In Depth

F1: Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris aim to build momentum in the McLaren MCL35

After a fourth-placed finish last year the Woking-based team are ready to go again

McLaren drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris are aiming to take the momentum from 2019 into this year’s Formula 1 campaign. 

The Woking-based team, who finished fourth in last year’s constructors’ championship, have today launched the new season by unveiling their 2020 challenger, the MCL35.

Sporting the striking McLaren papaya and blue, the MCL35 will make its official on-track debut during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain from 19-21 February. 

Speaking at the car launch Spanish driver Sainz said: “Today is a big day for all of us. I’ve followed very closely the making of the MCL35 this winter and I know how much effort and passion we’ve put into it. 

“Many may consider 2020 to be just a gap year between the old and the new regulations, a mere continuation of 2019 into 2021. However, at McLaren, we pushed the ‘reset’ button after the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi and we’ve worked extremely hard to try and improve every single detail of our car.”

He added: “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. 

“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.”

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Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris will drive the McLaren MCL35 in the 2020 F1 season
Norris: evolution is special

British driver Norris, who is in his second season in F1, agreed with Sainz and says the team must continue to keep pushing their performance in 2020. 

“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. 

“We aren’t setting ourselves targets yet for this year as we know it’ll be tough to maintain the position we ended 2019 in, but I’m looking forward to seeing where we are compared to our top competitors in testing and going racing again.”

Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris will drive the McLaren MCL35 in the 2020 F1 season

What the McLaren bosses said of the MCL35

Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing 

“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.

“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.”

Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris will drive the McLaren MCL35 in the 2020 F1 season

McLaren

Andreas Seidl, team principal, McLaren F1 

“This is an important moment for the entire team. Yesterday evening, after many months of hard work from all the men and women at McLaren, our people were the very first to see the MCL35, before we showed it to the world today.

“Every team member has invested a great deal of time and energy during this pre-season in designing, engineering and producing the MCL35 ready to take to the track for the first-time at pre-season testing. 

“Carlos and Lando showed real grit and determination last season and have continued to work hard in preparation for testing and the season beyond. We look forward to building on what was a very positive first year with them behind the wheel. 

“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 track are ready. We go again.”

F1 news: further reading

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