The first 2021 car has been unveiled, with McLaren launching the MCL35M ahead of the upcoming Formula 1 season.
There are a number of changes for the Woking team this year, with the car featuring Mercedes engines for the first time since 2014, while Daniel Ricciardo joins the outfit from Renault, replacing Carlos Sainz.
The livery is very similar to last year’s challenger, which saw the team finish third in the constructors’ standings.
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said: “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.
“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. I want to pay tribute to Formula 1 and the FIA and our fellow teams in continuing to work hard for the benefit of our sport as we strive to bring exciting racing to fans around the world.
“We head into this season with an incredible group of committed and valuable partners at our side, who are such a vital part of our team. 2020 represented a significant challenge, not just for McLaren Racing but also many of our partners, so to have maintained their support is a testament to the quality of our partners and the relationships we have formed on our journey together.
“We’ve really missed having our fantastic fans with us at track, and we can’t wait to have them join us again when safe to do so. As always, we go to every grand prix weekend with the ambition of putting on a great show and achieving the best possible result for our incredible fanbase. 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.”
Isn't it beautiful? 🥰🧡
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) February 15, 2021
Heading into his third year in F1, Lando Norris said: “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.
“I’m looking forward to going back to some of the countries we couldn’t race at last year, hopefully with fans as well at some point, who create such an incredible atmosphere in every country we race in. We’ve really missed having our fans trackside and until we can meet again in person, I’ll be working as hard as I can to give them a good show. 2021 is going to be another challenging year on-track with close competition, but I’m just focused on getting back to racing and giving it my all.”
Ricciardo added: “It’s great to have finally joined the team after what feels like an age since we confirmed it last May. 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!
“Going into this new season in Formula 1, I’m feeling excited and motivated to give it my absolute all. I think my determination to perform has only grown as I’ve gained more experience and I’m looking forward to getting this next chapter in my career started.”