McLaren keeping the MCL38’s secrets hidden in F1’s ‘game of performance’

Michelle Foster
McLaren launch the MCL38.

McLaren launched the MCL38 on Wednesday, followed by a shakedown at Silverstone.

McLaren responded with a “because we can” as they used a different pit lane and circuit layout to Mercedes as both teams ran their new 2024 cars at Silverstone on Wednesday.

McLaren and Mercedes ran their new cars at a sodden Silverstone circuit on Wednesday, both teams hitting the track shortly after taking the covers off their new cars.

McLaren, being very open about it, were keen to keep their secrets hidden.

Lando Norris keeping McLaren details secret in ‘game of performance’

Putting out renderings of the new MCL38 against an orange backdrop, the Woking team later released a few distant videos of the car in action.

The social media posts were short on details.

That’s simply because McLaren didn’t want to reveal the secrets behind the new MCL38.

“Because we can,” Lando Norris told media including when asked why McLaren were hiding things. “Because it’s a game of performance.

“Why would you ever want to give away anything? You’ll see what the car looks like. But you’ll see in two weeks or something. So, be patient!”

His team-mate Oscar Piastri responded to that by saying: “At least we showed our car before it went on track, unlike others!”

Prior to McLaren’s official unveiling of the MCL38, Red Bull hit the track in the RB20 but in a secret test with only grainy and distant videos sneaking onto social media.

But secrets aside, Norris revealed he was happy with his first outing in his 2024 although he accepts the rain meant McLaren didn’t get a lot of data from the car.

“It’s hard to say just because it was wet here,” he said. “You don’t really get that many laps, and it’s on tyres that aren’t even the actual tyres we use, so it’s difficult to compare too many things.

“But the main thing is I jumped in and felt very comfortable straight away, no surprises or anything, so comfortable and could just push it to the limit on just a couple of little areas.

“But, honestly, not a lot more to say than that.

“It’s always just a very different thing when you get on track for the first time in Bahrain, depending on weather conditions and all of those things.

“So we have to wait till we get to Bahrain to really understand how they will compare to one another.”

Read next: Saving the best for last? Huge shoes to fill as Red Bull launch RB20