MCL34 'much different car to 2018' – McLaren

McLaren's MCL34 will be a "much different" car compared to its predecessor, the MCL33, which failed to score a podium finish in 2018, with Fernando Alonso's fifth-place in Australia the highlight of McLaren's year.

McLaren identified an inherent flaw in the design of its MCL33 which was discovered too late to fix during the 2018 season, leading it to switch focus to next year sooner than it would normally.

CEO Zak Brown is therefore hopeful that they will build a more competitive car and revealed that their development programme had so far "gone according to plan."

"We're anticipating a good car," Brown said over the weekend, talking on-stage at ASI. "The off-season development has gone according to plan but you ultimately don't know what the competition's been up to and the competition's tough, and getting tougher.

"All the men and women back at McLaren having been working extremely hard to make sure we build a better car than 2018, because I know these guys [Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris] won't want to drive last year's car!

"We need good feedback from them. This will be a much different car than in 2018."

McLaren has a long-term plan to turn its fortunes around, part of which is its recent restucture which is ongoing. The team's latest appointment is former-Porsche boss Andreas Seidl who will be leading the F1 team. 

"He's responsible for running the F1 team," Brown confirmed. "My role as CEO is to make sure that McLaren has a competitive platform for whichever form of motor racing we're in.

"Formula 1 is our number 1 priority, so I need to make sure I have all the right people in place with the right resources and guidance. So I think between Andreas, James Key, we've bought back Pat Fry, we did a little bit of restructuring, so I'm very happy with the F1 team that we have in place. They haven't all joined yet, so it's still a work in progress."