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Formula 1 McLaren launch

McLaren reveals MCL60 F1 car with Norris, Piastri

McLaren has revealed the MCL60 challenger with which it will compete in Formula 1 2023 – the car named in celebration of the team’s 60th anniversary of its 1963 founding.

In a launch event at its Woking factory, the team also presented new driver Oscar Piastri alongside established McLaren star Lando Norris, and Andrea Stella, who takes over as team principal following Andreas Seidl’s departure to the Sauber-run Alfa Romeo squad at the end of 2022.

The MCL60 shown on Monday appears to be very much an evolution in terms of the aerodynamic concept begun with the MCL36 – albeit with additional updates to the downwashing sidepods McLaren switched to running last year, in a similar style to those featured on the all-conquering Red Bull RB18.

The new car’s sidepods have been tightened and feature a bigger undercut compared to is predecessor, which suggests McLaren is being less conservative when it comes to the cooling demands of its second car built to F1’s new ground-effects rules.

Intriguingly, the images McLaren has distributed of the launch-version MCL60 do not show a considerable RB18-like dimple in the middle of the sidepods that could be seen on the car presented to the media and McLaren fans at the McLaren Technology Centre launch, which suggests the team has already made development progress in that area in a short space of time during the off-season.

McLaren MCL60

McLaren MCL60

Photo by: McLaren

It is also understood that the team is aiming to start introducing a series of upgrades for the MCL60 from the fourth round of the 2023 season that will take place in Baku.

Speaking to the media after the MCL60’s launch event, McLaren boss Zak Brown said: “I think we have identified the shortcomings of last year's car and worked hard to tackle it on this year's car.

“I think we got most of it right, but we know there's still a couple areas that we're not where we want to be.”

The MCL60’s livery is also broadly similar to the colour scheme the MCL36 was running by the end of 2022 – albeit with orange patches added to the rear wing and removed from the front wing.

The new McLaren is again running with a large chunk of bare carbonfibre at the centre of its livery as the team – along with many of its rivals judging by the looks of the cars revealed so far in the pre-season – again strive to operate at the 798kg weight limit.

When asked by Autosport about the task of balancing the weight limit challenge with a desire to run a distinctive livery that celebrates McLaren’s long heritage, Stella said: “I would be comfortable to say that our engineers have done a good job.

McLaren MCL60

McLaren MCL60

Photo by: McLaren

“They've been able to take off weight in several areas of the car. So, on our car we are in a good position on that point of view.

“And we can finally leave some more space for orange and white on the car rather than taking it off to the last bit.

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“Honestly, I think all teams will have made a good step. We should be hearing less about this topic as we enter the second season of these new regulations.”

As previously revealed, Piastri also confirmed during the launch that he will use the number 81 in his F1 career, which he used in his karting days and at stages of his junior single-seater career.

McLaren MCL60

McLaren MCL60

Photo by: McLaren

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