McLaren MCL35 launch. McLaren Technology Centre, 2020

McLaren to reveal Mercedes-powered MCL35M on February 15th

2021 F1 season

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McLaren will launch its new car car for the 2021 F1 season on February 15th.

The team will present the Mercedes-powered MCL35M at 7pm GMT. The car was fired up for the first time on Tuesday, footage of which appeared online yesterday.

McLaren is the second team to confirm its launch plans for the new season. Alfa Romeo will launch its C41 one week later in Poland. Pre-season testing is due to begin at the Bahrain International Circuit on March 12th.

McLaren are switching back to Mercedes power for the first time since they moved to Honda power in 2015. It is their third different engine supplier in five years, having used Renault power in the previous three seasons.

Another new addition to the team is driver Daniel Ricciardo, who joins McLaren from Renault. He will be partnered by Lando Norris, who goes into his third season of F1.

McLaren enjoyed their best season for eight years in 2020. The team rose to third place in the constructors championship and scored podium finishes in the Austrian and Italian grands prix.

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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13 comments on “McLaren to reveal Mercedes-powered MCL35M on February 15th”

  1. So there was a reveal of the reveal data.

  2. I love these big reveals but I can’t help but feel that McLaren are very unlucky this season.

    Bringing onboard the Mercedes engine should’ve given them a chance to challenge Red Bull as the 2nd best team but the regulation freeze will mean almost zero development of their car over the course of the season. How is that fair?

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      28th January 2021, 10:50

      It isn’t but on the plus side, they get a year to test and get used to the new engine with a ready-baked excuse for poor performance (if it happens). They can shift focus to the 2022 car almost immediately safe in the knowledge that it’ll be a Mercedes engine going into it.

      Red Bull on the other hand, don’t know what they’ll have in 2022 yet so they’ll take the hit at the worst time.

      1. I agree that those are probably two sides of the same coin @petebaldwin. There are both advantages and disadvantages to the change now.

        With regards to the development for this year, I think McLaren started working on that ahead of time though @sonnycrocket – some of their nose development was done already relatively early season, to be counted towards the last season, even if it somewhat compromised their car in the last few races by being a not optimized package as well as limiting development that counted in the midfield battle.

        So all in all, I would expect them to be fairly well prepared for this season. With the advantage of already being able to work with the Mercedes power unit and concentrate on next year.

  3. You’re right but Red Bull are their own worst enemy and deserve the outcome!

    You can’t go around constantly criticising engine partners etc and then expect anyone to have sympathy for you. A great big dose of schadenfreude from Renault and pretty much everyone else!

    1. Uhm partnerS? Renault you mean. Which was, in the days RB used their hybrid engine, slow and unreliable. Or should Renault get sympathy for selling (for a lot of millions as well) bad products to their clients? There is a reason Renault supplies only to themselves from this season on…..

      1. Do you only count as a partner if you supply a world championship winning engine? To me a partner is someone you work with through the good as well as the bad times. So I agree with you that they were not partners anymore during the hybrid era, but that was Red Bull’s own doing for the most part (at least the public part).

        1. Uhm… Why do you think I wrote a capital S behind partner? I responded to the fact that it has only been one partner and not multiple, like Sonny stated.

  4. I don’t think they’ll be as competitive in 2021 as they were in 2020, but I’m excited to see what the car looks like. Hope they go back to the Black and Silver/Chrome look. Those Mclarens just looked like winners.

    1. I loved the old McLaren’s, but I strongly hope they keep the current livery style; the blue and orange look great and we’re in desperate need of maintaining some colour on the grid!

      1. You said it all in once :) In 2018 that livery looked horrible but since then it is one of the best of the grid, period

  5. Could be a really strong season for McLaren. Certainly hope so.

    1. @david-br I really hope so too, wouldn’t be surprised to see them adopt a more “Mercedes-esq” philosophy on the chassis.

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