With just weeks until the 2020 Formula 1 season gets underway at Albert Park in Melbourne, teams have been unveiling their new designs and looks. McLaren finished 4th in 2019, and was recognized as the best of the rest behind Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull. Their MCL35 is painted in a matte yellow and blue scheme over the carbon fiber black.
By following the lead of Red Bull and Ferrari in using the matte compound, a weight saving of around two kilograms has been achieved. The nose has been slimmed down in comparison to the 2019 design with the front wing sporting a dramatic look with the stepped ridges and has been designed to have a heavier load on the outer edges.
Team Principal Andreas Seidl said at the team’s launch: “Today is another step on our journey. It is important not to be complacent, this will be a tough season. Nothing comes easy in Formula 1 and the competition at the head of the midfield will be intense. We have six days of testing to prepare for the start of the new season and Carlos, Lando and the whole team here at the MTC and at the track are ready.”
Drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz were also present. “I’ve followed very closely the making of the MCL35 this winter and I know how much effort and passion we’ve put into it,” said Sainz. “Many may consider 2020 to be just a gap year between the old and the new regulations, a mere continuation of 2019 into 2021. However, at McLaren, we pushed the ‘reset’ button after the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi and we’ve worked extremely hard to try and improve every single detail of our car.” Norris echoed this saying, “A lot of hard work and development have gone into this car from the design team, the engineers, the car build team and Carlos and myself, and it’s a special feeling to have been involved in its evolution.”
Mercedes also released their 2020 look and there’s some extra visual punch. Silver and highlights of green are now joined, thanks to a new business partnership, with red covering the rear floor. The partner is Ineos, a company with ties to a broad sports portfolio including athletics, cycling, and the America’s Cup event. INEOS founder and chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe said of the relationship: “It’s a proud moment for INEOS to become a principal partner to the world’s best Formula One team – and by extension to one of the world’s most prestigious brands, Mercedes Benz.” The team will see their new car hit the Barcelona circuit in the third week of February for testing.
Red Bull’s 2020 livery is virtually unchanged from 2019. Their model, dubbed RB16, is also largely the same as the 2019 model, with the most noticeable visual change the slotted nose-cone. With the design seemingly unchanged for the majority of the car, it means the aero of the car will have the car performing pretty much as it did at the end of 2019. The team’s lead driver, Max Verstappen said: “The target for the whole team is… to fight for the championship and do better than last year and be there from the first race onwards, because that’s really where you have to start performing. We’re on a good way, the team is very motivated, worked very hard over the winter as well, so I just can’t wait to get started.”
In regards to the scheduled events in China and Vietnam, the China round has been postponed and is currently unlikely to be rescheduled. Due to the possible threat to drivers, teams and officials due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, the inaugural Vietnam round is also likely to be put off. At the time of writing, this is yet to be confirmed either way.