McLaren switch up naming pattern of F1 car to mark historic anniversary

Sam Cooper
McLaren's new car name.

McLaren's new car name.

McLaren have broken their tradition of how they name their cars by announcing the 2023 edition will be called the MCL60.

The 2023 car had been expected to be called the MCL37 which would have followed the same naming convention used since Ron Dennis left the company but instead it will be the MCL60 to mark the team’s 60th anniversary since the team was founded.

McLaren came into existence in 1963 when founder Bruce McLaren created his own team. Their first Formula 1 entry was in 1966 at Monaco and they have competed in every season since then. Since the team’s foundation, McLaren has won 183 races, eight Constructors’ Championships and 22 Drivers’ Championships.

Traditionally, McLaren F1 cars have followed a straightforward pattern, the letter M followed by the number of the car starting with the M2B that entered McLaren’s first season. The team swapped to MP4 following the merge with Dennis’ Project 4 Formula 2 team before moving to MCL in 2017 after Zak Brown became CEO.

McLaren are not the first team to name their cars in honour of special dates with Ferrari’s 2022 car being called the F1-75 in recognition of 75 years since Enzo Ferrari fired up the engine that would be used in the team’s first F1 car.

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The MCL60 will be the first car for both Oscar Piastri and Andrea Stella in their new roles with the former Alpine young driver Piastri moving into the McLaren cockpit to replace Daniel Ricciardo, while Stella moved up to the team boss role after Andreas Seidl departed for Sauber.

McLaren are one of six teams yet to unveil their 2023 car but they will do so on Monday, February 13.

The team also announced a new partnership earlier on Wednesday with the arrival of DP world in what McLaren branded a “major” deal.

The Emirati logistics firm becomes the official logistics partner of the McLaren Formula 1 team, further adding to Brown’s impressive ability to get sponsors on a car that looked relatively bare just a few seasons ago.

The team will also be able to call on the services of Mick Schumacher after the Mercedes reserve driver was made available to McLaren should they need him in 2023.