McLaren have kicked off 2014 by becoming the first team to officially launch their new car.
While other teams, such as Williams, Force India and Lotus have revealed rendered images of their cars, McLaren took the covers off the MP4-29 and unveiled it to the world via their website. With formal launches – including press in attendance – looking to be a thing of the past, McLaren uploaded a series of images and videos to their website yesterday afternoon.
The car, which looks strikingly different to its predecessor, features the ‘anteater’ nose and a solid silver livery, which could change between now and the first race in Australia.
As well as the photographs, McLaren uploaded a number of videos to accompany them. The official launch video can be found on this dedicated Launch Video page.
“2014 bring so many changes. It’s the most amount of changes in over two decades of Formula One,” Sporting Director Sam Michael said. “The most significant of all the changes is definitely the Powertrain – you’re coming from a normally aspirated engine to a turbo charged unit. You’re going to a V6 Turbo engine – it’s fuel-flow limited as well, so it means that you don’t just have unlimited amount of fuel to burn. You’ve got 100kg fuel mass for the race.”
“The biggest challenges for us to adapt to the widespread changes on the powertrain and aerodynamics this year are going to result in significant operational changes from recent history in Formula One,” Michael continued. “It’s the biggest change we’ve seen on the engine, the gearbox and even the chassis as well. Just meeting curfew times, getting through the workload of kitting engines and changing engines, gearboxes… Even if you don’t actually have failures, that’s going to be a massive task.”
“There’s going to be a lot of development this year,” race driver Jenson Button said. “I think being with a team like McLaren will be very important because we are good at developing, I think you can see that in previous years. Sometimes you get a little bit wrong, but most of the time they’re very good. It’s going to be a development race through the season, along with trying to get a handle on the reliability of the car.”
“It’s always pretty intense and there has definitely been no let-up for anyone this winter,” Button continued. “I don’t think there’s any team that has found this winter easy. We really don’t know where we will stand at the first race compared to others but we know that we are heads down, doing the best we can.”
Also giving his opinion was new driver Kevin Magnussen, who is looking ahead to his rookie season in Formula One. “The first few months have been really good with McLaren,” he said. “I’ve done lots of work in the simulator with the engineers, learning about the new car and the new regulations, and trying to improve everything before the first test.”
“I’ve come a long way in the winter – the team has been really great, they’ve helped me so much,” he continued. “They’re good at helping me out and helping me understand everything. The car this year is going to behave very differently to the old car – it has a lot more power than last year! It’s very fun to drive, it’s going to be a big challenge and in a way it’s good for me, because it puts everyone on zero again on driving style. I think it will be exciting for the fans!”
All the information, including more videos, pictures and interviews, can be found on the official McLaren website. The MP4-29 will be on track next week at the first test in Jerez.