E: Have you been tempted to get an F1 in to have alongside and to compare?
GM: “Absolutely. We have a lot of young engineers that have never even seen an F1. I borrowed one for three months and immersed them all in it.”
E: I bet they loved that!
GM: “They did, but it was really useful to give them a grounding and an understanding of the starting point and the principles.”
E: “How has the process of creating a car like this changed and improved now, with the digitisation of engineering, design, with how computers can do a lot of the maths for you in terms of aerodynamics, loads and stresses?
GM: “From a styling point of view, we don’t really use clay anymore. We dabbled with virtual reality but we went back to surface modelling. From an analysis point of view, in engineering design, my goodness. The amount of detail you go into with carbon is incredible. This chassis, with similar geometry to the McLaren F1, is 70kg lighter than the F1’s and is twice as torsionally rigid. It’s all to do with the modelling tools and knowing where to put the carbon and what carbon to use.
“We were going to use a wind tunnel, but we couldn’t because of Covid-19. So we had to rely 100 per cent on CFD and it’s turned out to be absolutely spot on. The other level that’s moved on in 30 years, is manufacturing. A lot of the car is printed. You just can’t believe it. The door handles are aluminium. With the F1, they would have been cast. Today we print it and it’s 20 percent of the weight. It’s very expensive but when weight is the target, you do what you have to do.”
E: What do you think of the Czinger 21C, with its very organic-looking AI-dictated printed components? Is it sort of on the same lines?
GM: “It’s interesting, yes and no. There is a fine line between just making what the computer tells you to do, and actually having something that’s an engineering work of art. We tend to err on the side of engineering art.”
E: Okay, you can obviously say nothing on this because that’s the way these things are but we know there’s a trademark on a name – T.33 – and you’ve teased that something is coming after T.50. Can you tell us anything about that?
GM: “We’re certainly not going for one and done so we are working on the next car. We’ve got a car company of a few hundred people so we’re not just shutting down. The T.50 will always be the halo car, that’s my promise to the team and the owners but the next car is coming. The principles that make the T.50 won’t change but there will be more on that soon.”