McLaren MCL60, 2023

McLaren set top four target as they reveal new F1 car for 2023

2023 F1 season

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McLaren team principal Andrea Stella says the team want to re-establish themselves as a top four team in 2023 with the newly unveiled MCL60.

The team’s new car was revealed at a launch event at the team’s Woking headquarters. Driven by Lando Norris and rookie Oscar Piastri, the Mercedes-powered car largely retains the papaya-orange and blue livery that the team sported in 2022.

The unveiling highlighted new sponsors that McLaren have brought in for 2023, including logistics company DP World, Jack Daniels, as well as more prominent OKX and Google logos.

Having dropped to fifth in the constructors’ championship last season, new team principal Stella said that the aim was to return to the top four in 2023.

“I think it’s fair to say that over the course of the season we would like to establish ourselves as part of the top four,” Stella said.

“We know realistically that with the top three teams, this may mean like potentially just being the fourth best car, like I say, over the course of the season, We are realistic in the very short term.”

Pictures: 2023 McLaren MCL60

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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21 comments on “McLaren set top four target as they reveal new F1 car for 2023”

  1. I don’t like how these generation of cars look. It’s like there is too much curve and aero on the side. Sponsors don’t look good there

  2. This colour combination Mclaren uses is absolutely horrendous. Why is that light blue there? I get it they got excited after that special Gulf livery 2 years ago, but everything from there after (including the Formula E and Indycars) is horrible!

    Drop that light blue!

    1. I actually love the light blue and orange. Too much black though.

  3. Good target, but the outcome isn’t entirely in their hands considering Alpine & AM, especially the former.

    1. It is in their hands, though. They need to perform better than those two and they’re pretty much guaranteed that 4th place. It’s not really a great target for a team with such a history of successes in F1, but I suppose they’ve accepted that they can’t compete for the real prizes without their own engine.

      The most interesting thing about McLaren will therefore likely be how well Piastri does compared to Norris. Especially since Norris’ trouncing of Ricciardo has propelled him way up a lot of people’s and outlets’ driver rankings, and Piastri comes into F1 having made short work of the junior categories. Both will be very keen to make their case.

      1. MichaelN, I would say that McLaren have had deeper issues in recent years than the engine, and some of those issues are still ongoing.

        After all, their most recent cars have been criticised for having unusual handling traits that have made them difficult for the drivers to maximise their performance. Norris has made some rather pointed criticisms of McLaren’s designers recently, suggesting that they’d made too many compromises in trying to achieve the ultimate peak performance that it meant they could never get a set up that could achieve that peak performance, resulting in the handling balance constantly shifting.

        Additionally, Norris was complaining that, though he’s been able to work around some of those issues over a shorter stint, the odd handling characteristics have caused problems with excessive tyre temperatures and abnormal wear patterns that caused their pace to drop off too rapidly in race trim, ultimately hurting the overall race pace.

        Similarly, McLaren have been talking about the wind tunnel being a limiting factor for development, but whilst they began the upgrade project in 2019, they’ve been running behind schedule. The original plan was to start calibration work in 2021 but, due to the pandemic, in 2021 they then pushed back the start of that calibration work to 2022.

        However, they’ve been continuing to slip further behind schedule since then, with Key now confirming that calibration work is going to be starting later this year, with the hope that it will be fully online by 2024 – with Zak Brown having stated that their 2025 car is probably the earliest one which will see any benefits from those upgrades. Even allowing for some delays due to the pandemic, they’ve still got rather bigger problems to deal with when their major upgrade programme is currently two years behind schedule.

        1. Absolutely, these are definitely further problems for the team. The odd characteristics of their cars now go back several years and persisted between very different sets of rules. This points to, perhaps, a combination of a flawed design philosophy and inadequate tools to verify and test the effects certain design choices have on the overall package.

    2. Alpine aren’t going to be anywhere – no customer teams to get extra data on the engine for a start. Also, I like Gasly a lot, but he isn’t going to be pushing development anything like Alonso was.

  4. We want an orange car yes? Then make it orange! Every year it seems to get more and more black parts.

    The older orange cars looked much better than this.

    1. I agree, either go orange with blue bits or black with orange bits but this doesn’t work at all. And top that with the Google wheels it’s a colourful mess.

  5. I was going to mock the launch – since when did a racing car need an Apple-style product launch? – but that was actually pretty good. The film of Bruce McLaren was properly moving. Sometimes an end is just a beginning, indeed.

    I think Norris and Piastri are going to give us a lot of entertainment over the next season.

    1. F1 Car launches used to be far more over the top than this!

      1. Like having the Spice Girls at the launch event.

  6. The orange is rapidly fading from this color scheme. I think they should go chrome again, since Google Chrome sponsorship is almost covering the entire car!

  7. I like how McLaren named their car the MCL60 to honour their 60th anniversary. This is a clear departure from the naming convention they have been using since 1981 if I’m not wrong that included the edition number first with MP prefix then MCL. McLaren do have a glorious racing history and I’ve always thought that they need to do more to promote it. I think they are heading in the right direction with that regard.

    As for the car itself it seems to have adopted the RBR style sidepods and kept the front pull-rod rear push-rod suspension schemes. The orange papaya is beautiful but the combination with the blue is just pathetic. They have done the same thing Ferrari did with that stupid green of Mission LoseNow.

    1. McLaren do have a glorious racing history and I’ve always thought that they need to do more to promote it.

      Definitely, and it’s been great to see them spread out to different series over the last few years, from GT3 to Indycar and F1.

  8. Well that didn’t take long for designs to merge..!

    1. It never does when something works (we even saw design homogenization late last season) but the real test will be to see if Mercedes stick with their concept — if they do and it proves successful it may introduce a fork in designs as others will likely be looking to copy Mercedes’ compact cooling systems as well.

  9. The Google clown colors ruin this car.

    1. The “Google clown colors” pay a lot of bills. The car’s colour scheme ruins the car – again.

  10. The light blue is ugly, especially with those “page loading” wheel spinners.

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