McLaren has unveiled its 2023 Formula 1 car – the MCL60 – that it hopes will propel it back into the top four this season.
After a number of years of improvement, McLaren slipped to fifth in the constructors’ standings last year after losing out to Alpine in a season-long battle. The Alpine was generally the quicker car through the year but suffered a number of reliability problems, and McLaren hopes to leapfrog the Enstone-based team with the MCL60.
The new car is named to mark the team’s 60th anniversary since Bruce McLaren founded McLaren Racing, and features sidepods that have a much more severe undercut compared to its predecessor, while the rear end is also more tightly packaged.
The MCL60 will be driven by Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri this season after the latter replaced Daniel Ricciardo, and new team principal Andrea Stella says the target is to improve the car throughout the season.
“The challenge is to keep improving as a team,” he said. “Move up towards the front of the grid, and we can do it if we deliver the projects from an infrastructure point of view, we strengthen the team and we also elevate the standards – as we say internally – and we get focused on performance.
“In terms of performance expectations, we remain realistic for the short-term. We will see where we are in Bahrain at the test and the first race. Independently of that we have good developments in the pipeline so we remain optimistic for the season ahead.”
While technical director James Key was not present at the launch, Stella says he is pleased with the work done by the technical team, including on weight saving despite even more paint being removed from the car’s engine cover in keeping with other designs so far this year.
“I would be comfortable to say that our engineers have done a good job,” he said. “They’ve been able to take off weight in several areas of the car. So for what concerns our car, we are in a good position form that point of view. And we can finally leave some more space for orange on the car rather than taking it off after the last bit.
“Honestly, I feel all teams will have made a good step from a weight point of view. We should be hearing less about this topic as we enter the second season of these regulations.”