‘It’s alive’ – McLaren milestone reached with MCL38 engine fired up

Henry Valantine
McLaren MCL38 side view.

A side-on view of the McLaren MCL38.

McLaren have ticked off a key moment in their pre-season preparations, revealing the first fire-up of their 2024 car is complete.

Posting only a short audio clip on social media with the caption “It’s alive…”, the sound of the Mercedes power unit being fired up was a sign that the MCL38 has come to life ahead of the 2024 season.

It’s a crucial milestone for any team in car development to be able to fire up their new machine for the first time, with that being the culmination of months of work from everyone involved.

McLaren fire up MCL38 as 2024 preparations ramp up

McLaren head into the new season having been the first to unveil their new livery earlier in January, surprising the F1 world by launching their 2024 colours a fortnight ago.

While their new colour scheme has already been announced, a full car launch of the MCL38 is not due to take place until February 14, when the world can take a closer look at what the team have been working on behind the scenes at the McLaren Technology Centre.

They were the resurgent constructor in the second half of 2023, going from lower-midfield runners to regular podium contenders after a raft of upgrades were brought to the MCL60, beginning at the Austrian Grand Prix.

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With loftier goals potentially on the cards for 2024, and both drivers now locked to long-term deals after Lando Norris’ new contract was announced on Friday, team principal Andrea Stella hinted that the MCL38 should be an “innovative evolution” on what came before it.

“I think there will be some areas of the car that we’ll show that there’s been innovation, there’s been some steps compared to the MCL60,” he said.

“But very often in Formula 1, it’s much more about the incremental gains that you can share in all the areas of the car.

“So there will be some visible elements of almost discontinuity with the past.

“But for the bulk, most of the improvement from an aerodynamic efficiency point of view, mechanical grip, interaction with the tyres, it will come from many details that not necessarily will be so clearly visible.”

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