Today, February 15, 2021, the new McLaren car, called the MCL35M, has been unveiled. Like the car, the new driver line-up was also unveiled, which is listed as one of the strongest on the category's entire grid. This is Lando Norris, who enters his third season in Formula 1, each and every one of them with McLaren. Lando's 2020 season was phenomenal as he achieved his first podium in the category, as well as leading the team to third place in the constructors' championship. Like his teammate is Daniel Ricciardo, who has left Renault in order to go to Woking and work to close the gap that currently exists between them and teams like Mercedes and Red Bull. Daniel and Lando expect the fight with the mid-table teams to be quite intense, as the technical regulations remain stable, further compressing the competition between the teams. Regarding the car, McLaren decided to benefit from the aerodynamic developments they managed to obtain with last year's MCL35, in addition to the chassis they have developed. The biggest change that exists in this car is that it stops using a Renault power unit to use one supplied by Mercedes-AMG.
“We’re thrilled to launch our 2021 team with Lando and Daniel, as we prepare to get the Formula 1 season started. 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.” Zak Brown, who is McLaren Racing’s CEO, commented.
“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.”
“All of us at McLaren are ready and determined for another season of intensely competitive Formula 1 racing. The entire team has worked hard over the short winter, together with our colleagues from Mercedes-AMG, to produce the MCL35M and provide a strong car for our drivers to race this year. This has been no small challenge, and I want to thank every member of our team, whether at the MTC or working remotely, for the massive effort they’ve put in. Lando and Daniel will, I know, do their very best to represent the team out on track.” McLaren’s team principal, Andreas Seidl, affirmed.
“Despite relatively stable technical regulations from 2020, there are several significant aerodynamic changes to the rules that are important to get right. 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.” Said McLaren’s Techical Director, James Key.
“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 really excited to be back working with the team ahead of my third season in Formula 1. Every time I get into the car I feel like I’m growing in confidence and experience, which helps me build my performance year-on-year. I’ve been working hard personally throughout the off-season to be as sharp as I can when we get to pre-season testing, and I can’t wait to get back in the car soon.” Lando Norris commented.
“I’m thrilled to be a McLaren driver and super-keen to get started. McLaren has been on an awesome journey over the last few years, and I’m looking forward to helping the team maintain this positive momentum. I’ve been spending the last few weeks here in the UK getting fully integrated into the team so that we’re as prepared as possible for the start of the season. I’ve had such a warm welcome from everyone I’ve met and there’s a real sense of unity and focus around the factory, and a lot of excitement!” Daniel Ricciardo commented regarding his welcome to his new team.