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McLaren reveal highly developed car
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McLaren reveal highly developed car
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Jan 2010   |  12:22 pm GMT  |  100 comments

McLaren today unveiled its new car the MP4-25 at a ceremony in Newbury at the headquarters of its main sponsor Vodafone.

“Our goal is clear, we aim to win”, said team principal Martin Whitmarsh. He went on to say that this car is the most highly developed car they have ever unveiled, “You never know of course if we have missed something – there are a number of things on this car that I have never seen on an F1 car and I find that heartening. But you never know – there might be some things that are like the double diffuser was for us last year that we have never seen before. So you can never be absolutely confident. We are working hard. This car represents the standard of car that will start to test. It doesn’t represent the standard of car that we will race.”

Like most teams McLaren has an aggressive development programme planned ahead of the first race in Bahrain. The car which starts the season will be quite different in appearance to this one.

McLaren 2010
There was noticeably more focus on the car and the drivers than last season’s launch, when the talk was of the championship recently won with Hamilton and Ron Dennis’ retirement. Today McLaren seemed very focussed on getting it right in the season ahead, focussed on the car and on getting the driver to work together to develop it into a consistent winner. There was a confidence about the team, which comes from knowing that they turned a poor car into a winner last season and they have faith in their engineering staff. The car was described by all the senior management as “very sophisticated” and a big step on from last year’s car.

Mcl5
The car is radical looking, it has a huge shark fin linking the air box to the rear wing. The nose is reminiscent of last season’s Red Bull, but less so than the Ferrari and the Williams. The 2010 cars look bigger and longer than last season, a result of having to accommodate a fuel tank which is twice as large.

McL2

The MP4/25 has been designed around the double diffuser, whereas the device was an add on to last year’s car after the protests against Brawn, Williams and Toyota’s devices failed. Engineering director Paddy Lowe said that McLaren’s interpretation of the diffuser was ‘extreme’ but suggested that some teams will have even more extreme interpretations,

“This is the first car in which we have had a clean sheet of paper to really exploit the interpretation [of diffusers] that was developed last year for a design of floors,” he said. “You will see we have produced a fairly extreme incarnation of that but we won’t be alone in that. We believe you will see some pretty extreme solutions on our competitors’ cars as well. We think the interpretation is very clear. In certain aspects we have sought guidance from the FIA and they have come out with very clear interpretation, understanding and guidance – and we think that has been made available to all the teams.” In other words, Lowe does not believe that the grey areas which clouded this issue at the start of last season are replicated this season.

Lewis Hamilton said that he had done a lot of work personally in developing this car. “I’m sure it’s going to handle completely different to last year’s car” said Hamilton.

“I hope so,” said Button.
mcl4

Ron Dennis was at the launch, along with fellow shareholder Mansour Ojjeh. There was quite a bit of talk about Mercedes, Whitmarsh spoke of Mercedes as still a valued partner of the team, the team is still branded Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, it’s just that the manufacturer back up isn’t there any more and there was no sign of Mercedes hierarchy at the launch. Norbert Haug, the motor sport boss cried off at the last minute with a cold.

You can tell that McLaren are very motivated to go out there and beat Ross Brawn’s works Mercedes team this season, to prove to Mercedes’ board that they made a mistake in leaving them.

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100 Comments
  1. Andrew Scadden says:

    Bit cheeky from Button but funny none the less.

    James – one of your tweets mentions the dissuser and possible triple diffuser (although you clearly said it is covered up and you cannot see it) – any insights on how “legal” this is. Could we have another challenge from teams about legality at the beginning of the season?

    1. David says:

      No. A triple/quad diffuser uses the same principle as a double. If a doubles legal, anything goes.

  2. wtf says:

    and the 2009 red bull copy pasting continues, haha.

  3. ranavalona says:

    Wow!

    So……..NOT a Red Bull clone. Not entirely, anyway.

    Maybe an optical illusion but it looks even longer than the Ferrari. It’ll be interesting to see the actual dimensions. With Hamiltons preference for a car with chuckability – witness his liking for the short wheelbase car last year – this one may not really be ideal for him. We’ll see.

    Jensen, on the other hand……………….

    Looks stunning though – as if looks count for anything!

    1. Paige says:

      The understeer of the longer wheelbase may theoretically suit Button, but there are other areas of the new car given new regulations that theoretically should suit Hamilton.

      Chief among these is the ban on wheel rim heaters. These were used to heat the tires, which will now be harder to do without them. Tire temperature was a very big and public problem for Button- who has a very smooth style- last year in the cooler grands prix, whereas Hamilton’s aggressive style is known to get heat into the tires quickly. This could be a major advantage for Hamilton, especially in qualifying.

  4. Shane says:

    The car looks awesome. If it goes as good as it looks, this should be a mclaren year.

    1. DT says:

      Isn’t that what everybody said about last year’s?

      1. Ray says:

        Probably, but it was true, McLaren did have the nicest looking car last year, and had it driven as well as it looked, would have stomped the Brawn. Unfortunately it was a case of looking like a lion, driving like a duck.

        You must have not read the *IF* in there.

  5. Tom says:

    I really hope Massa wins this year, it’d top last year for drama. that said, i think Hamilton will definately be fighting for the title. who that’ll be with is very much open for debate.

    so long as i see a good fight from Ferrari this year, i’ll be happy.

    1. Rich C says:

      Even though I’m a Lewis fan, that’d be nice to see Alonso put in his place!

  6. krad says:

    Jammes. do you think the longer wheel base on this year car will play more towards button’s style than lewis’s, as in theory it should be more understeery?

    1. krad says:

      ops sorry for the double ‘m’

  7. bill says:

    this car is incredible, looks too fast!!

  8. F1ART says:

    Surely every car they launch should be the most highly developed car they have ever unveiled?

    1. Ross Dixon says:

      I think what they mean is that this car has had more development hours on it at this stage than any other.

      Say the MP24 had 1000 man hours or 25 revisions this one has had 2000 or 50 revisions.

  9. Lee says:

    If I recall, didn’t last years McLaren look highly developed compared to many others when it was launched? I hope history doesn’t repeat itself.

    Can’t wait to see it in action!

  10. Pierre says:

    The McLaren looks like a winning car, happy to see they seem to have understood the Newey concept from the front wing… untill the end of the car!
    James, I have to say the thing that really amazed me about the Ferrari, is that it has not got the shark-fin engine cover! Did they only copy Red Bull front without undertanding the whole concept? Are they sure the shark-fin cover does not provide so much? Do they wait a bit to unveal all their assets? Strange, really…
    I’m sure the Red Bull will have this kind of cover too, and perhaps Mercedes too (but we’ll see as Brawn’s last year car was a radical different concept).

    1. Jonathan Chan says:

      Ferrari have unveiled a basic model, I’m sure the upgrades will be added on before Melbourne or during the flyaway races then you’ll see a more developed Ferrari…

    2. OppositeLock says:

      It would not surprise me if the shark fin was a bit of a red herring. A throw-away design intended to cause other teams to spend time and resources checking it out. At least I hope so. While it’s an improvement over the the older fins, (Ala Toyota) it’s still ugly.

  11. dren says:

    Shark fins kill me! The exhaust exist is interesting. Can’t wait for more pictures. This is the only site I can view at work! Thanks James. I’m assuming Button has driven last year’s car in the simulator.

  12. Ross Dixon says:

    Compared to the Ferrari, that we now hear rumours may already be for the scrap heap, this car looks soooooo advanced. To me this doesnt look exactly like the red bull. Interesting that the side pods are almost triangular. It is clear that they have tried to let as much air pass over the top of the diffuser with there being so much room behind the side pods. A Mclaren designed for the double diffuser could be very rapid indeed

    1. krad says:

      ive heard it maybe triple

  13. Pierre says:

    Seen some more pictures on autosport.com:
    - very very sophisticated car, attention to details as always.
    - isn’t it an iPhone Jenson and Lewis are taking pictures with ?!!!

    1. Andy S says:

      Vodafone now sale them :)

    2. Topless Porridge says:

      With Vodafone having just launched the iPhone, this would be entirely appropriate, would it not?

      1. Pierre says:

        Did not know Vodaphone was now selling it in the UK (I’m french!) and yes it is a very good marketing oppportunity.
        The end of my comment was only a bit of “fun” refering to this one, number 28: http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2010/01/check-out-f1-testing-starting-next-week/#comments

  14. Érico says:

    Expectations are huge now. Not only does the car look great, but the speeches were quite emphatic on how much work has been put into developing it. Let’s hope it all comes together!!!

  15. alex m says:

    Very nice to see a “Highly developed car” … it fills me with optimism for 2010.

    What I wonder about is what really happened last year, how come all the supercomputers got it so very wrong, given how important they are with so little testing nowadays.

    Many people seem to be seeing the new regs and designs as playing into Jensons hands, but I believe Hamiltons adaptability and outright skill will see him do very well this year.

    2010 should be a vintage year of F1, let us all hope so.

    1. Érico says:

      It wasn’t a case of supercomputers going wrong. It was simply a case of the 2008 title battle taking its toll on the development of the MP4-24. It was no coincidence both Mclaren and Ferrari came out with dogs in 2009.

    2. Vic says:

      The supercomputers are only as good as the people that write the software to exploit them. And writing software that does exactly what it is originally meant to do is hard, even harder i imagine for all this technical stuff.

  16. ginello says:

    Maybe this one was copied from 2007 Prada Americas Cup Challenge sailing boat.
    That fin looks more like a main sail than anything else.
    Very boxy at the back as well.

    An hideous bunch of carbon fiber if I may.

    1. Trent says:

      I agree – I support the idea of letting these things be developed, but now it’s time to ban the fin. Very ugly.

  17. Rupert M says:

    I think the nose looks more like BMW’s mid to late season upgrade from 09- and not so much like the 09 Red Bull. Otherwise it’s typical McLaren- advanced, and neatly packaged. It will be interesting to see if the Mercedes is as well packaged,and as refined as this McLaren? I expect Red Bull to do something equally amazing. Roll on testing on Monday!

  18. Matt says:

    Was this car designed by Stan Winston?

  19. Carlm21 says:

    That’s more like it. What a car!

  20. Betbotpro says:

    The exhaust outlets look pretty redical to, more like a jet fighter plane than a car.

    All the new designs seem to have the old barge boards again, i thought they were illegal, has the longer length allowed them back in again james?

  21. Phil says:

    Probably is an iPhone now that O2 have lost exclusivity and vodafone now sell it too. iPhones blow blackberries out of the water.

    1. Andy C says:

      Off topic I know but I have both (Iphone for home and blackberry for work).

      Iphone is great for home use, but I think Blackberry and the on screen summary for calendar etc is better for my work needs.

      Anyway, I’m filling James F1 blog with phone talk LOL

      :-)

  22. Vic says:

    I have to say that the Mclaren looks more innovative and impressive than the Ferrari even to someone like me who doesn’t understand all the technical aero stuff, but i imagine that doesnt mean much until they hit the tracks.

  23. BA says:

    not too “redbull” for me

  24. Off topic I know, but Kimi has just crashed out of his first rally (Arctic) with Citroen on 2nd stage, Mmmmmm !!

  25. chris says:

    One Very ugly racing car. I hate sharkfins!

  26. Thomas says:

    It looks very bulky behind the driver, probably for the fuel tank. Makes me think it’s not that long. I didn’t look too closely at last years Red Bull, unfortunately, but there seems to be some original design going on with the splitter airflow – more than usual going under the car, possibly cooling air for the engine directed from the front wing instead of the sidepods?

  27. Bison says:

    This design looks like a sure killer, the shark fin looks awesome. I hope Mclaren got it right this time. The nose is definitely not Red Bull although the concept is similar to theirs, you can see this by looking at the nose from the side.

    Maybe it’s as fast as it looks now I fear what RB is gonna come up with since they are the pioneers in this concept. They should be the team to beat this year not Ferrari.

  28. Yos says:

    The car is so different to the last years car, i hope it will be a winning car. I am wondering why they continued the developement of last year’s car till the last race if they were to construct a totaly different designed car.

  29. Mark Edwards says:

    Just an observation from a lamen on these matters – Ferrari seemed to have shifted exhaust outlets a lot further forward compared to McLaren, have they managed to shift weight forward/central in order for a better balance of the car? Anyone who knows about these things enlighted me?

    1. Vic says:

      Only thing i can speculate of the top of my head is that maybe Ferrari didnt want exhaust fumes near the rear tyres, but i’d be gobsmacked if Mclaren didnt consider the affects of the exhaust fumes near the tyres even though it does seem a bit close. But at the sames time i dont really have a clue!

  30. Mike Dawson says:

    The Ferrari and now Mclaren look just gorgeous. This time last year we were all commenting on how ‘different’ F1 cars looked. Ross was right, you do become accustomed to the high slim rear wing and wide front wing.

    Why did Merc decide to launch with last years car? was it, in part to not let the other teams see their design theory?

    1. Steve Evans says:

      Yes, looking at the cars pre 2009 they do look rather dated now. I think the dimensions of the front and rear wings should have been left alone though. I know they were adjusted to improve overtaking but what is the point in that when you are allowing double diffusers, which should have been banned this year in my opinion. The cars do look stunning now that you can see clean lines with no winglets or fins getting in the way.

  31. Tom in Australia says:

    Well it definitely looks fast!

    The whispers about the new Red Bull are getting louder though.

  32. Spencer says:

    I have to say that it looks fantastic, but I can’t remember an ugly McLaren. I really like the shark fin connected to the rear spoiler. If I’m not wrong back in 2008 McLaren tested a shark fin on their car and said the difference was very negligible. I wonder how this works with the new aero package.

    The only thing that always blinds me with McLaren’s beauty is the colour scheme. It would be interesting to see if it made the 2009 Renault look more attractive? :)

  33. Christopher Snowdon says:

    James, serious question, Brawn last year had the fastest car for the first half of the season, but by mid season they didn’t have that advantage. In the last third of the season Mclaren had a faster car. At some races even Force India were challenging the brawns. Considering the bar/ honda team technical department never produced a faster car than Mclaren/Ferrari until they had a 8 month head start, and serious rule changes that they took advantage of with a double diffuser, is it likely to assume the Ferrari and Mclaren cars will resume this status quo this year (even more so considering we see less radical rule changes this year), and will Mercededs get desperate and use their Norbert Houg links to Mclaren to temp staff over?

    1. Vic says:

      I thought the main problem with the Brawns in the latter part of the season was that they were struggling to get heat into the tyres.

  34. Arya says:

    First of all, the car as usual looks stunning. Hope its performance matches its looks unlike its predecessor.

    Why Ham baby alway so keen on emphasizing on what “he” has done for the team? especially in development? Bit weary of someone else’s reputation! :P

    1. alex m says:

      Well he clearly did an excellent job last year, with the team, catapulting their way up the grid like no other. Lewis has led the development and, as Kovi left the team, he has carried on this work, Button I would have thought has had little input so far.

      I am not sure who else’s “reputation” you are referring to, but as a car developer as well as a driver, Hamilton did himeslf proud in 2009.

    2. Ross Dixon says:

      Not as bad as Alonso’s “I bring 8 tenths”

      1. rpaco says:

        Schumi could chip in here with “I bring more than a second” which he sometimes did!

      2. Ross Dixon says:

        While I never supported Schumi at Ferrari I would have to very much agree with that comment. Now he is at Merc he is number 4 on my list.
        Alonso
        Ferrari
        Merc
        Schumi

        I just wished Massa drove for another team. I would love to want him to win!

      3. Arya says:

        Amazing to say the least that people who have watched F1 for decades think that a driver can bring in such drastic change in performance with the testing ban we have mid-season :D. Simulators must be better than on-track testings now-a-days.

  35. Ian Blackwell says:

    Fantastic looking car. They should give Hamilton and Button batman masks to wear over their visors to complete the effect. Seriously though – is that elongated engine cover legal? It touches the rear wing so doesnt that make it part of the rear wing and subject to the same rules?

    1. Paulo says:

      they were legal last year and nothing has changed

  36. Paige says:

    Paddy Lowe said something interesting…

    “It is a very sophisticated car but very elegant. That comes from unprecedented collaboration between aero team and mechanical design team.”

    It’ll be interesting to see some more pictures of the car to see what kind of interaction there is between the aero and mechanical design. Could he be hinting that they’re going with something radical on the mechanical side, something on the order of a pull rod suspension?

    1. Ben says:

      It’s a push rod suspension. There is an interesting element in that there is a duct running from under the air box, through the shark fin and down to cool number of components at the rear of the car. I’m guessing that where this air comes out must be interacting with the diffuser.

      1. Paige says:

        How did you get a picture of this? The only picture of the back of the car I found had a cover over the diffuser. (Lowe said they had an “extreme” diffuser solution, so they must think it’s really nifty stuff and don’t want anyone getting any ideas!)

    2. rpaco says:

      “unprecedented collaboration between aero team and mechanical design team.”
      Sounds very like the battle between engineers and stylists in the road car development, which usually runs “we want it to look like this!” “Then how are we supposed to get all this stuff in there?” This usually leads to mechanical things being redesigned to fit in smaller spaces or in odd shaped spaces, and the stylist saying that the new different line is what he intended all along.

  37. Ben says:

    James, what do you make of the fact that Ferrari are already preparing a challenge regarding the legality of the diffuser on opponents cars? Do you think they’re spooked by how radical the MP4-25 looks in comparison to the F10 which looks v similar to the F60. Or do you think that it could be the poor wind tunnel tests they’ve been getting from the F10. It seems to be a little unsporting on their behalf that with only one other car being revealed they’re already preparing a legal challenge.

    What do you make of it?

    1. Vic says:

      How do you know they are thinking of doing this? It seems a bit surprising

      1. Ben says:

        An article in Autosport:

        http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/81128

        To be fair the Ferrari spokesman said it prior to the Mclaren’s release. However, it was interesting to not that Martin Whitmarsh today mentioned that they took their designs to the FIA because the diffuser was so radical. The FIA said it was okay and gave guidance to other teams. Ferrari started developing their car a long time ago – by the time they received the guidance from the FIA would probably be too late for them to make major changes to their car. Coupled with poor aero-results as is rumored on various websites it appears that FErrari are looking to find a legal process to make up ground. It would certainly make sense of the other chatter that’s been flying about with regard to Ferrari planning a B’spec car.

        I understand that a lot of this is based on rumours and murmurs but it is interesting that Ferrari have made this statement with regards to the legality of other cars BEFORE any of the diffusers have been seen by anyone. That’s what leads me to believe that the ‘guidance’ the FIA gave to all the teams shook them up a bit and they’ve realised that they may’ve been too conservative in their design. Admittedly, this is all speculation and they could have a rocket ship – it just seems strange to talk about a legal solution already.

      2. F1ART says:

        Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa told Gazzetta dello Sport.”We were and still are convinced that the double diffuser concept was illegal, we feel there may still be interpretation over this, as the rules leave the door open to many possibilities. It’s up to the FIA to supervise, but we are rather worried.”

        Piero Ferrari added: “I expect a Ferrari worthy of the title, unless someone interprets the rules differently.”

    2. Jasper says:

      Well that rumour about Ferrari already planning a B spec car doesn’t make sense, because all cars are designed using computer systems like CAD and you make mock ups to test in the wind tunnel etc to see if all the figures ring true and meet your targets. And then providing all your targets are being met with these results you go ahead and build the car. How can Ferrari just dismiss their F10 design as no good without even testing it on the track. If that’s the case then they’re a lot smarter than McLaren, last year it took them half of winter testing to realise that their car was rubbish! And does the MP4-25 really look that radical? If you take off the shark fin, it doesn’t really look radical at all. Sorry but in my opinion that is complete rubbish…

      1. Ross Dixon says:

        1: The rumour is that Ferrari have been into a wind tunnel with their new car and it didnt meet the numbers expected. So if true then thats how they know they have an issue.
        2: Mclaren knew they had an issue with their car straight away but their numbers didnt match what they had developed. Hence why they used a tested 08 wing to find the issues. They only kept testing to try and find the problems the wind tunnel wasnt showing up.
        3: Do you not think the rear end of the Mclaren with the vastly dropping off side pods compared to red bulls undercuts of last year radical? Do you not think the shark fin is radical in its design itself? Do you not think the size of the rectangular radiator openings radical?
        To me the Ferrari looks very similar to last years car with some previously seen (on a red bull) concepts. I would say the Mclaren is fairly radical

      2. James Allen says:

        Ferrari are in the wind tunnel all the time..as are all the teams

      3. Jasper says:

        Yes I do agree in comparison to the Ferrari the McLaren is radically different in appearance. And the McLaren looks radically different to last years McLaren, but I don’t really see any new ideas or unique interpretations, I just see a front end reminiscent of last years BMW at the end of the year and a rear end similar to last years Red Bull. What could be quite radical is the diffuser that they are currently keeping hidden, I’m sure we’ll probably all hear about that next week. But I don’t look at the McLaren and think wow look at how dramatically different it is, in the same way that we did last year when we saw most of the other teams cars and then we saw the Red Bull, that really was radical! The funny thing is I expect some of the teams have adopted some of the ideas from last years Red Bull into their new car designs and then we’ll see the new Red Bull and it’ll have a completely new design philosophy built around maximising the double diffuser concept.

    3. Zobra Wambleska says:

      Why should a Ferrari response of this kind surprise you? Ferrari always resorts to the courts the minute they find a weakness in their own design.

  38. Peter says:

    Would be a fantastic looking car but the shark fins should be banned for ever.

  39. Michael says:

    I was somehow under the impression that shark fins were banned… I guess not!

  40. Philip W says:

    how small are the sidepods?!

  41. ethone says:

    Of all the things they could have done, going in an innovative, unusual way is great. It makes me like them already just for taking chances and doing things differently. Kudos!

  42. VV says:

    Gosh, it’s 1995 all over again. The last car that had an engine cover like that didn’t fit Nigel Mansell.

    Is it just me who is wondering how people can say it “looks” fast? It looks like a Formula 1 car. We won’t know how fast it is until it’s on the track. You could have a car painted in British Leyland brown that “looks” like the slowest thing on earth, yet on the track it’s streets ahead.

    The track dictates speed. Not aesthetics.

    1. Tom - Australia says:

      It’s intangible. It’s instinctive. But sometimes cars just “look” fast.

      If you go back to comments a year ago, everyone was saying the Redbull and Brawn cars “looked” fast a long time before it hit the test tracks.

      To me, the Ferarri does not looked like a streamlined car. I’m basing that on nothing but me looking at photos of the car.

      The FIA needs to approve designs 100% and forbid any “legal” challenged on rule interpretation. Nobody wants a repeat of last year. Ferarri strike me as a team that will have a big cry is another team is more clever than them. They need to start looking at there own personell instead of trying to destroy the genius work of people in other teams.

  43. Nick H says:

    The car looks very nice……..the only worry i have is that car is described as “very sophisticated”………….i hope that does not mean lots of niggles that lead to retirements in races

  44. Trent says:

    Great to see Button is back to his regular helmet – what was he thinking with that day-glo yellow monstronsity last year!

  45. I love the car, I love the box shaped side pods. I’m not seeing much Red Bull at the front whereas I do with the Ferrari.

    Is it just me or do the shark fins look more ugly on these cars. I don’t think I like that part although maybe once the car is in action it will look fine, but like the wheel covers, I’ve really never been a fan of the fins.

    If it makes it go quick and keeps it stable then stick with it, but from a looks point of view I’m not a fan

  46. Gazz says:

    Yes it is a stunning car from many angles. being a mclaren fan i was hoping mclaren wouldnt copy the concept of the 2009 RBR, because to me that car looked dreadful. am i pleased with the results. it looks so vicious like it will rip up the tarmac from beneath it, a few criticisms however, i do not like the “square” sidepods i hope they become more rounded before bahrain. they need to sort out the vinyls on the engine cover, it certainly doesn’t look like it was designed with the livery in mind, (all bar the vodafone graphic on the side)and i admit i am not a big fan of “sharkfin” engine covers but i must say it looks fantastic on the Mp4-25 i just hope they straighten it out a bit because it looks slightly off shape to me, but thats just me.
    Well done mclaren, a brilliant peice of design.

  47. R/T says:

    The first impression the MP4 25 gives is that it would be a hard to setup car taking its aerodynamic complexity, just remember the BMW F1 08, and probably it will not be suited to low average speed circuits, given its long wheelbase, appears to be even longer than F 10 and the new Williams wheelbase

  48. Frankie Allen says:

    “In certain aspects we have sought guidance from the FIA and they have come out with very clear interpretation, understanding and guidance – and we think that has been made available to all the teams.”

    When you consider the accusations from the prominent members of FOTA towards the FIA last season over this issue, Todt certainly seems to be having an effect.

  49. Paige says:

    One more point I’d like to make about the car:

    Yet again, we’re not really seeing a protruded rear of the car to fit the bigger fuel tank for this year, whereas many thought we’d see one. The teams must be coming up with some creative packaging solutions.

    1. Paige says:

      Having said that, I see how they’ve packaged the fuel tank: longer car. Plus, McLaren apparently repositioned some electronics and cooling.

      Here’s an interview with Tim Goss and Paddy Lowe:

      http://www.mclaren.com/f1season/2010/presspack2010/tech-spec.php

  50. Owen Hayes says:

    A very radical looking car especially with the new engine cover, as always with Mclaren they give 110% in their design.

    Now lets see if the looks equal performance!

  51. Kwok says:

    Well, I can see why so many people are badly dressed and groomed in this world.
    How some one can find that chunk of carbon fiber elegant is a mystery.
    Just look at the second photo on this blog that shows the back fin. that area of the car is so bulky that it is an eye sore. not mentioning the rather boxy sidepods. The nose… it is not exactly fluid either.
    Just hope that is a mock up and the real car will be rather different.

  52. CNSZU says:

    I don’t understand why some people don’t like fins. To me they look absolutely gorgeous, they make the cars look like futuristic jet fighters, like the technical masterpieces they’re supposed to be. Such beautiful shapes are also a testament to the creativity of the designers. No more soaps on wheels, finally the cars will look different and unique!

    1. Rich C says:

      They make them visually appear to be ‘heavy’ in the back half. The color has a lot to do with that, ofc. Toyota’s looked awful.

  53. Nick says:

    James,

    I have recently become a regular on your site, and wanted to say thank you for sharing your thoughts on f1, I find it very informative and enjoyable to read.

    Anyways back to the topic at hand, now no doubt you have seen these but over at http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk the have put pictures of the new mclaren and Ferrari side by side, only than I noticed the vast differences in the way they have been developed, for example the end plates on the front wings, and obviously the shark fin, now from looking at these pictures it appears the Ferrari looks a tad underdeveloped, from looking at the cars now who do you think has the upperhand

    p.s if mclarens risk doesn’t pay off, at least it looks good

    1. James Allen says:

      You always have to be careful to say too much about cars on launch day as there are so many planned changes. By Bahrain things will have moved on quite a bit.

  54. Jonathan says:

    I do find some of these comments amazingly stupid.

    “I hope they change the boxy sidepods” seems a recurring these.” WHY?!

    The whole point of designing a car is to make it fast enough to be first across the finish line.

    They are not trying to win a beauty contest!

    I find the sidepods very interesting – much smaller inlets than we have seen before. Fully explained by the extra air ducts starting above the driver’s head. By moving a radiator to the middle rear the car is taking a cleaner flow of air for cooling and allowing less disturbance in what has proved to be a crucial area – feeding the rear diffuser. At the same time they have allowed the fuel tank to take up the space of water hoses to the more usual radiator location.

    I would expect the Mclaren to have a more centrally concentrated mass – allowing for lighter ends and a lower moment of inertia – meaning less effort needed to turn and less loading on the tyres. This should lead to a wider sweet spot in avoiding over / under steer.

  55. Michael says:

    The problem with FiA rules are that there are too many of them. This leaves many different interpretations of the rules to the teams. A change for the better is to put the rules on just one page. Tell the teams you need to have the car a certain length, height, width, weight and regulate the wings. Everything else is open. With that you get true “Formula” racing…as in, each team brings their own formula for the race. If someone out-brains the other teams…oh well…back to the drawing board you go.

    The FiA needs to stop holding back the brains. That’s my take.

  56. Robert says:

    Having had a closer look at the pictures of the Mclaren MP4-25 it seems the car is lacking a fin above the airbox, is this not where one of the onboard cameras is located? Is it stipulated anywhere in the rules that the car must have a fin above the airbox to house an onboard camera and to identify which car is which (red and yellow for no.1 and no.2 cars)?

  57. Neil says:

    James what do you think are the chances of mclaren and hamilton taking the title?

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