The story of McLaren’s comeback in Formula 1 over the last couple of years is worthy of a mini-documentary itself. The British outfit will enter the 2021 season with the most exciting driver lineup and an exciting new engine in the same bright orange package.
The ‘M’ at the end of the MCL35 stands for its Mercedes power unit. This change came at a great cost to the team given all the regulatory restrictions around the development of the 2021 contender. After a 2-year partnership with Renault that saw the team achieve impressive results in the manufacturer’s championship, McLaren has reunited with Mercedes. The Mercedes-AMG M12 E Performance is the engine that gives them the best chance to compete for podium spots, consistently. Not much has changed in terms of the livery, a combo of papaya orange and blue, with LOTS of sponsor stickers all around.
“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” stated James Key, Technical Director at McLaren F1 in the official release for the MCL35M. Andreas Seidl remains as the Team Principal and McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown seems realistically optimistic for the season ahead, stating “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.”
McLaren has retained British driver Lando Norris for a third straight season and partnered him with their new signing, Daniel Ricciardo. While both are fan favourites for their high energy media presence with plenty of humour, they’re brilliant racers first. Lando got to showcase his growth as an F1 driver in the 2020 season and even claimed his first podium at the opening GP in Austria. Meanwhile, Daniel had a decent year at Renault with two podiums and has already proven his world-class racing abilities many times during his stint at Red Bull. With a Mercedes power unit and a solid McLaren chassis under them, these two should be able to deliver some exciting performances in 2021.
What do you make of the MCL35M? Where do you think McLaren will be in the constructor’s standings after the first 5 races? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to the Auto Loons for more F1 updates and news about cool cars.