The McLaren F1 car launch date for 2020 was ‘accidentally’ leaked by driver Lando Norris during a live YouTube takeover at the team’s headquarters.
Norris was filming a handheld video at the Formula One team's factory in Woking, England. The video sees him interrupt a marketing meeting where he apparently reveals the February 13th 2020 McLaren car launch date by accident.
The video is then quickly ‘stopped’ by a member of the marketing team.
However, it all appears to have been a pre-planned stunt after McLaren later confirmed its launch date and posted the video in full on its social media accounts.
Norris also posted a follow-up video on his own Twitter account which shows he had apparently been pranked. A truly Oscar-winning performance from the F1 rookie on a day where Ford v Ferrari was nominated in four categories for an Academy Award!
McLaren's F1 car launch date is the third official confirmation alongside Ferrari (February 11th) and Alpha Tauri (February 14th), previously the Toro Rosso brand. McLaren finished fourth in 2019 Formula One Constructor standings and have retained both Norris and Carlos Sainz as drivers for the upcoming season.
Norris confident about new McLaren car
Ahead of McLaren's F1 car launch, Norris also appeared at the 2020 Autosport International show last weekend. He spoke of the team's progress throughout the 2019 F1 season. McLaren finished “best of the rest” in midfield behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.
Speaking at Autosport International, Norris said of McLaren’s 2020 car: “I’m confident. The guys have done such a good job over the winter to improve the car as much as possible. I’m not going to say we’re going to be winning races this season; I would love to, but I’m not going to over-hype anything. We've got to be realistic.”
The new Formula One season is set to begin in Melbourne, Australia on March 15th although that could change. F1 is monitoring the current bushfire crisis which has devastated the country. The season features 22 races before its climax in Abu Dhabi on November 29.