McLaren's New Wind Tunnel will come online in June
McLaren Wind Tunnel

McLaren’s New Wind Tunnel will come online in June

The story of McLaren’s quest for success is one of drama, setbacks, and determination. When Andreas Seidl took over as boss in 2019, he realized that the team’s outdated infrastructure was holding them back compared to their rivals. He pushed for the construction of a new state-of-the-art wind tunnel and simulator, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused significant delays to both projects, with the latest deadline now set for the summer of 2023.

Seidl has since been replaced by Stella, who has confirmed that the new wind tunnel’s hardware is complete, with development work set to begin in June. However, calibration and installation of measurement methodologies will take several weeks before the new car model can be tested in the tunnel.


The new wind tunnel is a crucial piece in McLaren’s development strategy, as currently the team rents Toyota’s wind tunnel in Cologne, which is slow and inefficient. “I don’t want to mention the wind tunnel too much because it sounds like an excuse, but it’s definitely a deficit in the quality and in the speed of the development because of all these slow operations that you have to do to just get the parts tested in the wind tunnel,” explained Stella.

Despite the setbacks, Stella is confident that the team can still make progress with its current tools and methodologies. The team’s new car has shown potential, with upgrades scheduled for Baku, Saudi Arabia, and Australia. Stella acknowledges that the wind tunnel alone is not enough to justify the team’s current position, but he remains committed to the development process.

In Bahrain, the team’s drivers, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, faced setbacks and failed to challenge for points. Piastri retired after just 14 laps due to an electronic failure, while Norris suffered a pneumatic pressure leak that forced him to pit six times before finishing 17th. Despite the disappointing results, McLaren’s determination to succeed remains as strong as ever, and the new wind tunnel could be the key to unlocking their potential.