First images emerge of upgraded McLaren MCL60 featuring ‘a bit of Red Bull’

Jamie Woodhouse
Lando Norris exiting the McLaren MCL60. Saudi Arabia, March 2023.

Lando Norris climbing out of the McLaren MCL60 cockpit. Saudi Arabia, March 2023.

McLaren begin their journey to what they hope will be a far improved MCL60 with the introduction of a major upgrade package in Austria, which has shades of the home heroes.

By their own admission, McLaren started the F1 2023 campaign behind target, slipping towards the back end of the field rather than making strides towards the leading teams as had been their intention.

The Austrian Grand Prix it is hoped though will now mark the first step towards closing in on the likes of Alpine, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Mercedes, as the McLaren MCL60 undergoes its first makeover on the journey to what should ultimately create something of a B-Spec challenger.

Major sidepod and bodywork changes for McLaren MCL60

As preparations take place for the start of the Austria race weekend on Friday, McLaren treated watching eyes to a first look at their newly-introduced work, which unsurprisingly features a great deal of modification around the sidepod area.

The alterations have been described as ‘a bit of Aston Martin, a bit of Red Bull’, the latter of no surprise with major upgrade packages from Mercedes and Ferrari this season seeing them ditch their unique sidepod concepts for solutions more in-line with that of the dominant Red Bull team.

In addition, McLaren have been hard at work revising the floor on the MCL60.

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Only Lando Norris will run these upgrades in Austria, before the package reaches its next stage at the British Grand Prix which follows, where these upgrades were originally set to hit the track.

At Silverstone, both Norris and Oscar Piastri will be armed with the latest version of the MCL60.

“Some medium-sized upgrades on the car, so hopefully this helps us take a step forward,” Norris told Sky F1.

“The team have done a good job, we weren’t going to have these bits here this weekend originally, it was only meant to be for Silverstone.

“The team have done a good job to push through as many things as we could, especially being a sprint race, two races to potentially score points, it’s a good thing to try and bring as early as possible.

“The first upgrade of the season that’s really meant to bring performance and make us go quicker. It’s been a difficult start, I’m hoping it will be the thing that allows us to fight for some more points a bit easier.”

Norris had also in the build-up to the Austria GP race weekend spoken about how he has had to “work on my patience” as a Formula 1 driver, and the Brit could be forgiven for growing tired of that victory scene eluding him considering his name regularly crops up when discussing potential F1 champions in waiting.

“I’ve had to work on my patience, I’m not the most patient guy, but you have to be in Formula 1 because things can not go your way for many years,” he added.

Norris’ current tally of 12 points places him P11 in the Drivers’ Championship standings heading into the Austria round.

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