- 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 1:8 scale model of McLaren MCL35M is as raced at the Formula 1 Grand Prix De Monaco 2021 in its one-off Gulf Oil International-inspired livery by Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo on the 23rd of May. In a rather uneventful race, scored his third career podium, coming home in third position. After qualifying fifth, Norris took advantage of Charles Leclerc’s mistake and subsequent pre-race withdrawal and Mercedes’ mechanical misfortunes during Valtteri Bottas’ pit-stop which forced the Finn’s retirement. With ten laps to go, Norris was reported that the car felt undriveable on the Hard tyres, while the Red Bull of Sergio Pérez was beginning to chase him down. The gap dropped to just 1.5s as Norris ordered radio silence, settling his pace and ultimately holding off the Mexican for his second podium of the season. Ricciardo finished thirteenth, at a track notorious for its overtaking difficulty.
The MCL35M exhibited an evocative retro livery, which celebrated the deep-rooted and successful racing partnership between McLaren Racing and Gulf Oil International and marked the return of Formula 1 to one of the most iconic racetracks following the Covid-19 lockdowns. McLaren and Gulf revived their long-standing collaboration in July 2020 when the team announced the brand’s return as an official partner. The iconic blue colourway livery with the orange stripe is a tribute to Gulf’s timeless design while reflecting a racing connection that began in the days of team founder Bruce McLaren. Norris and Ricciardo sported matching race suits, while the race team followed suit. The drivers also wore matching race helmets with bespoke retro designs, which were raffled for the team’s mental health charity partner, Mind, after the event.
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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