With launch season very much being in full swing, we could count on McLaren Racing doing something a little bit different and more spectacular than everyone else. Rather than just launch the Formula 1 team like its Formula 1 competitors have and will be doing over the course of the next couple of weeks, McLaren decided to launch all of its motorsports and sim racing efforts at the same time!
This massive launch event took place at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking and was broadcast on McLaren’s own channels as well as on Sky Sports F1. Personnel from all the teams involved were present, including Formula 1 drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo as well as IndyCar drivers Pato O’Ward (who also took part in a test session with the Formula 1 team last year and is tipped to run two official F1 practice sessions this year) and Felix Rosenqvist.
As well as seeing the team personnel there, we got to see all the new liveries for each team. This included the official livery for the McLaren Shadow eSports team, which is notably very different to the livery that will be run on the real-life Formula 1 cars. It’s very clear that McLaren wants a ubiquitous McLaren ‘look’ across all its teams, which is no bad thing as it means new viewers to IndyCar, Extreme E and eSports will instantly know which cars are McLaren’s!
“I’m delighted to see us launch all three McLaren Racing programmes across the Formula 1, IndyCar and Extreme E championships today,” said Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing. “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 at the helm, and this new era of regulations represents a real opportunity for the team,” Brown said about McLaren’s Formula 1 efforts. “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.“
“In the US, Arrow McLaren SP enters the 2022 INDYCAR season with great momentum after a close championship battle in 2021,” Brown said about McLaren’s more recent successes in IndyCar. These successes are especially due to the efforts of Pato O’Ward, who has proven himself to be a genuine championship contender. “Pato has grown tremendously over the past two seasons, securing two wins and staying in the title fight right until the final race. Felix is an incredible talent who joins us again to show his true potential in the No.7 car.“
McLaren ventures into new territory this year with its participation in the Extreme E championship. With the legendary rallycross and drift racing driver Tanner Foust and the very experienced rally driver Emma Gilmour behind the wheel, McLaren is definitely very excited and optimistic about how well it could do in its first year there. “We’re thrilled to be launching our Extreme E team and livery ahead of the first race in just under a week, with Emma and Tanner getting behind the wheel of the No.58 McLaren car. It’s fantastic to be joining this innovative and exciting new series, which will help accelerate our own sustainability mission. All of us at McLaren can’t wait to see what Emma and Tanner can do out in the desert at our inaugural X Prix.“
“Commercially, we head into the 2022 season as strong as ever with an expanded portfolio of valued partners, each crucial in driving our ambitions as a team forward, and without whom we simply wouldn’t be able to go racing,” Brown said about McLaren’s commercial partnerships. “Together we’re working closely, not only to unlock on-track performance, but also to innovate and develop new ways of addressing sustainability challenges in broader society.“
One of McLaren’s biggest strengths over the last few years has been its relationship with the fans. This is something that Zak Brown is hugely proud of and was keen to put across at the launch. “Being voted the fans’ favourite F1 team last year by some margin and being ranked a close second in the same survey in IndyCar after just two years, is not just hugely rewarding but more importantly reminds us that our fans are at the centre of everything we do,” Brown stressed. “We never take them for granted.“
“Launching each of our competitors together this evening is an extremely proud moment for our team, a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to prepare for today, and now all that’s left to do is hit the track and start racing.“