On Wednesday McLaren published the fire-up of the 2022 single-seater, the MCL36, on its social channels. The veils on the single-seater from Woking will fall only on 11 February, the day on which the presentation of the British car in compliance with the new regulations will be held. However, some clues about the choices of the technical department led by James Key have already leaked, in particular with regard to the configuration of the front suspension assembly. Since the publication of the new technical regulation, it has rebounded from many sides the hypothesis of the return of the pull-rod scheme also at the front, solution completely supplanted by the push-rod on the 2017-2021 single-seaters, which featured a pull-rod kinematics only at the rear. However, the next generation of cars differs from the previous one in the lowering of the front impact structure and the nose, a feature that encourages the adoption of the tie rod scheme also at the front.
The pull-rod architecture is characterized in fact by the downward trend of the oblique suspension link going from the wheel unit towards the car body. As a consequence, the internal components of the suspension making up the spring-shock absorber group are placed in a lowered position on the edge of the body, thus also contributing to the lowering of the center of gravity of the car. It is precisely the descending inclination of the arm that delineates the typical kinematics of the pull-rod, in which the upward movement of the wheel group stresses the traction rod.
Already in recent weeks McLaren had published a photo that portrayed the most advanced section of the MCL36 monocoque. It recognized an opening on the upper surface located right in correspondence with the front wheel units. Several experts have identified in it a well useful to ensure access to the mechanics to work on the suspension components housed in the lower part of the body, a typical feature of the pull-rod scheme. In the previous push-rod architecture, in fact, the same elements were placed at the top, thus without requiring any access shaft. Another clue about McLaren’s choice for the front suspension has arrived from the video on the fire-up of the MCL36. In fact, from a still image you can see what appears to be the front wheel group of the car, taken by Zak Brown through his smartphone. The downward inclination of the tie rod seems to confirm the pull-rod pattern at the front end, waiting for the presentation on February 11 and sharper images to dispel any residual doubts. In addition to confirming McLaren’s choice, it will also be important to evaluate the paths taken by the rival teams and whether there can be any diversification between the cars on the grid.
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