MCL33 issues were discovered too late for B-spec car - McLaren

McLaren has admitted it would have introduced a B-spec version of it's 2018 challenger, the McLaren MCL33, had it discovered its fundamental flaw earlier in the season.

The British team arguably had the second slowest car on average throughout the season despite switching to Renault engines, which it claimed pre-season would allow it to battle for occasional podiums.

That never materialised, with Fernando Alonso's fifth place at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix the highlight of the year.

A "fundamental problem" with the MCL33 meant the team were unable to develop it according to McLaren Group chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalif.

"We're confident we know why we haven't been able to develop this year's car," he is quoted as saying by the BBC. "There is a fundamental problem and we think we've addressed it.

"I don't know if we want to disclose what we have discovered and why, but we have taken steps, and the development of next year's car has helped us understand what went wrong here."

Sheikh Mohammed admitted the problem was discovered too late in the season to properly address it, but had it been uncovered in the opening races, McLaren would have introduced a B-spec car.

"Had we discovered that [problem] in April we would have had a B car," he added. "But it was too late."

McLaren all but abandoned the development of its 2018 car mid-way through the year to instead focus on its successor and has installed a new technical team in place in the hope of turning its fortunes around.