The first Formula 1 car for the 2021 season is here. McLaren has put off the car with which they rejoin Mercedes, his old partner from whom they separated in 2014. The Woking men hope to take another step forward with a much more competitive engine than the one they used from Renault.
McLaren’s new car maintains the predominant orange but shows two notable variations from last season’s car. On the one hand, Mercedes enters as a motorcyclist, and on the other Coca-Cola makes its way as a major sponsor for McLaren. A season with many expectations.
Ricciardo replaces Carlos Sainz in a team that wants to continue growing
As for the pilots, McLaren keeps Lando Norris but has lost Carlos Sainz, who has been replaced by Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian and the British will form one of the most competitive pairs on the grid. Ricciardo should be the team leader, but Norris is making steady progress.
For Lando Norris it will be his third season in Formula 1, all with McLaren, and now he will have to start contributing more regularly. In 2021 we saw flashes, but it deflated at the end of the year and finished behind Sainz overall. The internal battle is going to be interesting, since Ricciardo has warned that he is not coming to do a comedy show.
McLaren is going to be the fifth team in Ricciardo’s sporting career in Formula 1, after HRT, Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Renault. The Australian, a seven-race winner, must bring competitive experience and know how to win. He is also a good angler in rough waters, and McLaren is going to prowl the podium on quite a few occasions.
Due to the change of engines, McLaren is the only team that has been able to make modifications to its chassis, as development is frozen. In theory, in Woking they could only work to mold the Mercedes engine to their car, but we will see what the McLaren engineers have been able to get out of their sleeve.
McLaren and Mercedes formed one of the strongest alliances in Formula 1 between 1995 and 2014, getting three world drivers’ titles, two with Mika Hakkinen and one with Lewis Hamilton. But they separated after the entry of Honda as a motorist for the British house, which had already lost importance in Mercedes after they created their own team.
McLaren has been in steady progress for three seasons, just since it abandoned Honda engines to take Renault engines. Last year they returned to the top three of the overall brand for the first time since 2012. They are confident that the Mercedes engine will give them one more boost to continue progressing. The next presentation will be that of Alpha Tauri on Friday.
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