The McLaren Formula 1 Team today unveiled the team’s new driver line-up in front of fans and the world’s media at the OKX Thought Leadership Centre at McLaren’s HQ in Woking, ahead of the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship season.
With a new chapter firmly underway following Andrea Stella’s move from Executive Director to F1 Team Principal, the team will start their 60th Anniversary celebrations by welcoming rookie driver and 2021 FIA Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri to pilot the MCL60 alongside talented Brit Lando Norris.
Lando, 23 years old from Somerset, England, enters his fifth season in Formula 1 with McLaren after collecting a sixth career F1 podium at the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Oscar, 21 years old from Melbourne, Australia, joins the team having won consecutive FIA Formula 3 and FIA Formula 2 championships in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
To mark McLaren’s milestone year, the team’s 2023 competitor will be named the MCL60, in a break from previous naming convention. New Zealand-born racing driver Bruce McLaren founded McLaren Racing in 1963 and since then the team have won 20 Formula 1 World Championships, 183 Formula 1 grands prix, the Indianapolis 500 three times, and the Le Mans 24 Hours at its first attempt.
The MCL60 features a striking papaya orange and blue livery, the colours first carried by the team in the 1960s, which have since become a team favourite since their reintroduction in 2018.
Designed under the leadership of Technical Director James Key and produced by the team in Woking, led by Operations Director Piers Thynne, the MCL60 will be powered by the Mercedes-AMG F1 M14 E Performance that is integrated into the McLaren chassis and gearbox with support from Mercedes HPP in Brixworth, UK.
Lando and Oscar will give the MCL60 its official on-track debut in the pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit on 23 February ahead of the opening race of the season at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix on 5 March.
Zak Brown, CEO
“We are delighted to launch our 2023 Formula 1 team with Lando and Oscar at the wheel as we celebrate 60 years of McLaren Racing. This year’s driver line-up is extremely exciting as Lando, an intelligent and confident driver with excellent pace, is joined by one of the biggest up-and-coming talents in motorsport with Oscar.
“2022 was a challenging season in our continued effort to push towards the front of the grid. We learnt a lot which has been taken into the off-season as the entire team works hard to prepare for another year. Under the guidance of Andrea Stella, who moved into the position of Team Principal in December 2022, we have an excellent team to spearhead the 2023 season and can look forward to seeing our young driver duo continue to grow their partnership throughout the upcoming campaign.
“Being one of the oldest teams on the Formula 1 grid and marking our 60 year anniversary as a racing team is an excellent achievement. We have a wealth of history dating back to when Bruce McLaren first formed McLaren Racing in 1963, therefore, it is appropriate we honour the last six decades through our 2023 competitor’s name, the MCL60. This is the start of several anniversary commemorations that will be exhibited throughout the year.
“We are thrilled to celebrate this significant journey with our fantastic group of committed and valuable partners. Their support is an integral part in the journey to achieving our ambitions. The same can be said for our fantastic fans. We always aim to achieve the best result possible at every grand prix weekend and thank those supporters who continue to fly the papaya flag.
“We’re now looking forward to heading back to being on track in Bahrain. It’ll be great to see the MCL60 in action ahead of the 2023 season. Let’s go racing!”
Andrea Stella, Team Principal
“It’s an honour to lead McLaren Racing into the team’s 60th anniversary season. We have a committed and talented group of people at McLaren, and we are all looking forward to taking the MCL60 racing, after the hard work and the efforts over the last months, in all areas of the team.
“During our time away from racing, we have enjoyed welcoming Oscar to the McLaren Technology Centre and we have worked together to build strong relationships and to be fully prepared for the start of his career in Formula 1. He has quickly integrated in the team and gained much respect, thanks to his humility, bright intellect, and dedication. It’s also been great to resume the work with Lando, who is now showing the qualities of a leader as he supports the journey of the team. Lando and Oscar form such a strong and talented driver line-up and we are very much looking forward to the 2023 season with them at the wheel of the MCL60.
“Together with our colleagues at Mercedes HPP, we can take great pride in our strong collaboration in the realisation of the MCL60 and in the joined efforts to the pursuit of moving back up the grid.
“We are aware we have work to do as we enter the 2023 season, but everyone in the team is totally focused and committed to making our 60th anniversary year a special one.”
Lando Norris, Driver
“The off-season has been good but I’m looking forward to getting back on track and behind the wheel of the MCL60 for the first time. The new car looks great, and everyone involved in the build has played an important role.
“This is my fifth year in Formula 1 and I’m hoping to carry positive momentum into the new season after a year of racing under the new era of regulations. It’s been a good challenge adapting to them and I feel that I’m in a positive position to keep on improving as a driver. I’ve enjoyed my journey with the team so far and to be involved in McLaren’s 60th anniversary is a privilege. I’ll continue to work hard alongside Oscar throughout this significant year as we look to maximise opportunities to score points.”
Oscar Piastri, Driver
“I’m delighted to get started with McLaren and make my F1 debut this season. The off-season has been great for me, and I’ve been working hard to prepare for the upcoming year. The time I’ve spent at the factory and in the sim has been enjoyable and productive, and everyone in the team has been welcoming. I’ve settled in well and I’m now fully focused on getting out on track in Bahrain.
“The MCL60 is very impressive and it’s going to be a memorable year, not just for me in my rookie season but also as a team celebrating 60 years of McLaren Racing. The challenge ahead is an exciting one and I’m looking forward to driving with Lando as we work hard to pick up points throughout the season.”