McLaren reveal F1 car launch date after Lando Norris 'slip'
McLaren, Norris, and the F1 launch date reveal of 2020 so far...
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 13/01/20 8:16pm
McLaren - via an 'accidental' announcement from Lando Norris - have revealed that they will launch their new F1 car, the MCL35, on February 13.
Norris let slip the unveil date to thousands of viewers during a comical live stream on the team's YouTube page, after walking in on a meeting at the McLaren Technology Centre.
"I heard it was on the 13th of February," Norris told his colleagues. "Zak [Brown, McLaren CEO] told me it was on the 13th..."
Cue awkward responses from those in the meeting, before the stream was swiftly ended.
That 'leak' from Norris (and marketing genius from McLaren) means the Woking outfit are the third team to confirm when they are revealing their new-for-2020 challenger, after Ferrari and Alpha Tauri.
Ferrari will launch their car on Tuesday, February 11, while Alpha Tauri, the team formerly known as Toro Rosso. are set for February 14.
2020 F1 car launches (confirmed so far...)
|February 11||Ferrari||Maranello, Italy|
|February 13||McLaren||MTC, Woking|
|February 14||Alpha Tauri (formerly Toro Rosso)||Online|
Can McLaren kick on in 2020?
McLaren enjoyed their best season since 2014 last year, finishing fourth in a campaign which hinted that the team have the building blocks in place to return to the front of the grid in the near future.
As well as building a strong team behind the scenes, which developed a strong chassis to go with an improving Renault engine, McLaren also have two young, impressive drivers in Carlos Sainz and Norris, the 20-year-old Brit who is the youngest man on the grid.
"I think - and I can now say - that I was very happy with how I did," Norris, speaking at the Autosport International Show, said about his rookie season.
"I did better than I thought I would do
"I'm not saying that's because it was easy at all, but just because as a team we worked so well. My engineers helped me to settle in, to get comfortable and to be able to do the best I can."
Fourth was as much as McLaren could have hoped for last year, and they comfortably topped the midfield, but the next challenge will be much sterner as they bid to gain on the front three - Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.
2020 is McLaren's last season with Renault engines before they switch to Mercedes power at the start of 2021, when F1's major rule changes take place.
The first confirmed car launch for 2020 is Ferrari's on February 11, before pre-season testing starts on February 19. The season-opening race in Australia is on March 15, with all 22 races live on Sky Sports F1