McLaren Sauber

The development race never stops in Formula 1, with McLaren and Sauber announcing they will run significant upgrades on their respective challengers for next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

McLaren will be hoping it can add to its tally of Lewis Hamilton’s spectacular win at the Chinese Grand Prix, while Sauber will be hoping it can move up the championship standings with another points’ finish.

Sauber’s new developments will include another experimental design on its 2011-spec blown diffuser along with a host of other aerodynamic updates.

“We’ll have a new, quite significant aero package on the car, which will be a completely new front wing, updates to the front and rear brake ducts, new bodywork, new devices around the floor leading edge and under the chassis, and we’ll be testing the new exhaust system again,” said the team’s technical director, James Key.

“We’ll also be continuing our work on the mechanical update we had in Istanbul, which proved to be positive. So it will be interesting to see how this works. If it works well it should give us a good few tenths of a second improvement in lap time. Our goal is to continue our good race form, to try to improve qualifying and finish as high in the points as possible.”

At McLaren, meanwhile, it will looking to reintroduce the upgrades it was unable to run at Turkey – the team blamed their absence on a less-than-ideal result at Istanbul, its first race in 2011 without a podium finish.

In that race, Lewis Hamilton finished fourth – over 40 seconds adrift of race-winner Sebastian Vettel – and team-mate Jenson Button was sixth, after his gamble to run a three-stop strategy backfired.

“Once again, however, they’ll only be introduced if their initial deployment on Friday proves successful,” team boss Martin Whitmarsh is quoted as saying.

[Images via LAT and Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.