This is a Formula One car designed by James Key of McLaren, their Technical Director. Its primary purpose was to compete in the Formula One World Championship, and was originally intended to compete in the 2020 season, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MCL35 eventually made its debut at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix, and the two drivers were Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris. McLaren finished in third in the World Constructors’ Championship, and this was their first time since 2012. Additionally, they achieved podium finishes at both the Italian and Austrian Grand Prix, even setting a track record for the fastest lap time.
It was fitted with a 1.6L V6 turbocharged Renault E-Tech 20 engine working in sync with a Renault electric motor capable of producing 15,000 rpm. Moreover, the monocoque of the car was solely carbon fibre composite, ensuring maximum safety for the driver in the event of an accident. To add to this, the cockpit survivor cell incorporated impact resistant construction and anti-penetration panels, along with front, side and rear impact and roll structures.
The bodywork was almost completely carbon fibre, meaning the weight of the car was a minute 746kg, including the driver but excluding the fuel. The MCL35’s rear wing was also fitted with a driver-operated drag reduction system.
McLaren indulged their fanbase with the MCL35’s livery in February 2020, and it featured the corporate colours of McLaren themselves: papaya and blue. But prior to the very first race of the season, McLaren revealed the addition of a rainbow graphic on both the sidepod and halo of the MCL35. This was in recognition of the #WeRaceAsOne campaign – a movement to support diversity and recognition for essential workers.
Unlike its predecessor, the MCL34, the MCL35 is wrapped in vinyl. The MCL34 was embodied with a glossy paintjob, but the MCL35 featured a matte finish and an extensive use of deep black. This was not only an aesthetic change, but it actually decreased the weight of the car and further reduced the time it took to prepare the bodywork.