McLaren was given special dispensation to make extra changes to accommodate the new Mercedes power unit, and some of these can be seen on the car, with additional bulges on the engine cover.
Also apparent are the modifications to comply with new aerodynamic regulations, which aim to reduce downforce by ten per cent. The floor now tapers towards the wheels and no longer has the slots of the 2020 car.
Technical Director James Key emphasised the importance of interpreting the rule changes.
“Despite relatively stable technical regulations from 2020, there are several significant aerodynamic changes to the rules that are important to get right,” he said.
“Every change to these regulations presents an opportunity, and the team in Woking has been working incredibly hard in difficult conditions to maximise those opportunities.
“One of the key elements of the MCL35M design is the integration of the Mercedes-AMG power unit, which has taken a considerable effort from the team in Woking, as well as our colleagues at Mercedes. Despite our limited scope for installation in a homologated car, the team has done a fantastic job of optimising our design work.
“Building a Formula 1 car is never easy. These are the fastest and most technically complex racing cars in the world and that challenge has only been compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m immensely proud of how our incredible group of people has risen to this challenge and developed the best possible package.”
Production Director Piers Thynne emphasised what an undertaking switching to a Mercedes was power unit has been, with McLaren the only team to switch engine this year.
“The most significant challenge with has been the packaging of the new power unit. As a result, just a little under 50 per cent of the car is new,” he said.
“The MCL35M is made up of 75,000 parts, and just under half of those are new this year.”
Team principal Andreas Seidl, who was hired in 2019 by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown to oversee the their revival, commented on the continued push by the team to get itself back to the front, nine years after it last won a grand prix.