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McLaren reveal MCL38: Lando Norris expresses 'full confidence' in continued progress during 2024 F1 season

McLaren revealed the MCL38 before the car took to the track at Silverstone on Wednesday; the team are seeking to build on an encouraging 2023 campaign, during which Lando Norris claimed seven podium finishes; watch all 24 races this season live on Sky Sports F1

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McLaren revealed the MCL38 ahead of the 2024 Formula 1 season.

McLaren boss Andrea Stella said the team has "everything in place" to continue to "push forward" as their 2024 Formula 1 challenger was revealed at Silverstone.

Having revealed the livery for the MCL38 last month, the car that Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will pilot was finally unveiled on Wednesday before taking to the track for the first time.

McLaren produced a remarkable turnaround to come from towards the back of the field at the start of 2023 to being one of dominant Red Bull's most consistent challengers by the end, and the goal for the upcoming campaign is to maintain that progress.

"The team are excited to present the MCL38 today and to see it on track for the first time," Stella said.

"Going into this year, we look to build on the momentum of last season but are realistic in the knowledge that every team will have made progress and found competitiveness for their 2024 cars.

"We now have everything in place from an infrastructure, people and culture perspective so we continue to push forward and build on the work done to get us back to front of the grid."

MCL38 McLaren
MCL38 McLaren
MCL38 McLaren
MCL38 McLaren

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McLaren revealed their 2024 livery in January.

Brown: McLaren must remain realistic

McLaren's strong second half of 2023 has resulted in high expectations, only heightened by the team having been aided by access to its brand new wind tunnel and the arrivals of Rob Marshall from red Bull and David Sanchez from Ferrari.

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While there is plenty of excitement around the Woking squad, there was a reminder from Stella, along with McLaren chief executive Zak Brown, that expectations must "remain realistic" ahead of the opening race of the season in Bahrain on March 2.

"The fantastic thing about this sport is how competitive it is, and therefore we must remain realistic as every team will have made progress in the off season," Brown said.

"The true test of whether we've made steps in the right direction will be qualifying in Bahrain. We're all excited to go racing again, but we know there's a long season ahead of us and a lot of work still to do to ensure we build on the progress we made throughout 2023."

While McLaren are undoubtedly in a far better place than 12 months ago, there will be concern around a warning from Stella that "not all the areas" the team wanted to address on their new car have been completed at this point.

"Before we hit the track for competitive sessions, we have a lot of work to do, including putting the MCL38 through its paces during the Bahrain pre-season test," Stella said.

F1 car launches

Team Date
Haas Launched on February 2
Sauber Launched on February 5
Williams Launched on February 5
Alpine Launched on February 7
Visa Cash App RB Launched on February 8
Aston Martin Launched on February 12
Ferrari Launched on February 13
McLaren Launched on February 14
Mercedes February 14
Red Bull February 15

"The team has done a good job over the winter, and we are confident we can hit the ground running, but we know we have important tasks at hand before the season starts.

"There are a number of innovations on the car, but not all the areas we want to address have been completed for our launch-spec car. Those areas now become the focus of our in-season development, which is already in progress."

Norris has 'full confidence' in continued progress

Perhaps the most crucial moment of McLaren's off-season came as Norris, whose future had been the subject of much speculation, signed a new multi-year contract extension.

Despite having failed to win any of the 104 Grands Prix he has started, the 24-year-old Brit is widely considered to be one of the most talented drivers on the grid.

Lando Norris
Image: Lando Norris

"I'm excited to get behind the wheel of the MCL38 and see how it runs. The livery looks great on the new car, so it's fun to be able to get out on track today," Norris said.

"I'm looking forward to shaking the car down in Bahrain. I have full confidence in the team that we'll continue pushing forward off the back of the turnaround last season. However, the true test of our progress is coming up when we put the car through its paces in testing, ahead of then qualifying and racing for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

"Over the past few weeks I've been back at the MTC putting a lot of work in on the simulator with my engineering team to ensure that we're fully prepared ahead of next week."

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Relive how McLaren went from the back of the pack towards the front of the grid during the 2023 Formula 1 season

While he will be focused on closing the gap to reigning world champion Max Verstappen, Norris will also we wary of the challenge from within posed by team-mate Piastri.

The Australian delivered a hugely impressive rookie campaign, upstaging Norris on occasions, most notably when claiming a Sprint victory in Qatar.

"We won't know where we stand in terms of competitiveness until we go racing in Bahrain, but we've been preparing as best as we possibly can by spending time in the simulator, working closely with everyone who's designed, built and will run the car to ensure we're ready to start strongly," Piastri said.

"I'm looking forward to the next few weeks leading into a busy year."

When is F1 pre-season testing?

Pre-season testing takes place from Wednesday February 21 to Friday February 23 at the Bahrain International Circuit with just three days for the teams to get prepared for the new season.

When is the first F1 race?

Just one week later, the opening race of the 2024 season will begin with the Bahrain Grand Prix from February 29 to March 2.

Due to the Muslim holy period of Ramadan, the Bahrain and, seven days later, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, will be held on a Saturday.

This means practice one and two will take place on Thursdays, with final practice and qualifying on Fridays.

24 races in 2024! Watch every round of next season live on Sky Sports F1, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix from February 29-March 2. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership

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