McLaren launch the MCL38: A new challenger for the 2024 F1 season

McLaren are aiming to challenge Red Bull during the 2024 F1 season


In a significant reveal that sets the stage for the upcoming 2024 FIA Formula 1 Championship, the McLaren Formula 1 Team has taken the wraps off the MCL38, its latest competitor, amidst the historic backdrop of Silverstone Circuit. This unveiling not only introduces the papaya-clad team’s car for the new season but also marks the beginning of a critical phase of on-track development and testing.

At the heart of this launch was the MCL38’s striking debut, showcasing a livery that harmoniously blends the team’s iconic papaya with touches of anthracite and chrome, a nod to fan favorites and McLaren’s rich racing heritage.

The event saw McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown and Team Principal Andrea Stella, along with drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, sharing their aspirations and insights for the car’s journey ahead. Additionally, Amna Al-Qubaisi, representing the team in this year’s F1 Academy championship, stood alongside, embodying McLaren‘s broader commitment to motorsport excellence.

The MCL38’s introduction to the world was coupled with a promotional filming day at Silverstone, offering Norris and Piastri the chance to acquaint themselves with the car’s dynamics and performance on the track.

This initial outing serves as a precursor to the rigorous pre-season testing scheduled at the Bahrain International Circuit from 21-23 February, setting the tone for the team’s preparedness for the season opener at the Bahrain Grand Prix on 2 March.

McLaren launch MCL38 | McLaren F1 Team

McLaren keeping feet on ground

Zak Brown expressed his enthusiasm for the MCL38, emphasizing the collective effort and dedication that culminated in this moment. He highlighted the competitive nature of Formula 1 and the importance of remaining grounded as the team strives to build on the progress made in the previous season.

“It’s awesome to be able to launch our 2024 competitor, the MCL38, at Silverstone today,” Brown said in a statement. “It’s great to see our new car in its 2024 livery on track and see the hard work and dedication of the team come together.  

“The fantastic thing about this sport is how competitive it is, and therefore we must remain realistic as every team will have made progress in the off season.

“The true test of whether we’ve made steps in the right direction will be qualifying in Bahrain. We’re all excited to go racing again, but we know there’s a long season ahead of us and a lot of work still to do to ensure we build on the progress we made throughout 2023.” 

Similarly, Andrea Stella reflected on the excitement of unveiling the MCL38 and the realistic outlook of the team as they aim to leverage their infrastructure, talent, and culture to climb the grid rankings.

“Going into this year, we look to build on the momentum of last season but are realistic in the knowledge that every team will have made progress and found competitiveness for their 2024 cars,” Stella said.

“We now have everything in place from an infrastructure, people and culture perspective so we continue to push forward and build on the work done to get us back to front of the grid.”

McLaren launch MCL38 | McLaren F1 Team

McLaren confident in car

Both Norris and Piastri shared their eagerness to pilot the MCL38, emphasizing the importance of the upcoming testing in Bahrain to gauge the car’s competitiveness and fine-tune its performance.

“I’m excited to get behind the wheel of the MCL38 and see how it runs,” Norris said. “The livery looks great on the new car, so it’s fun to be able to get out on track today.  

“I’m looking forward to shaking the car down in Bahrain. I have full confidence in the team that we’ll continue pushing forward off the back of the turnaround last season.

“However, the true test of our progress is coming up when we put the car through its paces in testing, ahead of then qualifying and racing for the Bahrain Grand Prix.  

“Over the past few weeks I’ve been back at the MTC putting a lot of work in on the simulator with my engineering team to ensure that we’re fully prepared ahead of next week.

“Thank you to everyone trackside and at the factory for their work to get us to this point. I’m excited to get to Bahrain and go racing again.” 

Their comments underscored a shared confidence in the team’s direction and the collective efforts to push the boundaries of innovation and strategy.

The McLaren F1 Team’s launch of the MCL38 is more than just the reveal of a new car; it represents a milestone in the team’s continuous quest for excellence. With a blend of experienced and fresh talent, both on and off the track, McLaren is poised to face the challenges of the 2024 season head-on.

As the team gears up for pre-season testing, the motorsport community awaits with anticipation to see how the MCL38 will perform in the heat of competition, signaling the start of an exhilarating chapter for McLaren in Formula 1.

John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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