McLaren-Mercedes MCL35M, 2021

First pictures: McLaren reveals its new Mercedes-powered MCL35M for 2021

2021 F1 season

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McLaren has become the first team to present its new car for the 2021 F1 season.

The team presented its new MCL35M in a live broadcast from the McLaren Technology Centre.

McLaren is unique among its rivals in having switched power units for the new championship. The ‘M’ added to the car’s name refers to the team’s reunion with Mercedes, previously its engine supplier between 1995 and 2014, during which time the team scored its most recent race victories and world championships.

Another new addition to the team for the 2021 F1 season in Daniel Ricciardo, who arrives from Renault in place of Carlos Sainz Jnr. During the launch Ricciardo admitted he is a long-time fan of the team, and secretly visited them to buy one of their road cars while he was a Red Bull driver.

“I had to keep it a little bit under wraps,” he admitted. “I came here to spec the car out and even going over to the automotive side everyone was like ‘you know, you can’t really be seen here’. I’ve been a fan of McLaren for quite a long time.

Ricciardo’s team mate for the new season is Lando Norris. The 21-year-old is going into his third year as an F1 driver. McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said he believes the team has “the best driver line-up in Formula 1” for the new season.

McLaren MCL35M pictures

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Video: First look at McLaren’s MCL35M

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “First pictures: McLaren reveals its new Mercedes-powered MCL35M for 2021”

  1. Same as 2020 without the Mercedes logo.

    1. @jeff1s You mean Renault logo/text, although nothing Mercedes on the PU cover either, which is surprising.

      1. Which also baffleds me?

    2. Sure, if all you see is livery. I thought this was a site for race fans?

    3. The nose is a Mercedes one just compare it with the 2020 one looks like a 2019 Mercedes copy.

    4. Is it just me or are these cars really long?

  2. Uninspiring, as last year’s. Quite a feat, considering such a cool papaya tone.

  3. Still think it’s too messy, too many sponsors just slapped on everywhere, and too many colours. The papaya, blue and black with white is already pretty busy, adding in the red of Huski and the rainbow and it’s just too much.

  4. Not great, not terrible. I’m a huge McLaren fan, but the paintjob could surely be done better, especially in the rear. The rest doesn’t deserve any reflection – the rendered images are, as always, very basic and the cameraman was very careful not to go down to show the packaging of the new engine. The car launches are slowly becoming an obsolete thing.

  5. The only truly noticeable difference is the narrower floor at the back.

  6. McLaren have never finished lower than 3rd in the championship when running car numbers 3 and 4.
    All 5 times that happened, it was with a Mercedes engine…

    1. @eurobrun Given that running number 3 and 4 historically meant you probably finished 2nd in the constructor’s championship (or finished first, but your star driver moved teams), it isn’t a huge surprise about that statistic.

      1. @mashiat well, *historically* speaking, car numbers 3 and 4 meant you were either 2nd or third to Register for a race, or you were Tyrrell ;)

        1. @mrboerns I meant more during the 1990s and 2000s and early 2010s. Purely from memory, McLaren ran 3 and 4 in 2001, 2002, 2006, 2011 and 2012. I’m probably forgetting a few seasons.

  7. The blue graphic on the side doesn’t follow the lines of the car at all. Very untidy. Nor does the orange element which falls over the side of the nose, making that area of the car appear boxy. Not a classic livery at all, but I do hope the car is fast!

  8. Where are the Merc logos?

  9. @keithcollantine would be great if you could repeat your livery article with opinions after the new launches.

    Think he might dislike this one even more than last year’s McLaren…

      1. @f1osaurus

        Lol it’s self evident that I do, which of course you already know. Which makes your comment very strange.

  10. It’s nice but not really much more than an evolution of last year’s model. I suppose I’m disappointed only in that I expected them to lean harder into the Gulf sponsorship, so its okay, but I guess I expected more.

  11. Disappointing livery, they could do so much with that papaya colour.

    And the current cars are just… terribly long and out of proportion.

    Bring on the 2022 launches already..!

    1. yeah that’s what I thought – the cars are looking even longer! They need o be about 1.5 metres shorter to be in proportion

  12. BORING…..next please

  13. I like the black brear wing and shark fin.
    I would go for a more metallic papaya, and less shiny blue. Or metallic papaya, and metallic, but darker blue. Or a matte, but very dark blue.
    The worst part to me is the horiozntal split on the first half of the car, the papaya is ok but the black below hides too much, basically cuts it into two pieces of which the lower is hard to see. If they want to use so much black, apart from the floor, I would go for a much shinier metallic black (or a very very dark matte black), and a not horizontal split of color there.

    Although it was like this at the previous season as well, and now with Ricciardo, I will like the team, and both drivers even more.

  14. Not going to critique the livery because, let’s face it, that’s just a paintjob and you could paint it brown with pink pokadots and it would go just as fast.

    What I do like is that there’s been some nice looking evolution for the leading edge of the floor and T-tray area, as well as considerably narrower sidepods. I wonder how much of the latter is down to the different cooling requirements of the Mercedes PU. But even still, it’s a neater, sleeker design that hopefully should give McLaren the boost they need to be at the head of the midfield and regularly hit the podium.

  15. I might be in a minority but McLaren has looked like 2nd class team for a long time now. It’s like a mock-up livery made for games lacking official F1 license. Heritage aside they should drop that silly orange.

  16. There is no ‘Powered by Mercedes’ anywhere? Strange…!

  17. Just wondering how much the Works Mercedes, the green AM Mercedes and the Papaya Mercedes will differ in appearance…

  18. Just the same thing…but without any “Bleep Bleep Bleep” somewhere on the car.

  19. Mark in Florida
    16th February 2021, 23:35

    I don’t like it at all. The design is all over the place. It looks like some sign painter showed up at McLaren and asked for a job. Terrible….

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