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McLaren's new MCL38 sits at the MTC in Woking (Image Credit: McLaren Racing Media Centre)
McLaren's new MCL38 sits at the MTC in Woking (Image Credit: McLaren Racing Media Centre)

McLaren reveal MCL38 at understated Silverstone launch

Woking marque aims to capitalise on remarkable 2023 turnaround

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McLaren has unveiled its new MCL38 as it sets its sights on beating Red Bull in 2024.

McLaren's new MCL38 sits at the MTC in Woking (Image Credit: McLaren Racing Media Centre)
McLaren’s new MCL38 sits at the MTC in Woking (Image Credit: McLaren Racing Media Centre)

Following last month’s surprise livery drop, McLaren became the latest team to reveal its 2024 challenger. McLaren is riding the crest of a wave, having transformed its fortunes.

A dismal start to 2023 saw the team firmly in the doldrums. Struggling to escape Q1 in the early races, McLaren openly admitted its struggles but said its season would transform mid-year.

While fortunes did change, few could have predicted the scale of the turnaround. The upgrades bought in from Austria onwards morphed McLaren into frontrunners, at points becoming the closest challenger to Max Verstappen and Red Bull.

Finishing P4 in the standings by season’s end, McLaren is a team on the up and hopes to continue its run of form in 2024. The team carried momentum into the winter, with Lando Norris signing a multi-year contract extension following Oscar Piastri’s extension announced in September.

The MCL38 is the first car to benefit from McLaren’s new wind tunnel and simulator, and with the arrival of David Sanchez from Ferrari and Rob Marshall from Red Bull now contributing, can the MCL38 take McLaren to the top step of the podium once again?

When will the MCL38 hit the track?
A front view of the new McLaren MCL38 (Image Credit: McLaren Racing Media Centre)
A front view of the new McLaren MCL38 (Image Credit: McLaren Racing Media Centre)

McLaren has yet to give much away about their 2024 challenger. The launch leaves the grid in the dark on whether the MCL38 is an evolution of last season’s MCL60. Images accompanying the launch do not reveal any of the car’s design secrets.

The car will debut at Silverstone later today, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri sharing driver duties. Team Principal Andrea Stella, in a statement, confirmed McLaren’s ambitions for 2024:  “The team are excited to present the MCL38 today and to see it on track for the first time.

“Going into this year, we look to build on the momentum of last season but are realistic in the knowledge that every team will have made progress and found competitiveness for their 2024 cars.”

We now have everything in place from an infrastructure, people and culture perspective so we continue to push forward and build on the work done to get us back to front of the grid. ”

“Before we hit the track for competitive sessions, we have a lot of work to do, including putting the MCL38 through its paces during the Bahrain pre-season test. The team has done a good job over the winter, and we are confident we can hit the ground running, but we know we have important tasks at hand before the season starts.

Stella also confirmed that not all of the design innovations McLaren aimed for will be on the launch car:

” There are a number of innovations on the car, but not all the areas we want to address have been completed for our launch-spec car. Those areas now become the focus of our in-season development, which is already in progress. “

Are the drivers happy with the car?

Lando Norris threw his support behind the MCL38, stating he had “full confidence” in the team: “I’m excited to get behind the wheel of the MCL38 and see how it runs. The livery looks great on the new car, so it’s fun to be able to get out on track today.”

“I’m looking forward to shaking the car down in Bahrain. I have full confidence in the team that we’ll continue pushing forward off the back of the turnaround last season. However, the true test of our progress is coming up when we put the car through its paces in testing, ahead of then qualifying and racing for the Bahrain Grand Prix.”

Teammate Oscar Piastri shared a similar view: “It’s great to be able to drive the MCL38 on track for the first time today. It’s an important milestone in our development for the year and I’m excited to see it on track in its new livery.”

“We won’t know where we stand in terms of competitiveness until we go racing in Bahrain, but we’ve been preparing as best as we possibly can by spending time in the simulator, working closely with everyone who’s designed, built and will run the car to ensure we’re ready to start strongly.”

Feature Image Credit: McLaren Racing Media Centre

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