Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo drove the first laps in McLaren’s new 2021 F1 car at rainy Silverstone, a day after the Woking team unveiled the MCL35M with a Mercedes engine.

Norris was the first to get a chance to try out the new car on the wet Silverstone track while Ricciardo took over the MCL35M after a lunch break which is also his first experience behind the wheel of a McLaren F1 car.

McLaren used the first of two days to shoot promotional materials this season to test their new car as soon as possible, and they were allowed to cover a maximum of 100 km on special Pirelli tyres.

This is the first McLaren F1 car after 2014 to have a Mercedes engine, but unlike the remaining two Mercedes clients Williams and Aston Martin McLaren does not buy a Mercedes gearbox and rear suspension.

With the new car, McLaren hopes to keep the third place in the constructors’ championship they won last year, but also to get closer to the leading teams Mercedes and Red Bull.

Team boss Andreas Seidl said the teams will need some more time before they are at the level of the best in terms of factory and equipment, especially the wind tunnel, and that they need to be patient and get the most out of what they currently have.

“We have fought against factory teams that have an infrastructure that is much more current than our current one. So I think we can be optimistic ahead of this season, but also realistic about what we can achieve, ”said Seidl.

“Our main goal is to take the next step as a team, with the car we have and the way we work. We want to get closer to Mercedes and Red Bull again because these steps are key to getting us back to the top of the grid at some point. ”

2021 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren MCL35M with helmet in the car Mercedes first test shakedown Silverstone 16 Feb Photo McLaren Twitter
2021 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren MCL35M (Photo: McLaren)
2021 Lando Norris McLaren MCL35M Mercedes first test shakedown Silverstone 16 Feb Photo McLaren Twitter
2021 Lando Norris McLaren MCL35M Mercedes (Photo: McLaren)
2021 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren MCL35M Mercedes first test shakedown Silverstone 16 Feb Photo McLaren Twitter
2021 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren MCL35M (Photo: McLaren)
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