This evening McLaren started their 60th anniversary celebrations by taking the covers off their new challenger, the MCL60.
2023 will see the McLaren mark 60 years since their founding by Bruce McLaren and to honour that they’ve changed up their naming scheme to call the new car the MCL60 rather than the MCL37 that it would otherwise have been. Zak Brown, McLaren Racing’s CEO, said that naming would be “the start of several anniversary commemorations that will be exhibited throughout the year.”
For the last few years McLaren have embraced their historic relationship with the papaya colour and prominently featured it on their cars and, like last year’s MCL36, the papaya shares the livery with black and light blue. After the departure of Andreas Seidl, Andrea Stella will take over as Team Principal after most recently being the team’s Racing Director.
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“We are delighted to launch our 2023 Formula 1 team with Lando and Oscar at the wheel as we celebrate 60 years of McLaren Racing,” Brown continued. “This year’s driver line-up is extremely exciting as Lando, an intelligent and confident driver with excellent pace, is joined by one of the biggest up-and-coming talents in motorsport with Oscar.
“Being one of the oldest teams on the Formula 1 grid and marking our 60 year anniversary as a racing team is an excellent achievement. We have a wealth of history dating back to when Bruce McLaren first formed McLaren Racing in 1963, therefore, it is appropriate we honour the last six decades through our 2023 competitor’s name, the MCL60.
“We always aim to achieve the best result possible at every Grand Prix weekend and thank those supporters who continue to fly the papaya flag. We’re now looking forward to heading back to being on track in Bahrain. It’ll be great to see the MCL60 in action ahead of the 2023 season. Let’s go racing!”
Lando Norris will continue with the team for his fifth season and is looking to continue improving and scoring points with the team.
“The off-season has been good,” Norris said, “but I’m looking forward to getting back on track and behind the wheel of the MCL60 for the first time. The new car looks great, and everyone involved in the build has played an important role.
“This is my fifth year in Formula 1 and I’m hoping to carry positive momentum into the new season after a year of racing under the new era of regulations. It’s been a good challenge adapting to them and I feel that I’m in a positive position to keep on improving as a driver. I’ve enjoyed my journey with the team so far and to be involved in McLaren’s 60th anniversary is a privilege. I’ll continue to work hard alongside Oscar throughout this significant year as we look to maximise opportunities to score points.”
With the departure of Daniel Ricciardo, Oscar Piastri will join the team a year as Alpine’s reserve driver, and an interesting end to that relationship. Prior to that the Australian had won the Formula Renault Eurocup, Formula 3 championship and Formula 2 championship in consecutive years.
“I’m delighted to get started with McLaren and make my F1 debut this season,” Piastri said. “The off-season has been great for me, and I’ve been working hard to prepare for the upcoming year. The time I’ve spent at the factory and in the sim has been enjoyable and productive, and everyone in the team has been welcoming. I’ve settled in well and I’m now fully focused on getting out on track in Bahrain.
“The MCL60 is very impressive and it’s going to be a memorable year, not just for me in my rookie season but also as a team celebrating 60 years of McLaren Racing. The challenge ahead is an exciting one and I’m looking forward to driving with Lando as we work hard to pick up points throughout the season.”