McLaren has hinted about following the new trend for an innovative exhaust layout for its new MP4-26 when it hits the track for the first time early next week, although it has stopped short of stating whether or not it will copy Renault's sidepod design.
The team unveiled its new MP4-26 in Berlin on Friday, but the configuration of its exhaust layout was kept secret as the team had fitted fake plastic versions to the car for the unveiling. McLaren's engineering director Tim Goss confirmed that the car would be very different when it ran for the first time next week – especially in the area of the exhaust-fed blown floor.
"It's no surprise to anyone involved in Formula 1 through last season to the start of this season that the exhaust solution is a significant part of the performance on the car," explained Goss. "It won't come as any surprise or shock that the exhaust solution on the car today is not what we intend to be testing or racing. There will be some other solutions appearing on other cars, and on our cars as well."
Goss said that the main attention at the next two tests in Jerez and Barcelona will be for the team to understand the car, and how it works on Pirellis, before it switched its focus to all-out performance for the final preseason Bahrain test.
Our main focus during the next two tests will be evaluating the new car, configuring it, making sure we've delivered performance through to our expectations," he said. "The rear diffuser changes are something we have to evaluate.
"We also have to evaluate KERS and make sure that performs to expectations. We have to come to grips with the Pirelli tires, get the balance of the car, and evaluate how to exploit the most out of the tires. In the next two tests we'll be evaluating the car, but by the time we get to Bahrain [test] the focus will change to formulating a package for the car with a view to the race."
Goss also said that the team had opted for a pullrod rear suspension to help with the aerodynamics at the back of the car.
"We evaluated all opportunities," he said. "You could say pullrod is the trendy one now, but we don't follow any ideas for the sake of trends.
"We've gone with pullrod primarily for the aerodynamic requirements at the rear of the car. We evaluated both and looked at what we'd get out of pushrod as well. We looked at the wishbone position at the rear of the car and the aero requirements, and the pullrod solution came out ahead."