McLaren has revealed its challenger for the opening season of Formula 1’s new regulations in 2022, with the MCL36 also featuring an updated livery to the team’s previous designs.
In a live event on Friday held at its Woking factory featuring drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, the British squad became the fourth team to unveil its new car – following the 2022 designs revealed by Haas and Aston Martin and Red Bull’s livery event earlier this week.
Of the three 2022 designs shown so far, the MCL36 is notable for featuring a third different take on the new regulations regarding rear bodywork – with the car being similar to Aston’s approach in extending the surfaces backwards, as opposed to Haas’ narrow and sharply drooping bodywork that leaves more of the top surface of the floor exposed.
Gallery: McLaren MCL36 launch (2022)
Unlike the Aston, the new McLaren’s bodywork appears to be not so tightly packaged around its Mercedes engine.
The MCL36’s colours retain the papaya orange main element, but the blue secondary detail is lighter for 2022.
The car’s colours appear to be much closer to the one-off livery inspired by team sponsor Gulf that McLaren ran at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, than compared to the darker blue the team has used for the last four seasons.
In the same event, McLaren also unveiled the liveries of the cars it will enter in the 2022 IndyCar campaign for Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, as well as for the team it will enter in Extreme E for the first time – all of which take their cues from the colours on the MCL36.
Speaking as the MCL36 was revealed, McLaren CEO Zak Brown said: “I’m delighted to see us launch all three McLaren Racing programmes across the Formula 1, IndyCar and Extreme E championships today.
“This is a first for us as a team, and in the wider world of motorsport, and it’s been fantastic to see how excited the fans have been as they get ready to join us on the next part of our journey.
“Our Formula 1 team continues to make great progress year-on-year with Andreas Seidl [team principal] at the helm, and this new era of regulations represents a real opportunity for the team.
“I’m excited to see Lando and Daniel get behind the wheel of the MCL36 and take it to the competition this year.
“Lando made great progress in 2021, scoring four podiums, and Daniel’s sensational victory in Monza reminded the team what it feels like to win again.
“As we head into 2022, we’re looking to build on that progress and further close the gap to the teams at the front.”
McLaren is the second team so far to launch its 2022 season by unveiling a physical car – with Haas opting to only release rendered images of its VF-22 (with the real initial design of the American team set to be revealed with a brief launch event in the pitlane at the upcoming first test at Barcelona last this month) and Red Bull painting an F1 show car in the colour scheme its RB18 will use this year.
James Key, McLaren’s executive director, technical, said his squad “can be proud of presenting a real car because it absolutely is”.
He added: “It’s the car we’ll be taking to Barcelona. Yes, we’ve hidden a few bits and pieces for obvious reasons, there are some sensitive areas, but that will all be seen when we’re running the car.”
The livery for the McLaren Shadow Esports programme was also revealed at the live event in Woking.