McLaren names its 2023 F1 car MCL60 to mark team’s anniversary

2023 F1 season

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McLaren have revealed their new Formula 1 car, which will contest the 2023 season, is to be called the MCL60.

The name, which marks a departure from the team’s recent nomenclature, makes reference to the 60th anniversary of the team, which was founded by Bruce McLaren in 1963.

Last year’s car, the MCL36, continued McLaren’s long-running numerical system of naming their cars which stretched back to the first car developed after Ron Dennis took over the team. MP4, which stood for McLaren Project 4 in reference to Dennis’s Project Four Racing organisation, preceded the numbers in their cars’ names until 2016.

The present McLaren team continued that sequence after Dennis’ departure, with MCL preceding the numbers.

Before Dennis took over, McLaren’s F1 cars were numbered from M2 to M29. The ‘M’ designation was also used for cars raced in other series.

The naming of the Mercedes-powered MCL60, which will be launched next Monday at the team’s Woking headquarters, is the start of several celebrations McLaren will be making through 2023 for their 60th anniversary.

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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  • 11 comments on “McLaren names its 2023 F1 car MCL60 to mark team’s anniversary”

    1. MP4 stood for Marlboro Project 4, did it not?

      1. @mrfabulous what exactly it is said to have stood for does depend on whom you ask, because what it is said to stand for has changed over time.

        It is commonly recounted that the M stood for Marlboro, in reference to their role in brokering the merger between McLaren and Project 4: however, McLaren changed their stance in 1997 and, since then, have stated that the MP4 designation stands for McLaren Project 4. Whilst it therefore might have once referenced Marlboro, it is not wrong to state that it stood for McLaren Project 4, given that McLaren themselves changed it to that term (and it’s also the term that has been in longer public use too).

        1. Ah, that would make sense. ‘Re-imagine’ the M as McLaren once Marlboro left the team for Ferrari, and then drop the Project 4 reference, and with it the entire MP4 designation, once Uncle Ron was shown the door.

          Of course there are those that would say that MP4 stood for excellence, innovation and unquenchable thirst to win – things that have been sadly lacking since the team switched to the MCL designation…..

          1. @mrfabulous the Project 4 team was wider than just Ron Dennis though – figures like John Barnard or Creighton Brown, who also had significant stakes in the team, are often sidelined from the story, and to some extent things that should be credited to them tend to be credited to Ron Dennis instead.

      2. I didn’t know that – thanks.

    2. Oh no! They caught a Ferrari flu!

    3. The pedant in me will be annoyed by that in the future, particularly if they revert to “MCL38” next season.

      1. And what about 22 years later? Will it be the MCL60B?

    4. Should had called it the M60.

    5. Alpine haven’t ruled out calling their new car the A2, to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of renaming the team.

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