Formula 1: McLaren racing car comparison 2021 versus 2020

Comparison of McLaren 2021 versus 2020

McLaren makes the start and shows the new Formula 1 racing car. ABMS has all the information about the new McLaren-Mercedes MCL35M and the comparison to the previous year’s model.

D.he first new Formula 1 car of the 2021 season is here: McLaren has presented the McLaren-Mercedes MCL35M via livestream from the company headquarters in Woking, UK. Spectators were not allowed due to the corona pandemic. McLaren switched on 200 fans around the world on a screen and created some atmosphere.

McLaren reunited with Mercedes

But the focus was on the new racing car. For the first time since the 2014 season, McLaren will drive with Mercedes engines again in 2021. The combination has resulted in at least three drivers’ titles – 1998 and 1999 with Mika Häkkinen and 2007 with Lewis Hamilton. McLaren honored the return to Mercedes with the second M in the model name MCL35M.

The new McLaren MCL35M.

© McLaren

The switch from Renault to Mercedes engines makes major adjustments to the vehicle necessary. However: all mechanical components on the chassis must actually correspond to those of 2020. The teams may only pursue further development to the extent of two so-called tokens.

At McLaren, both development tokens flowed into the integration of the new Mercedes Power Unit. That is why the traditional British team is the only team that has worked intensively in the rear area of ​​the chassis. Head of Technology James Key: “But only to fit the engine. Gearbox housing, electrics and cooling system are new, and the architecture of the car outside of the homologated areas has been greatly changed.

Formula 1 at a glance at SKY Q

The Mercedes drive is very compact, which is advantageous for the packaging. “This caught Lando Norris’ eye immediately:” The area in the rear is much more compact. You can see that. “In fact, a modified engine cover and a smaller and rounder airbox can be seen.

You can see all changes in detail in our picture gallery.

Changes to the sub-floor are also new. By triangular cuts in front of the rear axle, ten percent downforce is to be lost compared to 2020.

German team boss brings McLaren forward

Key: “We tried to make the rear as narrow as possible in order to get more aerodynamic headroom. I’m sure we will see most of the work of the teams in the area of ​​the rear wheels. Everyone is working feverishly on what the changes have lost To make up for downforce. Whoever manages that best will have a nice advantage. ” The car will have its first rollout in Silverstone on Tuesday (February 16) – with newcomer Daniel Ricciardo at the wheel.

Experience Formula 1 with the SKY Supersport Ticket

One thing is certain: in 2021 we want to build on the successes of the previous year. For the first time since 2012, McLaren has reached third place in the constructors’ championship. Clearly: under the direction of the German team boss Andreas Seidl, things are looking up. A weakness of last year’s car: the handling in tight corners. Here, a new aerodynamics from the pen of technical director James Key should provide improvement. Many of the aerodynamic changes were not yet visible when the McLaren-Mercedes MCL35M was presented. This is generally the case with presentations – the teams hide their technical tricks if possible until the first day of testing. At McLaren, there is also the fact that the test in Bahrain on March 12th has four weeks left. (The voices about the new McLaren runabout: click here)

New driver line-up

This is McLaren's new Mercedes

The pilots: Daniel Ricciardo (left) and Lando Norris.

© McLaren

Lando Norris remains in the team as driver, Daniel Ricciardo is new on board. He replaces Carlos Sainz, who is moving to Ferrari instead of Sebastian Vettel. “That means I have to take on more leadership in the team this year,” says Norris. Euphoric from the first launch of the year, McLaren boss Zak Brown sprinkles his driver duo in advance: “I think we have the best driver duo in Formula 1.”

Formula 1 on TV


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