McLaren gear up for a launch with a difference as real MCL38 set to be uncovered

Henry Valantine
A full view of the McLaren MCL38.

McLaren launched the MCL38 livery with a papaya and black colour scheme for 2024.

McLaren go into the launch of their 2024 challenger, the MCL38, in a unique position, in that they have already revealed what their car is going to look like this year.

The team’s decision to release their 2024 livery as early as 16 January was an unusual one, but it brightened a dark winter to know what at least one car was going to look like quite a while ahead of the new season.

If that’s the case, then, why are McLaren holding a ‘proper’ launch of the MCL38 on Valentine’s Day then? Well, there’s a very good reason for that.

McLaren set to launch ‘real’ MCL38 after livery launch in January

McLaren launched the livery of the MCL38 on a render of their previous car in January, but team principal Andrea Stella explained that their car was still not actually ready yet – making their livery launch on a render necessary.

“We don’t have a car yet, because this car will be revealed on the 14th of February,” Stella said at the time.

“We have a livery now, which we love, and [it’s an] exciting time for everyone at McLaren. It’s the same for all Formula 1 teams at this time of the season really.

“Above all, at the moment, like always for us is just to focus on delivering, focus on continuing with the challenges associated with delivering a Formula 1 car.

“It’s thousands of parts so it’s always looking like a little bit of a miracle when you see it actually coming together and you have a car.”

But on Wednesday, we will see the results of McLaren’s labours, and it will be a launch for the tech aficionados in particular. recommends

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Having secured the long-term services of Lando Norris in the off-season and Oscar Piastri penning a deal until 2026 last season, they have the youngest combined line-up on the grid and, on paper, the most settled for the years to come at McLaren.

The launch of the MCL38 will be the first chance for people to pore over the details of what the team’s actual car will look like ahead of the new season, and what approach McLaren have taken for the 2024 season.

Having launched an outstanding recovery throughout 2023, one that saw them climb back to P4 in the Constructors’ standings, CEO Zak Brown hopes to keep that upward momentum going.

“We obviously want to pick up where we left off,” he said.

“We were towards the sharp end of the field, still with a gap to the very front, but I think we’ve had a good winter. All the men and women at McLaren have done an outstanding job continuing with the development of last year’s car, so anticipate this being competitive.

“The nine other teams are never sitting still, so I’m sure they’re all going to bring a faster race car than they had last year – so we’ll just have to see where things line up on the grid in the early part of the year.”

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