- Scale guide
An evolution of the MCL35, a car that helped the team to third in the Constructors’ Championship in 2020 – its best performance in eight years, the McLaren MCL35M is McLaren Racing’s challenger for the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Piloting the MCL35M is one of the most competitive driver line-ups in the sport, with 21-year-old British driver Lando Norris, in his third season in Formula 1 with the team, being joined by the Australian seven-time race winner Daniel Ricciardo.
Changes from the MCL35 may seem limited initially. However, the entire car has effectively been redesigned, despite the majority of the regulations being frozen in response to the Covid-19 pandemic which prompted teams to agree to a series of cost-reducing measures. Given that McLaren had already signed a contract to use Mercedes-AMG engines in 2021 before the decision to reuse 2020 chassis was made, it received special dispensation – subject to FIA inspection – to modify its chassis to accommodate the new engine and energy store, which required a complete redesign of the car’s architecture. The 1600cc V6 Mercedes-AMG M12 E Performance power unit was integrated into the design of the MCL35M by McLaren with the support of Mercedes High Performance Powertrains. It represents one of several key changes to the car as part of its evolution into the MCL35M, replacing the previous Renault E-Tech 20. Despite switching engines, McLaren did not switch gearboxes and so the team’s engineers needed to create their own, along with updated fuel, hydraulic, electrical and cooling systems.
Not only was McLaren the only team changing power units, working practices were severely impacted by Covid-19, meaning there was less time available and much of that time was spent working from home for many of the engineers. The wheelbase of the car was lengthened, as the gearbox bell housing had to be extended to accommodate the Mercedes engine. The aerodynamic potential of the MCL35M could not be maximised due to the FIA's 2021 token system, leading McLaren to implement most aerodynamic upgrades for the switch in the 2020 season ahead of the homologation cut-off date, such as the car’s nosecone. The team focused its efforts on reducing the impact of the 2021 regulations on downforce, which necessitated removal of front downforce to rebalance the car. Many of the changes in bodywork shape were dictated by the engine installation but others are just continued development, based on the team’s learnings from the 2020 season and down to the changes in the regulations.
As of British Grand Prix on the 18th of July 2021, the McLaren MCL35M has earned three podiums, all in the hands of Norris, and scored 163 Constructors’ Championship points. McLaren is placed third in the Constructors’ Championship whilst Lando Norris and Daniel Riccardo sit third and eighth respectively in the Drivers’ Championship.
This fine 1:12 scale model of the McLaren MCL35M nosecone is as raced at the Formula 1 Pirelli Gran Premio del Made in Italy e dell'Emilia Romagna 2021 by Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy, on the 18th of April 2021. In a fantastic weekend for McLaren, Norris earned his second career podium in third position, while Ricciardo finished in sixth position in just his second race for the team. Norris could have even started on the front row for the first time in his career had he not breached track limits at the fast Piratella curve, leading to his time being deleted. Instead, he started seventh, just behind his Australian teammate in sixth. Minor contact on a wet opening lap knocked Norris down as far as ninth, but he was able to recover, pass opponents and was soon line astern with Ricciardo, with the pair running in fifth and sixth. A tactical switch of the drivers put the faster Norris in clean air. A calculated pit stop on laps 27 and 28 gained Norris more than 13 seconds and meant he could overtake the Red Bull of Sergio Pérez, who needed to serve a penalty and change a steering wheel during his own stop. On lap 32, the race was red flagged after a high speed collision between Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and the Williams of George Russell. At the race’s restart, a bold strategy call was made to put Used Soft tyres on both cars. Norris’ immediate overtake of the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc quickly vindicated the decision, though the tyres soon lost performance and the McLaren duo came under pressure from their pursuers. Norris was eventually passed by a recovering Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages but held off Leclerc to record his second podium finish for the team. Ricciardo resisted the pressure from Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly to come home sixth.
This model has been handcrafted and finished in our workshops with the co-operation and assistance of McLaren Racing regarding original CAD data, finishes and paint codes. Furthermore, it has undergone detailed scrutiny by both engineering and design teams to ensure complete accuracy of representation.
This model is a part of the 2021 McLaren MCL35 Collection.
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