McLaren rear end: Exhaust, cooling and suspension


A ScarbsF1 follower in the Melbourne pit lane sent me these exclusive pics. We can see the McLaren stripped in the garage. There’s a huge amount of detail to take in, The key details are the missing exhaust\ heat shielding, cooling ducts and suspension detail.

We can see the exhaust system is missing in the picture. However there’s a lot of grey heat shielding around the floor giving us some clue to where the flow is going. Notably at the side of the engine where the main exhausts will sit and beyond exit to the sidepod. I can also see heat shielding above the starter motor hole, which is a rounded profile further suggesting this will be subject to fast exhaust gas flow. There’s a curious bulge in the tail of the coke bottle shape. This would be next to the exhaust collector and unlikely to be a good place for sensors, so it’s a mystery why this shape is there.  So we can see potentially an exhaust route blowing out of the back of the sidepods, some of this flow passing under the gearbox to the starter motor hole.  This seems innocuous enough, as long as the gas finds its own way to these areas.  Continued rumours around the pitlane suggest bodywork is used to duct flow to these areas, which would be a contraversial solution.  Only when the car is fully built and scrutineered will we fully know what the solution is.

As already explained in this blog ( the roll hoop fulfils several function for engine air feed and cooling. We can see the main airbox, beneath it the KERS cooler and its exit duct wrapping around the airbox. At the rear of the airbox is the gearbox oil cooler. The oval exit duct for this cooler isn’t fitted in this picture.

Lastly the pullrod suspension can be seen, the rocker and some of the spring\damping set up is down low on the gearbox. A small detail is the shaft and rocker merging vertically from the gearbox, (beneath the silver pipe with blue connector). This might either be the heave damper or inerter, placed higher up for better access, or it might be the pre-load adjuster for the torsion bar (if torsion bars are fitted).

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15 thoughts on “McLaren rear end: Exhaust, cooling and suspension

  1. Awh… I wish you could point out everything you’ve mentioned about the pics. A simple circle around the area would be awesome… 🙂 nice verdict tho..

  2. Nice one Craig. I consider myself a bit of a tech head, but I can’t help but agree with BA, if only for the sake of confirmation.

      • Thanks for that, and thanks to your follower for those pics – not only this one, but also the post/pic of the ferrari; great detail of a part of the car we don’t get to see in great detail most of the time. It is interesting that McLaren seem to have taken some care to not reveal too many details yet, not installing the exhausts (hiding from the other teams, I suppose?).

  3. Great as ever scarbs! You should have a standard footer on all your articles along the lines of:

    Enjoy this post? Please click here to support my work.

    Obviously linking to your paypal page….

    If every reader gave you £1 for every article they enjoyed you’d be doing ok I guess!

  4. Awesome Craig really thankful to you for this great insight in Mac, Ferrari, Trends 2011 and Floors and Diffusers – The basics explained. Really it help me a lot for building up my knowledge about the sport. A lot of people says that why r u (that is me) so serious about the readings materials , its a sport just enjoy the game, leave the technical details. But i m sure they will never understand the fun of knowing and understanding the game better and thus it generates more fun perpetually. Sorry for the long personal feelings 🙂

  5. great, great stuff, like always. I liked the basic expanantions a lot, because the y get rid of the “stuff around”.

  6. i get the reason for limiting testing ($$$), but it stinks that we have elite teams going into the season with untested components. i want my F1 to be aggressive, “Your stuff is reliable to go get em,” attitudes. not, “we will basically be testing for the first few races to iron out the bugs, so take it easy kind of, but go get them also.”

    during the season, i would much rather see a test-proven mid-season update, than thursday-tested updates.

    limit the testing, yes, but not as much as they have recently.

    “And here comes Hamilton!!! He’s looks like he’s committed to the suicide pass into turn 1!!! OHHHHH NO!!! He’s broken down again! Looks like it’s Red Bull again.”

  7. Quick question on the McLaren exhaust – in relation to the improved pace at Australia:

    Could the “Octopus” exhaust, with all the potential outlets have been just a testing device, with the above pictured rear end being the result.

    I suspect the Octopus was not used with multiple outlets at the same time. If they used pairs of outlets during testing to determine the best location for the exhaust gases by testing various locations with only minor changes required between the tests.

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