McLAREN HAVE TAKEN the wraps off their 2012 F1 challenger, the MP4-27 at their Woking technology centre.
McLaren will be hoping that this will be the car to knock Red Bull off the top, allowing Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton to challenge for the 2012 drivers championship and providing the team with their first constructors championship since 1998.
This is the second of 2012’s F1 cars to be revealed after Caterham showed their new CT01 last week and approaches the FIA’s regulation change, to improve safety in the event of a T-Bone accident, differently with a nose that gradually slopes to the new lower height rather than the ‘platypus’ step-down of the Caterham which has been branded “ugly” by many.
Jenson Button spoke about this, describing the McLaren as a beautiful F1 car but joking that “many of them you’ll see will not be”.
Lewis Hamilton said that seeing the hard work that had gone into the car was “very inspiring”, he then joked that the wing mirrors were a bit bigger than last year saying, “I’m sure Felipe will be a little bit happier about that”. Lewis also described the outlawing of the blown diffuser as their “biggest loss” over last year’s car.
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes that this year will be a close one stating that, “no one, in my view, is going to run away with this.” He then spoke about the rumours that when the current deal to run Mercedes engines runs out, McLaren are going to build their own engines, saying that they were very happy with the current partnership and that McLaren have “no plans to develop our own engines”.
The MP4-27 may look cosmetically similar to last year’s MP4-26 but the new, FIA regulated, lower nose is not the only change. The innovative U-shaped sidepods are gone, redesigned to allow for a new cooling system and the new exhaust rules, which no longer allow teams to blow the rear diffuser; instead they must exit higher up the car’s bodywork.
Check out our high-resolution pictures of the new car below.