McLaren Racing today unveiled the team’s new driver line-up to a live global audience ahead of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
21-year-old Lando Norris enters his third season in Formula 1 with McLaren, following a breakout season in 2020 that saw the Brit achieve his first F1 podium. In 2021, Norris is joined by seven-time race winner Daniel Ricciardo, 31, from Australia.
2020 saw the team climb to third in the FIA Formula 1 Constructors’ World Championship amid tough competition from a packed midfield, and the logistical challenges of an adapted season due to the covid-19 pandemic. The intense rivalry between teams is expected to continue into 2021 as technical regulations remain stable, further compressing the competition between teams, and financial regulations come into force to provide a sustainable platform for the future of the sport.
Alongside its fresh driver line-up, the team shared a first glimpse of the McLaren MCL35M, the team’s 2021 race car. The MCL35M is an evolution of the 2020 contender, the MCL35, and benefits from aerodynamic and chassis developments by the team throughout the winter. Alongside these developments comes the introduction of a new power unit, supplied by Mercedes-AMG. The Mercedes-AMG M12 E Performance was integrated into the design of the MCL35M by McLaren with the support of Mercedes High Performance Powertrains and represents one of several key changes to the car as part of its evolution into the MCL35M.
The fan-loved livery of the MCL35M has undergone a subtle progression from the 2020 design, maintaining the iconic McLaren papaya orange and blue, the popular colors first carried by the team in the 1960s with team founder, Bruce McLaren, at the wheel.
The team heads into its 54th year of Formula 1 competition with a strong portfolio of more than 40 committed partners at its side and recent investment from MSP Sports Capital and UBS O’Connor, announced at the end of 2020, building on its performance off-track, alongside its on-track progress.
Lando and Daniel will first drive the MCL35M at Silverstone from tomorrow as part of the team’s pre-season filming days. The team makes its first official outing at the Bahrain International Circuit on March 12 at pre-season testing. McLaren F1 will return to Sakhir for the Formula 1 season-opener, and the team’s first home race, at the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28.