July 22, 2008

McLaren's clever traction control

Mclaren have been using a form of traction control via a clever exploitation of a loophole in the regulations. Mclaren, who in the past had come up with "solutions" such as differential braking using a separate brake pedal, have engineered something in the same spirit which is giving them the "unfair advantage" over the competition ....

Put a limitation in front of designers and you can be sure someone will read every single line of the rules and find some loophole... Mclaren have figured out how to limit wheelspin out of slow corners by, essentially, circumventing the rules.

Mark Hughes writes in the Telegraph:

McLaren's steering wheel features four paddle levers rather than the usual two. The upper two are conventional gear-change paddles, one for upshifting, one for down. The lower two allow different engine torque settings to be chosen. Using two fingers at the same time allows the car always to have the most favourable engine torque setting for each gear, thus giving the driver a tool for limiting wheelspin out of slow corners without then suffering a reduction in power in the higher gears, where wheelspin is not an issue. The rules stipulate that any change in torque settings cannot be triggered by the same driver input as a gear change. Having two separate levers gets around that rule, while still allowing the change of gear and torque setting to take place simultaneously. This is part of McLaren's current performance superiority over Ferrari.

(thank you Jim Cesiro for the tip!)


  1. cleaver little bastards!

  2. Every car has a button or dial to do the same thing. McLaren were just clever enough to choose an ergonomic place for it.

    That's definitely not cheating, it's not even a "loophole", it's just paying shedload on an army of clever bastards.

    Someone said that the definition of a genius idea is one which you cannot believe had not been invented earlier. This is genius.

  3. The additional brake pedal a few years back was not "cheating" as the Renault Damper and the Ferrari double floor were not. All were perhaps against the spirit of the regulations but, hey... engineers are ALWAYS more clever than the rule writers.


nRelate Posts Only