McLaren has become the first Formula 1 team to reveal its 2021 car, having pulled the covers off its new MCL35M at its Woking factory.

The MCL35M features the team’s iconic papaya orange and blue livery and is the first McLaren F1 car to be fitted with a Mercedes engine in seven years after the British outfit switched from Renault to revive the partnership which previously ran between 1995 and 2014 over the winter.

McLaren’s latest challenger was presented in a digital launch by Lando Norris and new signing Daniel Ricciardo at the team’s McLaren Technology Centre in Woking on Monday evening.

After claiming third place in the F1 constructors’ championship and recording two podium finishes in 2020, McLaren is aiming to continue to build on its recent upward trajectory and maintain its position at the front of the midfield this season.

“We’re thrilled to launch our 2021 team with Lando and Daniel, as we prepare to get the Formula 1 season started,” said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.

“We’ve got an incredibly exciting driver line-up this year, both are formidable racers on-track and great characters off-track. Lando is a naturally fast and intelligent racer on an exciting trajectory, while Daniel is a multiple grand prix winner with a sharp racer’s edge and exceptional talent. 

“After a challenging but rewarding 2020, we have firmly hit the reset button for this season as we continue on our path towards the front of the grid. This will be an even tougher season but we’re ready to meet the challenge.

“I want to pay tribute to Formula 1 and the FIA and our fellow teams in continuing to work hard for the benefit of our sport as we strive to bring exciting racing to fans around the world.

“I’m proud of our team and the progress we’ve made together so far. We’ve still got a long way to go, but we’ve got a great spirit in the team and we’re becoming stronger competitors as we continue on our journey.”

Despite teams being forced to carry over their chassis from last season to this one, McLaren’s MCL35M is F1’s most different car of 2021 with the team having to design a new package in order to accommodate the Mercedes power unit.

McLaren technical director James Key said the team has had to upgrade a huge amount on its new car amid what he described as “significant” new aerodynamic regulations coming into play.

“Despite relatively stable technical regulations from 2020, there are several significant aerodynamic changes to the rules that are important to get right,” Key explained.

“Every change to these regulations presents an opportunity, and the team in Woking has been working incredibly hard in difficult conditions to maximise those opportunities.

“One of the key elements of the MCL35M design is the integration of the Mercedes-AMG power unit, which has taken a considerable effort from the team in Woking, as well as our colleagues at Mercedes.

“Despite our limited scope for installation in a homologated car, the team has done a fantastic job of optimising our design work. I’m immensely proud of how our incredible group of people has risen to this challenge and developed the best possible package.”

AlphaTauri is set to be the next team to unveil its 2021 F1 car - the AT02 - on Friday 19 February.

 

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