McLaren F1 team have launched their 2020 challenger, the MCL35 as the team hopes to move back into the top three of the constructor’s championship.
The launch was held at McLaren’s state of the art technology centre in Woking with selected fans chosen to help present the car from the team’s McLaren plus papaya club.
After the MCL35 was brought in, Sky Sports F1 presenter Simon Lazenby introduced McLaren’s 2020 lineup of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris.
In his second year of Formula 1, Norris is aware of the task that he must better his 2019 finishing position of eleventh place in the driver’s standings with a best finish of sixth at Bahrain and Austria with the Brit excited about driving the new MCL35 which he also joked that he had designed the car himself at the official launch this afternoon.
“I think the MCL35 looks great with its updated livery – I think our fans will love it and I’m really excited to drive it for the first time,” said Norris.
“A lot of hard work and development have gone into this car from the design team, the engineers, the car build team and Carlos and myself, and it’s a special feeling to have been involved in its evolution.
“My rookie season was an incredible experience and I learned a lot from the team and from Carlos. With my first year under my belt, I feel more confident as a driver and in the feedback, I can provide to my engineers as we keep pushing the performance of the car throughout the year.”
As for teammate Sainz, 2019 saw the Spaniard get his first podium after four years in Formula 1 as well as McLaren’s first since 2014. Sainz is now hoping he can take McLaren back into the top 3 in the constructor’s championship for the first time since 2012.
However Sainz is wary on what could be a tough midfield battle with the Renault F1 Team and Scuderia AlphaTauri.
“The solid jump forward we made last season was a huge motivation but, at the same time, a strong reminder of how tight the fight continues to be in the midfield. We can’t afford to sit back in 2020 if we want to close the gap to the top,” said Sainz.
“The ambition is to push myself and the team to take another step forward this season, and I’m looking forward to Barcelona testing and continuing the positive momentum we started last year.”
McLaren’s chief executive Zak Brown praised the team’s 2019 efforts as he encouraged his team to remain focused and to push forward.
“I’m immensely proud of the entire team today. Last season we delivered what we set out to do – secure a hard-fought fourth in the Constructors’ Championship,” said Brown.
“Our positive on-track momentum and the renewed energy in the team has seen us grow our valued partner family and global fan base and we look forward to a hugely competitive season. While we are enjoying going racing again, we remain measured and focused, and all of us at McLaren keep pushing fearlessly forward.“
Team Principal Andreas Seidl urged McLaren not to be complacent as he warned that the battle in the midfield would be tough.
“Today is another step on our journey. It is important not to be complacent, this will be a tough season. Nothing comes easy in Formula 1 and the competition at the head of the midfield will be intense. We have six days of testing to prepare for the start of the new season and Carlos, Lando and the whole team here at the MTC and at the track are ready. We go again. “
McLaren will begin testing their new car in a weeks time at the first pre-season test in Barcelona.