McLaren launch MCL60 as new era of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri begins

Sam Cooper
The McLaren MCL60.

The McLaren MCL60.

McLaren have unveiled their 2023 challenger, the MCL60, which marks a special anniversary in the history of the British team.

It is a season of change at one of the most historic teams on the grid, with Daniel Ricciardo heading out of the door and his Australian compatriot, 2021 Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri coming in to replace him for his rookie season.

There is change at the leadership level as well, with Andrea Stella stepping up to replace Andreas Seidl as team principal.

Lando Norris enters the 2023 campaign as the senior driver in what will be his fifth season in Formula 1.

There is also change in terms of the car’s name with McLaren opting to put their traditional naming convention to one side, and instead celebrate the 60th anniversary since Bruce McLaren founded the racing outfit.

The car itself features the same colours as previous years with the papaya orange of McLaren featuring heavily throughout. As usual, a streak of light blue runs across the car, as does black.

MCL60’s official on-track debut will come in the pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit from February 23 ahead of the opening race of the season in Bahrain on March 5.

Speaking about the first car of his Formula 1 career, Piastri said the MCL60 was “very impressive” and predicted it would be a “memorable year”, not just for him but for the team as a whole.

“I’m delighted to get started with McLaren and make my F1 debut this season,” the Australian 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.”

His new team-mate Norris said he was hoping to carry the “positive momentum” of his 2022 season itno the new campaign.

“The off-season has been good 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,” Norris said.

“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.” recommends

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McLaren’s CEO Zak Brown said the team was looking forward to going back racing and that in Piastri, they had “one of the biggest up-and-coming talents in motorsport.”

“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 said.

“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.

“2022 was a challenging season in our continued effort to push towards the front of the grid, we learnt a lot which has been taken into the off-season as the entire team works hard to prepare for another year.

“Under the guidance of Andrea Stella, who moved into the position of team principal in December 2022, we have an excellent team to spearhead the 2023 season and can look forward to seeing our young driver duo continue to grow their partnership throughout the upcoming campaign.”

New team principal Stella described being in the role at a team such as McLaren as “an honour.”

“It’s an honour to lead McLaren Racing into the team’s 60th anniversary season,” the 51-year-old Italian said. “We have a committed and talented group of people at McLaren, and we are all looking forward to taking the MCL60 racing, after the hard work and the efforts over the last months, in all areas of the team.

“During our time away from racing, we have enjoyed welcoming Oscar to McLaren Technology Centre and we have worked together to build strong relationships and to be fully prepared for the start of his career in Formula 1. He has quickly integrated in the Team and gained much respect, thanks to his humility, bright intellect and dedication.

“It’s also been great to resume the work with Lando, who is now showing the qualities of a leader as he supports the journey of the Team. Lando and Oscar form such a strong and talented driver line-up and we are very much looking forward to the 2023 season with them at the wheel of the MCL60.

“Together with our colleagues at Mercedes HPP, we can take great pride of our strong collaboration in the realisation of the MCL60 and in the joined efforts to the pursuit of moving back up the grid.

“We are aware we have work to do as we enter the 2023 season, but everyone in the team is totally focussed and committed to make our 60th anniversary year a special one.”