McLaren has unveiled its 2019 Formula One race car, named MCL34. As with the 2018 car, the covers were taken off at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, UK.
Presenter Simon Lazenby talked the show together, introducing McLaren staff on the podium. Having spoken briefly about their feelings of McLaren's new campaign, the employees were given the honour to uncover the car, whereas this is usually done by the racing drivers.
As the car came in the spotlight, the iconic McLaren papaya orange became visible, echoing the colour chosen by Bruce McLaren for the team’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix entry in 1966. This year’s scheme is a progression from 2018, featuring a complementary blue that nods to the team’s broader racing heritage.
The concept and design process of the 2019 McLaren MCL34, powered by the Renault E-Tech 19 engine, focuses on laying the foundations for development of the car throughout the season.
Carlos Sainz commented first: "I like the new colors, the new suits (more blue). Entering this team, it feels like home. It has been a busy winter, with meetings and simulator runs, along with last year's race reviews. It's time to try the car and find its weak and strong points.
"It would be a mistake to set goals at this stage of the game, just having finished and fired up the car. Everybody is excited, has put hard work in the car. We will go forward, little by little, step by step"
Lando Norris said he feels the pressure: "I have to live up to expectations. It will not have a negative effect, but rather a positive one. My preparations have gone well, with a very different winter as usual, with the step up in car performance from Formula 2, doing tests in the simulator. Together we will want to win many races, and work as team back to the top. Until that point, us drivers will have to work together.
"We are very excited", commented Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing. "Car launches mean anticipation, excitement and appreciation for our men and women at McLaren. We had the privilege to work very hard for the excecutive committee, for our 850 headcount staff. Our medium term goals are to rebuild us to glory. James Key will work together with our existing team. Formula 1 is our first and foremost “laser” focus.
"The feeling in the team is incredible", commented Gilles de Ferran. "If I cast my mind back 6 months ago, being in the trenches, and now seeing the car, in its full glory is an incredible feeling. It depicts very well all of the capabilities of McLaren. We focused a lot on our preparation for this year. The way we tackled it, is by analyzing our challenges and to meet them. We will continue to do so, to focus on the job at hand.
The MCL34 will make its on-track debut during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain (18-21 February & 26 February - 1 March). Carlos and Lando will share the driving duties across both tests.