Vodafone McLaren Mercedes became the second Formula 1 team to unveil its 2013 challenger with a public launch at the McLaren Technology Centre.
The Woking-based squad finished last season’s 20-race campaign in third position in the constructors’ championship behind Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari, even though the team scored as many victories as the world champions.
It may had been the quickest car in 2012 but the lack of reliability played its part that cost the opportunity for both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button the drivers’ title.
Hopefully the MP4-28 has stamped out these reliability issues and with a new driver line-up in the shape of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez (who joins from Sauber) for 2013, McLaren hopes it can challenge for the championship in the upcoming Formula One season.
“With Jenson and Checo, and this fantastic-looking new car, I believe we’re extremely well prepared for another competitive season,” said team principal Martin Whitmarsh.
“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.
“This is an exciting time for the whole team. In our 50th anniversary season, I want Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to underline why we are the finest grand prix team in the world.”
“It is exactly the same colour scheme and I think it looks similar to last year, but it is completely different to last year under the skin,” he said.
“We know the regulations haven’t changed much since 2012 but it’s enough to make a difference.”
Let’s hope the difference is more than skin deep once the MP4-28 hits the track during the first week of testing at Jerez.
Watch the build-up to the launch of the new car including classic McLarens like the the M8D Can-Am sportscar, the 1974 M23, the Le Mans-winning F1 GTR and the MP4-13 from 1998.