In Brief

F1: McLaren MCL34 car was ‘love at first sight’ for new driver Carlos Sainz

British team launched their 2019 challenger on Valentine’s Day

McLaren MCL34 F1 2019 car launch
  • Full team name: McLaren F1 Team 
  • 2019 car: the MCL34 
  • 2019 drivers: #4 Lando Norris and #55 Carlos Sainz 
  • 2018 result: sixth in the constructors’ championship with 62 points

McLaren launched their 2019 Formula 1 car on Valentine’s Day and it was “love at first sight” for new driver Carlos Sainz.

Unveiled at McLaren’s headquarters in Woking, the 2019 challenger, the papaya and vega blue MCL34, will be driven this year by an all-new line-up - Sainz and Lando Norris.

British rookie Norris, 19, is preparing to make his F1 race debut while Spaniard Sainz, 24, moves to McLaren after driving for Renault last year.

The duo will drive the MCL34 at next week’s first pre-season test in Barcelona, which starts on 18 February at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Norris, 19, said of the MCL34: “Next stop, Barcelona. Seriously, I can’t wait to get behind the wheel in testing. I’ve been working hard over the winter preparing for my step up to F1.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with the team in the factory too, learning as much as I can to get ready for the 2019 season.

“It’s been my dream to get to Formula 1 since I was a kid. I gained useful experience behind the wheel during practice sessions in 2018, and now I’m really looking forward to making my race debut with McLaren. The MCL34 looks great and now I just want to drive it.”

McLaren MCL34 F1 2019 car launch Formula 1

McLaren F1 Team

Sainz added: “I’m really looking forward to the tests and excited to finally go racing in McLaren colours. I know everyone at the factory has been working very hard over the winter to prepare ourselves for this year, and I think the team has done a fantastic job with the livery of the MCL34.

“We know the big task ahead of us and we first need to evaluate where we are after the tests. From there onwards, I can’t wait to start racing and keep pushing forward together.”

Transition phase

In 2018 McLaren finished sixth in the F1 constructors’ championship with 62 points and the second half of last season was a transition period for the team.

With the new car and drivers now in place McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown is looking forward to a fresh start. He said: “The MCL34 is the result of an immense amount of hard work and dedication throughout our team.

“We’re all committed, motivated and united in our ambition to return McLaren to competitiveness, and the MCL34 is only the start of this process.

“We have a fresh driver pairing, who together represent the new generation of Formula 1 talent, and are an integral part of the team and our collective effort to advance McLaren forward.”

McLaren have also announced that their new F1 managing director, Andreas Seidl, will begin in his new role on 1 May.

Brown added: “We’re delighted that Andreas is able to join the team on 1 May. This enables us to continue the momentum of our recovery plan and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to McLaren.”

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