Meet McLaren’s 2019 Formula 1 Car, the Pig-Nosed MCL34
It may have a face only a mother could love, but the MCL34 bears a gorgeous, eye-searing orange and blue livery.
On Thursday, McLaren launched its 2019 Formula 1 car, which it calls the MCL34.
McLaren adopted the MCL-prefixed naming scheme in 2017 with its MCL32, keeping the number progression from Ron Dennis-era MP4-prefixed names. It has retained this name format despite splitting with its former engine supplier Honda and jumping to Renault for 2018 onward.
Like last year's car, the MCL34 is primarily Papaya Orange with blue highlights for contrast. In this case, blue encroaches from the rear wing onto the engine cover, where McLaren features its Brazilian petrochemical sponsor Petrobras. This company could reportedly back out of its sponsorship, with Brazil's Grand Premio reporting that an audit of Petrobras's advertising funds may cancel the deal.
Like the troubled MCL33, the MCL34 features an unconventional nose with three nostrils, though this design is presumably not to blame for McLaren's aerodynamic troubles last season. The 2019 car will strangely do without much of a vertical fin on the engine cover, which is typically used to condition airflow for the rear wing.
Driving the MCL34 will be former Renault and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr. and 2018 FIA Formula 2 runner-up Lando Norris, whose first- and third-placed competitors George Russell and Alexander Albon will also be racing in F1 this year, for Williams and STR-Honda respectively. McLaren's reserve driver is Sergio Sette Camara, who doesn't have an FIA Super License and thus cannot actually serve his role as a backup in the event that one of McLaren's race drivers suffer illness or injury. Motorsport reports that Team Principal Zak Brown has not denied the possibility of departed McLaren driver Fernando Alonso fulfilling the reserve role instead.
The pair of McLaren MCL34s will be first seen in action on Monday when winter testing begins in Barcelona. There, they will be two of only four cars powered by a Renault engine, the others of course being the Renault works team's R.S.19 entries.