Gallery: McLaren unveils MCL36 2022 F1 car

11th February 2022
Ethan Jupp

Aston’s AMR22 reveal was a pleasant surprise for all, with a very complete and original-looking car in a stunning livery, that we’ve now seen in action at Silverstone no less than 24 hours later. The spotlight at this moment, though, is well and truly on the reveal of the McLaren MCL36, leaving us with lots to contemplate over the course of the weekend.

First impressions? Another deviation from the demo car along with the Aston, suggesting the real grid of cars will be a step on overall. The splitter uses more curves than the Aston. The whole thing appears lower than that of the Aston, with a similar low width-spanning chin element. Very interesting on the McLaren is the use of pull rod suspension up front, something we’ve not seen on any of the reveals yet seen, or indeed any F1 cars for a little over a decade. This should lower the McLaren’s centre of gravity up front and potentially improve its bump response compared to push rod-equipped rivals.

The livery is a curiosity, with a matte treatment of the Papaya Orange, contrasting blue for Gulf and black elements. There are some strange shapes blazoned across the MCL36, smacking a little bit of an IndyCar.

The McLaren seems to have wider air inlets for the radiators, pushing all the way out to the full side impact regulation-mandated width for the sidepods, though the pods bleed back into the centre a lot sooner, with only the venturi-equipped floor billowing outwards as far back as the rear wheels. The Aston is looking like it’ll be the wide boy of the pack so far. 

Both cars of course should be using an identical Mercedes-AMG engine. The difference this year compared to last is that this car has been engineered from the ground up to take the Merc motor, rather it being a shoehorn job as it was in the MCL35M. The air feeding the German engine will also be entering via a near-identical inlet on the McLaren to the Aston, though the MCL36 doesn’t appear to be sporting the shaped bulges to accommodate said engine. 

Out back, what is becoming a somewhat de rigueur wing features just the one swan neck element suspending it and the DRS actuator. There’s not a lot to be seen of the rear, like the Aston, as the underfloor goodies are kept as under wraps as possible before testing begins later this month.

Responding to questions of performance, Technical Director Andreas Seidl spoke of ambitious targets fighting for race wins and even championships. Growth as a team is ongoing, while he also highlighted the advantages of progressing with a consistent driver line-up, with Daniel Ricciardo obviously returning, and Lando Norris committing to the team up to 2025. Reading between the lines, we’re getting 'tired but quietly confident'. Time will tell and we’ll know how the McLaren falls in the order very soon. Next up, AlphaTauri on Monday 14th Feb…

  • F1

  • McLaren

  • MCL36