McLaren has unveiled its latest new Formula 1 car in Woking this morning, while also launching the celebrations for the team’s 50th year. There were 250 guests and media present for the event and they watched the most famous cars in the company’s history being driven around the McLaren lake and into the “boulevard” where the team displays them.
The MP4-28 will be raced this year by Jenson Button and Sergio Perez. The primary aim of the team is to improve the reliability of the cars after some problems in 2012, while trying to maintain the speed that was seen at the end of the 2012 season. Most of the current generation of cars are developments of the same themes seen last year, but McLaren engineers say that the team’s approach has been far more radical. This has been done because McLaren felt that continuing with the same development would lead to a plateau in the middle of the year. The team described the new car as being “a deep and sweeping re-design of an already successful chassis in several key areas – most notably around the nose and front suspension, the sidepod profiles and the rear bodywork”.
Here is a first look at the new car:
“Today’s parade of some of our greatest and most significant cars was a thrilling way to kick off our 50th anniversary celebrations and also our 2013 campaign,” said Martin Whitmarsh, “but it’s a reminder of the tremendous responsibility everyone within the McLaren Technology Centre shares to uphold the legacy began by Bruce McLaren and taken on by Teddy Mayer and Ron Dennis. It’s fully appropriate that the echoes of the past should be made to reverberate around the glass walls of a thoroughly modern building like the McLaren Technology Centre. Equally, however, we’ve never lost sight of the fact that we’ll always be linked to that fearless band of enterprising pioneers who came together to form Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd in the autumn of 1963. Like Bruce and his closest friends, we still have the belief that we can go out into the world, risk everything and emerge victorious. That, ultimately, is the spirit that drives this organisation.
“For 2013, of course, we go racing to win. With Jenson and Checo, and this fantastic-looking new car, I believe we’re extremely well prepared for another competitive season. Jenson is driving better than ever – he’s the most experienced driver in Formula 1, but he makes every ounce of that experience count: he’s peerless in his ability to read a race and one of the very fastest drivers out there. He’s a consummate professional, too, and will revel in working hard to drive this team through the year.
“Checo joins us after a sensational 2012 season and he’s immediately proved that he’s intelligent, modest, hard-working and, make no mistake; very, very quick. Of course, there’ll be a learning curve to overcome as he gets used to our organisation, particularly during the hustle and bustle of the early-season race weekends, but he understands that we are placing no pressure on him.”