McLaren’s James Key found the Mercedes integration difficult

The McLaren team unveiled its new challenger for the 2021 Formula 1 season – the MCL35M now with a Mercedes engine, and McLaren director James Key describes how difficult bringing in the Mercedes engine into the new car was.

While the technical regulations are relatively stable this season, the MCL35M is not just a simple evolution of the 2020 car but has indeed undergone numerous transformations to be able to integrate the Mercedes engine. The car was designed last year to use the Renault plant, an engine with a very different architecture.


The British team is the only one on the grid to have passed a crash test at the end of 2020, so many changes were made to the chassis.

“Despite a relatively stable technical regulation from 2020, there are several important aerodynamic changes to the rules and it was important to do it right. We had to get it right,” said James Key, the McLaren team’s technical director.

“Every change to these regulations presents an opportunity, and the Woking team has worked incredibly hard in difficult conditions to maximise these opportunities. 

“One of the key elements in the design of the MCL35M is the integration of the Mercedes-AMG powertrain, which required a considerable effort from the Woking team, as well as our colleagues at Mercedes. 

“Despite our limited possibilities of installation in an approved car, the team did a fantastic job in optimising our design work. 

“Building a Formula 1 car is never easy. They are the fastest and most reliable racing cars in the world. technically complex in the world and this challenge has been compounded by the covid-19 pandemic. 

“Over the past year, the factory team has been subjected to incredibly strict tests and work procedures and has been to ensure the safety of our employees. I am extremely proud of the way our incredible group of people took up this challenge and developed the best possible package. 

Meanwhile, the McLaren MCL35M will already be on track this Tuesday at Silverstone as part of a day of filming in the presence of the two drivers, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo.



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