Look a little closer at the McLaren MCL36

Jamie Woodhouse
The McLaren MCL36 from above.

A view of the McLaren MCL36 from above. February 2022.

New Formula 1 era and very much a new-look McLaren! 2022 launch season rolled on with the big reveal of the McLaren MCL36.

Haas, Red Bull and Aston Martin had already done the honours of taking the covers off their 2022 challengers, and now McLaren can be added to that list.

As Formula 1 heads into a new era with a switch to ground effect cars, 2022 is a season of opportunity, and the car with which McLaren will look to seize them, the MCL36, has now appeared before our eyes.

McLaren admit that some of their key features have been hidden, but nonetheless, there is plenty to pick out.

Of course, the starting point is the colour scheme, which for this season features a great deal of black breaking up the ‘Fluro Papaya’ and ‘New Blue’, a lighter shade of blue and more vibrant orange compared to the MCL35M.

Design wise, on the front we see that McLaren have gone for a slim nose with the main element attached to the second main plane. They have also gone with a pull-rod front suspension, contrasting Aston Martin’s choice of push rod.

The cooling inlets take on a rectangular shape, whereas Aston Martin went with the box inlets for a square shape.

The McLaren MCL36 from above.
A view of the McLaren MCL36 from above. February 2022.

McLaren explained that the livery was inspired by positive fan feedback from the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, where the team ran a one-off Gulf livery which featured this brighter orange alongside the ‘New Blue’.

The McLaren MCL36 from above. February 2022.
A view of the McLaren MCL36 from above. February 2022.

Down the side we see that McLaren has taken a different approach for the packaging of that Mercedes power unit, with far less defined bodywork to the shape of the unit.

The McLaren MCL36 front-side angle. February 2022.
A front-side view of the McLaren MCL36. February 2022.

From the side we see how short the car is from top to bottom, with the front wing sitting high from the ground.

McLaren MCL36 from the side. February 2022.
A view of the McLaren MCL36 from the side. February 2022.


McLaren retained the same driver line-up of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris for 2022, with Norris signing a contract extension just days before the launch to commit to McLaren until 2025.

Although the team slipped to P4 in the 2021 Constructors’ Championship, McLaren took a clear step forward in performance, with Ricciardo winning the Italian Grand Prix while Norris made it a one-two.

Norris also took pole at the Russian Grand Prix in a season where McLaren scored 275 points.

Under the new regulations McLaren will look to continue their climb back to the front of the grid, though have given themselves until 2024 to become title contenders.


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