McLaren unveiled their 2020 Formula 1 challenger in Woking on Thursday as the team set the foundations for a season in which it seeks to better their ‘best of the rest' status as their journey to the top continues.
The MCL35 is an evolution of last year's MCL34 but even the untrained eye can pick out the much more aggressive nature of this year's car. Notable changes include a 2019 Mercedes-like needle nose, the cape encompassing the front wing, bargeboard area and radicalised sidepod intakes with the entire package looking far tighter, in a philosophy mastered by Red Bull’s Adrian Newey in recent years.
“Today is another step on our journey,” team principal Andreas Seidl explained. ”It is important not to be complacent, this will be a tough season – nothing comes easy in Formula 1 and the competition at the head of the midfield will be intense. “We have six days of testing to prepare for the start of the new season and Carlos, Lando and the whole team here at the MTC and at track are ready – we go again!”
Last year, McLaren brought an all new driver lineup to the picture with Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris at the wheel. The duo helped inspire a wave of change at a team which has spent the latter half of the last decade in turmoil, following a toxic Honda partnership that failed to yield the sort of crop their first F1 partnership did in the late 80s and early 90s.
McLaren is sticking with its return to the papaya and blue colours Bruce McLaren ran in the team’s formative Formula 1 stages. Although it is unlikely that the team will add to its eight constructor’s championships in 2020, the goal is to develop on the gains and podium finish it secured in 2019. Seidl had previously said that his team will not be challenging for wins until 2023, but team boss Zak Brown reiterated that McLaren will not overlook 2020 in favour of laying better foundations ahead of the looming 2021 F1 rules shakeup.
The prestigious British team races its 54th championship this year, but it seeks to escape the midfield battle and draw closer still to the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes as Brown aims to make his McLaren era as memorable as the Marlboro and West days gone by.
First running of the MCL35 will take place in Barcelona in pre-season testing on the 19th of February while competition begins in Melbourne, Australia on March 15. (Photo: McLaren)