McLaren unveils MCL35M Formula 1 car ahead of 2021 season

McLaren has become the first Formula 1 team to unveil its new car ahead of the 2021 season, presenting the MCL35M to the world on Monday evening

McLaren unveils MCL35M Formula 1 car ahead of 2021 season

Following a busy winter, during which the team has switched to Mercedes power units and signed Daniel Ricciardo from Renault, McLaren unveiled the MCL35M at its Woking base ahead of its planned on-track debut this week.

Despite the freeze in the technical regulations between 2020 and 2021, McLaren has been forced to make a sizeable number of changes to its new car in order to accommodate the new Mercedes power unit, as well as accounting for the downforce cuts enforced by the update regulations.

PLUS: The influences of Mercedes on McLaren's 2021 challenger

The team has spent its two permitted development tokens on the rear of the car to incorporate the new power unit, but remains confident of fighting for third place in the constructors' championship once again.

McLaren enjoyed its best season since 2012 last year as Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr both scored podiums en route to leading the team to third, trailing only Mercedes and Red Bull.

Following Sainz's move to Ferrari, seven-time grand prix winner Ricciardo has arrived on a three-year deal from Renault, bringing 10 seasons' worth of experience to McLaren.

The new MCL35M car retains largely the same livery as last year as McLaren retains its papaya orange and blue design, albeit with some subtle changes such as shifting the rainbow design previously on the halo to the rear of the car and the blue stripe on the nose.

Mercedes' involvement in the new partnership with McLaren is reflected in the car name, adding the 'M' designation to last year's MCL35, but there is no Mercedes branding on the car due to the nature of their customer agreement.

It marks a reunion of McLaren and Mercedes, who were previously works partners between 1995 and 2009 before the formation of Mercedes' own team for the 2010 season. McLaren continued as a Mercedes customer until the end of 2014, when it switched to Honda.

McLaren-Mercedes won three drivers' championships and one constructors' title in their 20-season spell together, as well as recording the most recent McLaren victory at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.

The new McLaren MCL35M will get its first on-track outing at Silverstone on Tuesday when the team holds a filming day, acting as a shakedown for the new car.

It will then enjoy its first extended run-out at the start of pre-season testing in Bahrain next month, which runs from 12-14 March.

The opening round of the 2021 season then takes place on 28 March in Bahrain.

shares
comments
Watch McLaren 2021 F1 car launch, live at 7pm

Previous article

Watch McLaren 2021 F1 car launch, live at 7pm

Next article

Ricciardo set for McLaren F1 debut on Tuesday in Silverstone shakedown

Ricciardo set for McLaren F1 debut on Tuesday in Silverstone shakedown
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Luke Smith
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Plus

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

Formula 1
Apr 22, 2021
How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight Plus

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021