Silver racer from McLaren

After a difficult and challenging season for McLaren-Mercedes in 2013, the Woking-based team needs to deliver in terms of big results and their new MP4-29, launched online, certainly looks the business.

With Force India, Williams and Lotus revealing their cars as an computer-generated image, McLaren’s launch marked the first proper look at the new rules design.

The MP4-29 features that much anticipated take on the controversial nose design that teams have leaned to under the new regulations, with a narrow protruding section to meet the revised crash test rules without lowering the entire front end as the rule makers originally envisaged.

“We’ve never had such significant new regulations before,” said McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale. “Reacting to them, and managing those changes, while still pushing the performance limits, has been an extremely tough job.”

Neale mentioned that the team have taken a ‘pragmatic’ approach to the new regulations.

“We know that the need for consistency initially outweighs the need for performance – the winter tests won’t be about chasing set-up or refining the car; the envelope of performance is likely to be so wide, and so relatively unknown, that the winter – and to some extent the opening races – will be about understanding the operational boundaries of the car as best we can.”

“This year, more than ever, will come down to a development race,” he added. “I don’t necessarily think you can expect the car that wins the opening race to be the car that leads the championship charge, something we’ve often seen in the past.”

“No, it will be all about a team’s ability to react and respond. We already have an update package that we’re readying for race one, and we’re discovering new things in the [wind] tunnel, or in CFD, all the time. Once we start track testing, I think you’ll see an intense throughput of ideas and concepts – that’s the nitty-gritty that will win or lose the world championship.”

The MP4-29 was unveiled in a plain silver livery with basic MP4-29 branding. Hopefully some sponsors will make an appearance on the car after many seasons running the Vodafone branding.

In terms of driver line-up, Jenson Button will lead the McLaren this season and he will be joined by Formula 1 rookie Kevin Magnussen. The team’s third race driver is rising star Stoffel Vandoorne.

4 thoughts to “Silver racer from McLaren”

  1. McLaren believes that the 2014 Formula 1 season will be a year of regrowth as it bids to return to title-winning form over the longer term.

    After a disappointing campaign last year, where it failed to score a podium finish, the Woking-based outfit is not making any bold predictions about its form for the season ahead.

    However, the team believes that the restructuring that is currently being implemented by Group CEO Ron Dennis has put it well on its way to recovery.

    McLaren launches its 2014 F1 car

    McLaren is poised to appoint Eric Boullier as its new team principal before the start of the campaign after his departure from Lotus, and has bolstered its technical staff with the high profile signings of Peter Prodromou and Dan Fallows from Red Bull, and ex-Lotus men Ettore Griffini and Ciaron Pilbeam.

    Sporting director Sam Michael said: “We’ve made no secret of our disappointment at how the 2013 season turned out.

    “The aim now is to get back to winning – that’s what McLaren exists to do.

    “But there’s a certain amount of growth and regrowth that needs to take place before we return to a position where we can challenge for the world championship.

    “The good thing is that we’ve acknowledged that, and we’ve actually been working towards that goal for many months now.

    “We have Honda waiting in the wings, we have a number of key technical staff bolstering our existing design and engineering teams, and we are fostering the careers of our young drivers, all of whom have an incredible amount of potential.

    “The future for McLaren is bright, and we’re now putting in place the processes that will move us closer to our goals.”

    Michael suggested that the 2014 F1 campaign will be about a rapid development of its new MP4-29 – and that the form book over the season is likely to shift around dramatically.

    Managing director Jonathan Neale added: “It will be all about a team’s ability to react and respond.

    “We already have an update package that we’re readying for race one, and we’re discovering new things in the ‘tunnel, or in CFD, all the time.

    “Once we start track testing, I think you’ll see an intense throughput of ideas and concepts – that’s the nitty-gritty that will win or lose the world championship.”


  2. McLaren’s Jenson Button has mentioned that the new car will take time to master. has the story.

    Jenson Button has warned that it will take time for McLaren to get on top of its 2014 Formula 1 challenger, which was launched on Friday.

    The team’s MP4-29 has had a longer gestation period than some of its rivals after McLaren responded to a disappointing 2013 campaign by switching some resources early.

    Button says that is no guarantee of success however given the magnitude of F1’s rule changes ahead of the 2014 season.

    “I think this formula is too big, and too complex, for a single team to feel secure about getting everything right and quickly establishing an advantage,” said Button.

    “I don’t think anybody will be coming out of this first test feeling certain that they’ve cracked this new formula.

    “It’ll be more of a case of slowly peeling away successive layers as the engineers and designers gather more information and gain an understanding of how the cars and power-units are behaving.

    “We’ll see that being gradually refined throughout the forthcoming tests and into the opening races.”

    Button said every team was in a similar position in having to deal with such large number of new elements.

    “I think every single person in Formula 1 is sitting on the edge of the unknown,” he added.

    “That’s both exciting and unsettling in equal measure.

    “There will be lots of things going through my mind when I settle myself into the cockpit for the first time in Jerez next week.

    “But, above all else, what I’ll be looking for is that simple, positive feeling you get from knowing that the car beneath you is a solid platform; one you can work with, and one you can develop throughout the season.

    “I don’t think anybody’s anticipating the next few months to be easy – I can’t imagine anybody in the pitlane would admit to that.

    “But our aim must be to make progress all the time, and to learn positively as we go.”

    Button’s new team-mate Kevin Magnussen said the sweeping regulation changes could work in his favour ahead of his rookie F1 campaign.

    “You never reach a point where you feel completely ‘ready’ – there’s always more you can do – but I think every team and driver is going to be feeling uncertain going into the pre-season,” Magnussen said.

    “In a way, the regulation changes makes things a little easier.

    “At that first test in Jerez, everybody will be easing themselves into something new, rather than just getting in the car and driving away, so I’ll really be no different from any other driver.”

  3. Ron Dennis is now back in charge of McLaren and the team have admitted that this shuffling in terms of management is exciting times. has the full details.

    Ron Dennis’s return to the helm of the McLaren Formula 1 team has left senior figures ‘excited’ about what the future holds.

    McLaren announced last week that Dennis had been appointed as Group CEO with the mandate to conduct a thorough review of the operations of its racing team.

    The first major change is set to be the replacement of team principal Martin Whitmarsh, with former Lotus boss Eric Boullier favourite for the role. An announcement about the management plans is expected next month.

    McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale said after the launch of the team’s 2014 challenger that Dennis was relishing his return to F1 duties – which boded well for the team’s future.

    “For those that know Ron he is as fired up as he ever has been,” explained Neale. “[He is] more passionate now than ever.

    “He is excited about the changes we have ahead of us. He is very operational with us in the business, he has a very strong vision about the brand and the values, and not just about making sure McLaren is totally focused on winning, but how we win.

    “There is that way that McLaren go about things. And if ever there was somebody who had a strong vision and a sense of true north and how it is to win in F1 and why that is important, he has got it in spades. It is exciting times.”

    Jenson Button, who joined McLaren after Dennis relinquished his team boss role in 2009, said that he was boosted by the prospect of where the team was now heading.

    “This team under Ron has won multiple world championships, with Ayrton [Senna] and Alain [Prost] and before,” he explained.

    “There is so much history of Ron and this team. He is a true racer and a true fighter; he really has built this team up over the years.

    “It is good for this team and good for Ron that he has this chance to drive this team on again, and everyone here is excited about the challenge of 2014 with Ron in charge.”

    McLaren made no mention of its team principal plans during its launch event on Friday, but the absence of Whitmarsh from any media material has made it clear that he is unlikely to remain a part of the F1 team.

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