McLaren reveal 2024 details hidden from car launch

McLaren could be Red Bull's closest challengers in F1 2024

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Oscar Piastri joked McLaren would have rockets on their sidepods as they released a first look at the latest iteration of their 2024 Formula 1 car, with some notable changes to the one launched in mid-January with official photos.

McLaren explained their unique launch schedule after that surprise reveal before the official event in February, and admitted there are some key developments that won’t be ready until pre-season testing or the opening rounds of the championship.

Lando Norris and Piastri both got their first go behind the wheel of the MCL38 at Silverstone, and afterwards the team were asked how accurate the car revealed to the public is to their true 2024 machine.

“I would say pretty accurate,” team principal Andrea Stella told media including Total-Motorsport.com. “I wouldn’t be prepared for anything too shocking.

“To be honest, even myself, I needed to look at the pictures like ‘ah okay, yeah. A detail’. So nothing too major.”

Piastri added: “We’re going to come with rockets on the sidepods!”

Lando Norris’ McLaren car livery for the 2024 F1 season | McLaren F1 Team

Norris: Why would we give anything away?

McLaren were also asked why they’ve been so low-key about their launch compared to having an open launch like Alpine or Red Bull.

Aside from hiding elements of the car when first posting photos in January, the shakedown test at Silverstone was also a quiet affair a week before McLaren hit the track in Bahrain for pre-season testing and Norris was asked about the different approach.

“Because we can,” Norris said. “Because it’s a game of performance, and why would you ever want to give away anything? You can see what the car looks like, but you’ll see in two weeks or so. Be patient.

Piastri added: “I mean, at least we showed our car before it went on track, unlike others.”

In previous years McLaren have gone all-out on their launch, with hour-long live streams building up to the big reveal.

However, Stella said their reserved launch this time around was in keeping with the ethos around the rest of the team, as their car reveal was preceded by a video highlighting the negative press coverage of the team after their genuinely dreadful start to 2023.

“We’ve seen recently that teams decided to have some style to launch the car like we had last year, where there was a show, it was launched at the theatre at MTC, live streaming,” Stella said.

“But we also see that sometimes you may want to just have a lower profile in launching your car. These approaches can also be alternated over time and we went from last year’s glamorous one to this year, which is low profile.

“This is not only technical, or operational aspects, this all this is also marketing and commercial. F1 is a large business, not only technical and we need to take into account all these requirements and variety of approaches.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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