Yesterday (31st January 2013) marked the official unveiling of The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ 2013 Formula 1 car. The MP4-28.
The reveal of the 2013 challenger, coincided nicely with McLaren’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Prior to the launch of the MP4-28, there was a spectacular parade of classical racing machinery driving around the McLaren Technology Centres Perimeter. The spectacul brought back to life a handful of race and championship winning cars spread across the decades, displaying unbelievable heritage, and a style which only McLaren, are capable of.
The highlight of the parade for me personally was the pleasure of hearing and seeing Ayrton Senna’s all conquering 1988 MP4/4, approaching the factory and ultimately driving right past where I was standing inside the auditorium, to the sound of rapturous applause – giving the distinct sense that there isn’t a day that goes by where the great man isn’t thought of!
As Jenson Button, and Sergio Perez peeled away the cover, at first it seemed like I and everyone else, were staring at the MP4-27, and it is true, the new car does bare some outward similarities to that of the 2012 car, however, a confident Jenson Button stated that “under the skin, this is so, so different”, he also went onto say that the team have fixed a lot of the reliability issues which they struggled with last year.
McLaren say that the MP4-28 is the culmination of all they have achieved over the last 50 years, inspired by those 50 years’ experience, expertise and passion.
The car itself has a striking resemblance to its predecessor, a seven time race winning car across the season. The MP4-28 is simply a refinement, which has seen minor developments in key areas, on an already successful chassis.
MP4-28 Side Pod
The day itself was a great experience, an experience I hope to share with McLaren again next year, as well as exciting moments throughout the course of the 2013 season.
Simply by being at the MTC for a handful of hours, I got real sense of excitement, confidence, and above all, drive for success, which is only affirmed by the new car, and its developments on it.
MP4-28 Front Wing
I personally have always seen the McLaren Mercedes as the best looking car on the grid, and have done now since the change in livery back in 2006, where the introduction of the silver and rocket red was first seen, and this car has done little to change that. That said, there are still a number of teams to launch their 2013 challengers.
I am also hoping that last years unsightly ‘platypus’ noses are a thing of the past, especially thanks to the vanity panel, which McLaren have used, giving the nose a more conventional look, hopefully other teams do the same! It doesn’t seem like the car has given away to many design secrets, and like Lotus the McLaren team opted to keep their launch side pods and spec wings to the track.
Both Jenson Button and Sergio Perez were present at the unveiling, and both expressed confidence in that the car can deliver.
Jenson Button, Sergio Perez & The MP4-28
The MP4-27 was certainly good enough, but for reliability issues which seemingly ended any sort of real title challenge, hopefully, those problems are behind the team, and with a bit of luck, the McLaren boys can show the speed they were showign towards the end of last year, and ultimately where they left off in Brazil.
So the new McLaren MP4-28 has arrived, and is ready to take it’s place on the 2013 grid, amongst the likes of Redbull Racing, Scuderia Ferrari, and the Silver Arrows.
I for one, can’t wait!
- Dan -
Other imagery from the day, can be seen in the Formula 1 page on this site.
All Imagery obtained from the day is copyrighted to DanielCraigPhotographic 2013