Shakedown McLaren’s MCL35M 2021 F1 – The British team has reunited with Mercedes after six years split evenly between its dreadful Honda alliance and its renaissance with Renault.
Star signing Daniel Ricciardo, who has replaced new Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr at McLaren, joined team-mate Lando Norris to take the wraps off the new design on Monday evening.
Daniel Ricciardo is set to get his first taste driving McLaren’s 2021 Formula 1 car on Tuesday as the team conducts a pair of filming days at Silverstone this week.
Both new signing Ricciardo and teammate Lando Norris will split driving responsibilities behind the wheel of McLaren’s 2021 challenger – the MCL35M – which was officially launched on Monday evening at the team’s Woking headquarters.
Under F1’s regulations, teams are permitted to complete two filming days per season of 100km each – equivalent to 17 laps of Silverstone – and are not allowed to undertake any further running with their current cars through the season due to strict restrictions on testing.
McLaren has decided to carry out both its promotional filming days this week at Silverstone with the first taking place on Tuesday.
Despite the limited mileage permitted, the pair of shakedowns at the British Grand Prix venue will provide McLaren with a valuable chance to test out its new car for the first time on a real-world track ahead of pre-season testing in Bahrain, which takes place in four weeks’ time between 12-14 March.
It will provide both drivers the chance to get some early experience of the team’s Mercedes power unit following McLaren’s switch of engine supplier, as well as giving Ricciardo his first run out in his new car for the upcoming season.
Having moved from Renault in the off-season, Ricciardo has not yet been able to drive a McLaren F1 car ahead of the new campaign and is set to only get the equivalent of 1.5 days behind the wheel of the MCL35M in pre-season testing.
Pre-season testing this year has been cut back to just a single, three-day event in Bahrain in order to further save costs amid the significant carryover of car design from last season into this one.
“It’s great to have finally joined the team after what feels like an age since we confirmed it last May,” Ricciardo said at McLaren’s launch. “I’m thrilled to be a McLaren driver and super-keen to get started.
“McLaren has been on an awesome journey over the last few years, and I’m looking forward to helping the team maintain this positive momentum. I’ve been spending the last few weeks here in the UK getting fully integrated into the team so that we’re as prepared as possible for the start of the season.
“I’ve had such a warm welcome from everyone I’ve met and there’s a real sense of unity and focus around the factory and a lot of excitement.
“Going into this new season in Formula 1, I’m feeling excited and motivated to give it my absolute all. I think my determination to perform has only grown as I’ve gained more experience and I’m looking forward to getting this next chapter in my career started.”