WATCH: McLaren Fire up Mercedes-Powered 2021 F1 Car for the First Time

Published 01/28/2021, 1:30 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – McLaren’s Lando Norris in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace


The 2021 F1 season is inching closer each day, and the teams have started to show some sneak peeks to their fans, as a build-up to what’s coming next. One of the most active teams on this list being McLaren.

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It was a proud Wednesday for the McLaren Technology Centre, as the team successfully fired up their MCL35M, possessing a Mercedes engine, for the first time this year.

After over five years, McLaren has returned to their long-term engine suppliers, Mercedes. Although the duo failed to end their term on a high in 2014, history suggests that the two brands’ collaboration could be quite deadly.

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Of course, changes in engines might sometimes cause major failures to the cars, and such concerns will be running inside everyone’s heads at McLaren.

However, the recent video uploaded by the team portrayed the engineers looking satisfied with the fire up proceedings. Hence, as of now, things are looking quite good for the British team, going into the 2021 season.

The rebirth of McLaren – Mercedes

When F1 introduced the teams to the hybrid era, McLaren took a drastic hit to their performance, as any updates led to further disappointment for the team. As seasons progressed, it only got worse, and then came Honda, which marked one of the worst phases for McLaren.

Since that painful phase, what a recovery has it been! McLaren never managed to put a foot wrong since their partnership with Renault. And after a successful 3-year period, they are back.

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren drives during the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

McLaren have opted to downplay any hypes lurking around their new partnership with Mercedes. However, it is quite evident that things are working out perfectly for them. From the looks of it, their dominion in the sport could return as early as the 2022 season.

Moreover, apart from the powerful engines, McLaren have been smart with decisions regarding their drivers’ line-ups. Yes, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz were one of the best pairings of the 2020 season. And the latter’s exit definitely left a massive void in the team.

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Carlos Sainz of Spain and McLaren F1 looks dejected in the Pitlane during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

However, they managed to grasp onto the in-form Daniel Ricciardo, who is an incredible team player as well. Hence, amongst their current rival teams, Aston Martin and Renault, the former constructor’s champions are sporting a powerful line-up for the upcoming season.

Overall, will the reunion of McLaren and Mercedes prove to be the right decision? Or will their unfortunate hybrid era collapse continue to haunt them through the 2021 season?

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Rohit Kumar

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Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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