McLaren unveils MCL35M with a threat under the lid

The first car of 2021 unveiled: Woking bets on the Mercedes engine to fight for podiums with Ricciardo and Norris.


It is called the same as the 2020 car, with the last name 'M', and it is no coincidence: McLaren presented this Monday from Woking a continuous car, the MCL35M, to aspire to more podiums in the 2021 season with its great hidden weapon under the fairing, the Mercedes engine. Lando Norris faces his third season in the team and Daniel Ricciardo, the star signing to replace Carlos Sainz, hopes he did not miss the shot by betting on a historical recovery. For the first time since 2014 they have no Spanish drivers in the lineup. That was his last year as a McLaren Mercedes team and the German propeller was entrusted again.

At first glance, the aerodynamics of the orange car is the kit that Carlos Sainz and Norris established from the Nurburgring in October of last year. The hump on the engine cover is striking, because it has been necessary to review the chassis (without breaking the regulations) to fit its new power unit instead of Renault's.

The 31-year-old Australian with 7 F1 wins, all at Red Bull, is optimistic: "Any team can have podium options again and it will be tight. I hope my motivation and experience will play a role." As for Lando, 21, a good classifier with room for improvement on Sundays: "I know what I want in the car and what I need from the engineers, for my part I expect better performances." The English passed the COVID-19 during the winter break, although he is already recovered "almost one hundred percent" .

At the helm of the team, three names of weight: Zak Brown (CEO), Andreas Seidl (team leader) and James Key (technical director). Although, for the first time since 2014, there is no Spanish driver in the McLaren lineup. Ricciardo and Norris will pilot the MCL35M for the first time since this Tuesday on a 'filming day'. Pre-season testing awaits March 12-14 in Sakhir and the first GP of the year, Bahrain, on March 28. There is a desire for Formula 1 and McLaren has won at least one race in 2021: the one of the presentations.

Seidl: "We have the world champion engine"

Seidl maintains his speech, a hallmark, so that the expectations of some do not collide with what the track returns to McLaren. "Our driver line-up remains one of the best on the grid and we have the world champion engine. But we cannot forget the battle that took place last year, we respect all our rivals and the official teams with more updated facilities than ours. We must be optimistic, but realistic, "the German told the media in an online press conference.

All with an eye on the future of F1, the 2022 rule change: "We have been working in parallel with the 2022 car since January. We will all try to start the season well because that will allow you to switch to next year's car as soon as possible It is still important to complete a good 2021, but we must not lose perspective if we want to close the gap with our rivals. And we must use the 2022 rules as an opportunity. "

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