McLaren reveals launch date

With an all-new driver line-up, McLaren has revealed that its 2019 contender, the MCL31, will be revealed on Valentine’s Day, February 14.

Other than dubbing the date “McLarentine’s Day”, the Woking outfit is giving little else away in terms of whether it will follow the recent trend of launching the car online or perhaps return to the old ways by holding a live event… such as the infamous event at London’s Alexander Palace where Ron Dennis looked uncharacteristically bemused as the MP4/12 was unveiled by The Spice Girls and Jamiroquai.

Though it is unclear as yet whether 2019 is the start of Zak Brown’s 5-year plan for the Woking team, this is an important season for the multi championship winning team.

Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne are gone, replaced by Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, and while former engine partner Honda now heads to Red Bull, McLaren heads into its second season with Renault, which despite what Messrs Marko, Horner sand Verstappen would have you believe, is a proven race-winning engine.

The Woking outfit finished sixth in the 2018 standings, though its efforts were greatly helped by the mid-season demise of Force India, which went into administration and subsequently emerged as a new team.

If nothing else, the performance of the MCL30 demonstrated that the poor performances of previous seasons may not have been entirely due to Honda.

Renault will be the first to launch, the French team revealing all on February 12, while Racing Point hosts an event in Canada on the 13th and Ferrari reveals its car on the 15th.

Pre-season testing gets underway on the 18th February.