking at.

The car that has impressed me so far is the Mercedes. Clearly Mercedes has put a huge amount of man hours into the car. That’s the one that stands out.

In terms of major surprises, I don’t think we have seen anything yet that looks like a big loophole.” – Peter Prodromou

Alonso in the MCL32

Prodromou went on to shift the focus of the conversation away from competitors and onto his own team, as is tradition. Prodromou emphasized that though McLaren is being very watchful of what sort of innovations opposing teams may sport, they are absolutely comfortable with where they are with their car:

“We spent quite a long time defining the fundamental concept for this car.

We actually started this project a good 18 months ago. The lion’s share of our time has been aimed at putting together a good foundation.

So we’re in that luxury position where we’re finding very good gains at the moment. I think for us the main challenge is to convert those gains to the track as quickly as possible.” – Peter Prodromou

The 2017 cars so far (missing Haas and Toro Rosso)

It’s all smoke and mirrors until testing, and then there’s fuelling to regard even them, so the first real session that will indicate the running order will be FP1 on the Friday before the Australian Grand Prix.