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McLaren moves on after Hamilton: Button aiming for world title
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Posted By: James Allen  |  31 Jan 2013   |  12:21 pm GMT  |  158 comments

They may have lost Lewis Hamilton, but McLaren moved forward into the future with a proud and confident message, underlining their 50 years of F1 heritage, as they launched their 2013 challenger today. Jenson Button said he aims to win the world championship and believes the car capable of it.

The new silver McLaren does not have Hamilton’s name on the side for the first time in seven years, instead Jenson Button and Sergio Perez lead the challenge against the Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes team.

The 50th anniversary was acknowledged by a cavalcade of former McLaren race winning cars, including title winners from Hamilton, Senna, Hakkinen and Fittipaldi.

Button has increased pressure on him this year, leading the team with a relatively inexperienced team mate. He knows the stakes are high, that the title race is likely to be close and that he will need to find more consistency in results than he managed last year in order to challenge principally Vettel and Alonso for the title.

“When you have a good possibility to fight for the world championship it’s exciting, It may look like last year’s car, but under the skin it’s completely different,” said Button, who won the last race of 2012 in Brazil. “That’s why it’s so exciting. They’ve changed enough to make a difference. You go into the season aiming to win the world championship and thats’s what we are doing.

“We had some good races and some pretty damn bad races last year. I think the 2013 tyres will work better for my style of driving and for the way this car works.

“I’m the more experienced driver in the team. We have 12 days of testing and I do six and Checo (Perez) does six. We have to learn the car together. The feelings I got from last year and the development direction the car went in are good for my style.”

Sergio Perez looked relaxed, but made it clear that he has been hard at work getting up to speed with the team. He was proud to see his name on the side of the car, quite a moment for the 23 year old Mexican, who is ten years younger than his team mate.

“It’s been a very busy few months, it’s hard to believe I’m part of the McLaren family with a great history,” said Perez, who said he has done 20 days in the McLaren simulator already. “I have never been this excited going into a season.

“Qualifying last year at times was not good, I go back to the issue I’ve had all my career with getting the tyres into their working range. But we have learned a lot from those problems. We have a tyre in 2013 that does help me, it has a wider working range and that helps me.”

Many of the team’s senior engineers were present; Sam Michael, Tim Goss and Neil Oatley prominent on the front row, but Paddy Lowe was notable by his absence. The technical boss has been linked with a move to Mercedes in recent weeks.

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh confirmed that Lowe would remain with the McLaren team in 2013, “Paddy will be part of the team this year, it’s less certain beyond that. We will have some certainty in due course. He felt it was not appropriate to be here, there is a lot of media!”

Lowe’s contract is believed to run to the end of 2013. If he is to leave he will not be part of McLaren’s 2014 planning and will probably be forced to go on gardening leave well ahead of 2014; this will hurt his knowledge of the 2014 technologies.


Whitmarsh acknowledged that the team has disappointed when it comes to winning titles. This year they have been more ambitious than last year, according to Jonathan Neale. Last year reliability was a real problem for the team, with many points lost, particularly for Hamilton.

“We have won 20 world championships, but recently not won enough,” he said. “Last year we started the season with the fastest car and ended with the fastest, along the way we had the fastest car at various points, we won races but didn’t secure the championship.

“This year people are mindful of that. This car is an evolution, the people here have been making sure we have reliability. If you don’t score points you slip behind. Fernando and Ferrari never had the fastest car but they maximised the points and we have worked hard at that for this year.”


Neale said that he believes the development race will be fierce this year, with teams needing to bring 0.15s of performance updates to every race to remain competitive.

Whitmarsh urged Perez to “work hard, learn from Jenson and enjoy it!” Whitmarsh said that the team had “two number ones”, but added that Button has confidence that he can win this year’s world championship. Button described Perez as “talented” and eulogised some of his performances in 2012. He said that he has no doubts that McLaren will bring out the best in the Mexican.

Whitmarsh acknowledged that in the past McLaren has had driver pairings which have had good chemistry, while other relationships have soured. He feels that there is every reason to believe that these two will work together well.

Perhaps surprisingly, there were no new Mexican sponsors visible on the car; Vodafone still has a significant amount of coverage on the car, as does the GSK brand Lucozade.

The car begins testing next week in Jerez, the first of three test sessions ahead of the first race on March 17, an event Button won last year.

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158 Comments
  1. Colombia Concalvez says:

    Anyone seen the presentation live ?, for some reasons it looked a bit weird. Button was a bit insecure and he did not looked so relaxed IMO. the car looks good but will the maximum been squeezed out it like Lewis did ?, to be honest i don’t think so

    1. Chromatic says:

      Button sorted out his issues with the tyres last year. I expect him to be strong, [think back to 2011].

      He will be the only one of the champions whose team mate will not be too troublesome, unless you believe that Perez is the real deal, which I don’t. But I think Webber and Grosjean will be keener than ever to upset the No1 status of their team mates, and even Massa looks to be a feisty competitor in 2013. Alonso watch out!

      Button will do well.

      1. krischar says:

        Alonso watch out ! ?

        What alonso needs to watch ? How soon massa will go back to his home.

        Button is now where near lewis quality or speed. Hence do not be surprised if perez beats button.

        Massa cannot beat alonso even in his own dreams.

    2. AuraF1 says:

      I think jenson seemed remarkably calm. He was a better public speaker than Natalie – a tv presenter. So we know jenson has TV pundit sewn up if he wants a job after retiring from racing.

      It was clear that jenson normally allowed Lewis to speak in the past but he was actively encouraging checo to speak up. That relationship will be fascinating.

      1. Elie says:

        Agree he was relaxed as anything

    3. Dave C says:

      Maximum squeezed out by Lewis? Is this the same Lewis that was out scored by Button over 3 seasons? is this the Lewis that threw away championships in the best car whilst having the most support? well if thats the Lewis you’re worried about then I suggest everyone wait for Mercedes’s launch.

      1. Joel says:

        Dave, if you suggest that Lewis threw away the championship last year, you must be living under the rock. Repeating the same incorrect message doesn’t make it true.

      2. Dave C says:

        No I meant him throwing it away at China 2007 when the whole team backed him instead of a better driver, I also think he threw it away in 2010 when he ran into massa at monza anf into Webber at Singapore when he didn’t need to, that year Vettel was still inexperienced and had reliability issues it was a chance missed, we’ll what happens at Mercedes but its the Mclaren that looks like the car to beat.

      3. justafan says:

        Dave C,

        i wouldn’t be so hard on Lewis regarding 07. remember he was a rookie then. However he certainly threw away the 2010 title.

      4. Philippe H. says:

        Not to engage into this Jenson-Lewis rivalry (they are no longer teammates, let’s move on), but I find this ‘Jenson outscoring Lewis over 3 years’ to be a ridiculous statistic. Last time I checked, there was no award for most points scored over 2,3 or more years. That’s the thing about points,they realy just matter over a single season (new year-> o points). The points represent a total score over 1 season, after that you can add them up, but that would be basically just for fun . Jenson didn’t outscore Lewis over 3 seasons, Lewis outscored Jenson 2-1 over 3 separate seasons. It’s quite the same with poles and wins, if it weren’t for the fact that in F1, poles and wins are some sort of secundary credentials to illustrate the strength of a driver (championships being the primary credentials). And that is why we care to add up the amount of poles and wins over 3 or more years, but not the amount of points over 3 year or more years.

      5. James Allen says:

        I think the point is that over the three years JB stacked up against Hamilton results wise better than most people expected, notwithstanding reliability issues for both drivers

      6. Dave C says:

        Its called consistency, but I have to say the Mclaren looks good this year, just need to translate that into lap times, hope Jenson can actually step up and properly challenge Vettel, I respect Seb and think hes the beat driver in F1 but a bit of healthy competition from the Mclaren drivers wouldn’t hurt, it’s always been Alonso so far that’s on Vettel’s level.

      7. hero_was_senna says:

        I would love someone to do a statistic which actually shows their respective unreliability over that period.
        How many times did Lewis retire whilst in the lead as opposed to Jenson?
        How many incidents did he have with other drivers?

        They say you make your own luck, but it would be revealing.

      8. Nick says:

        I love the way that the Hamilton detractors always raise the points scored as the indicator of Buttons performance compared to Hamilton over the 3 years, but never mention what actually happened on the track.

        Hamilton annihilated Button this year, and if it wasn’t for team cock-ups and unreliability, the points difference this year alone would have been 100+

      9. Mike from Colombia says:

        Straw-grabbing and using stats to try to overturn reality.

    4. Gary E says:

      No it,s the Lewis that beat Button 2/1 in seasons, annihilated him 44/14 in qualifying, won races 10/8, Poles 9/1, finished ahead 24/13 when both cars finished the race. All this despite having 13 DNF,s compared to Button,s 8. Thats the Lewis he,s talking about LOL!

      1. JamesW says:

        WDCs are not awarded to the driver with the highest number of poles, highest number of wins, best qualification results or whether they finished ahead of their team mate more often than not. Those measures add to the discussion but they are of no more value than measuring a driver on the style of his facial hair when it comes to awarding WDCs. Its the points for race position that count.

        I should add I dont have the number of points over the three seasons Jenson and Lewis were team mates because it doesn’t matter. It won’t win either of them anything except perhaps the appreciation of the fanboys. Me, I’m just looking forward to a exciting new season and what it will bring regardless of who takes the WDC its going to be cracker!

      2. Gary E says:

        Who was talking about WDC,s?

        We are talking inter team battles with drivers in the same machinery.

        F1 drivers are not rated on the amount of WDC,s they have won, its these type of battles that define the lasting impression they leave. Button definately aquitted himself well and added to his reputation.

        Would he be considered above Hamilton?

        Only time will tell.

      3. Andrew C. says:

        Ok. For starters… I’m not a UK-based Hamilton is god fanatic.

        But, to quote the Team Principal “To finish first you must first finish”…. when you do get the chance — please look up who between Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton finished more races.

        It should co-relate nicely with who is still driving for Mclaren.

        regards,
        Andrew C.

      4. Elie says:

        Thanks Gary that’s a very good highlight. The DNF one in particular especially given that most Lewis DNF were when he was leading a race.

        Sure it don’t win either driver WDC but it also explains why Mclaren have fallen in popularity with many fans – this one included.

      5. david nelson says:

        Hmmm, those stats must also be the reason why JB now has a more secure position at McLaren than LH ever had. Those stats do tell a story, if a slightly mixed one. LH has been forced out of his home. By him underestimating JB’s chances at McLaren (as we all did), by alienating McLaren management and by his lack of personal stability. However brilliantly fast he is, it hasn’t saved him.

      6. Gary E says:

        You are so right.! Lewis was so unstable last year tweeting his telemetry and all. Whitmarsh couldn’t wait to get rid of him, so in his own words “We made Lewis an offer, which I believe is more money than any other driver at the moment is being paid,” that was a kick in the teeth if ever there was one. Another positive note for Jenson is that he wont be regulary out qualified which was terribly inconvienient for him, instead of chasing Lewis he can now concentrate on his own race. After all who needs the fastest driver in F1?

  2. Spyros says:

    Nice car. Is this a ‘natural’ low nose, or does it incorporate a ‘vanity’ panel? It doesn’t look all that low to me, but it’s not easy to tell, with the car perched at an angle like that.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      It looked like no vanity panel from the video but more like the nose higher like the end of 2012. Always hard to tell on the unfinished secretive launch models though.

      1. rob in victoria bc says:

        Remember McLaren had the only car on the grid without the stepped nose last season. They lowered the whole front end I seem to remember. I imagine this is a continuation of that. In other words, no stepped nose, no vanity panel.

      2. Spyros says:

        Well there is one, apparently.

    2. Elie says:

      The launch said it was a higher nose and included a vanity panel

  3. Nick says:

    It’s a shame they didn’t do any interviews in the live stream with Martin Whitmarsh or any of the senior technical people. They did that last year.

    1. Colombia Concalvez says:

      Paddy Lowe was not present, maybe that was the reason not to do it

      1. Joel says:

        I thought when the “Paddy leaving McL to Merc” news broke out, there was also news of McL news release suggesting Paddy will be there during launch… may be I’m wrong. But, pretty sure read that in one of the mainstream f1 news media.

  4. goferet says:

    As always Mclaren produce beautiful cars and this is no exception though am surprised Mclaren haven’t gone for the stepped nose seeing as the rest of the teams appear to be headed that way albeit with a modesty plank = more air underneath the car = more down force.

    Anyway have to admit, seems a little eerie seeing a Mclaren launch without Lewis but seeing as Perez’s statue looks like that of Lewis from a distance, I guess in way it doesn’t seem that weird after all.

    Right, good to hear that Mclaren expect the car to be even more competitive than last year’s car, this can only mean we have two confirmed teams (Lotus and Mclaren) that will push the Red Bulls in 2013.

    1. Spyros says:

      For all we know right now, the nose IS higher, and there IS a ‘vanity’ panel there. It’s not easy to tell, with the car raised and at an angle… it will be clearer when the car hits the track next week.

    2. AuraF1 says:

      I thought that about the stepped nose but then you remember they started 2012 and ended 2012 as the fastest car and it never had a stepped nose – so maybe they can keep the smooth design working for them.

      1. Spyros says:

        It turns out there IS a vanity panel in there, because the nose is higher… they sure made a thorough job of hiding it!

        Funny, though… the fastest car throughout 2012 was also the best-looking car. There used to be a popular saying about something to that effect… let’s hope the principle sticks for 2013.

    3. hero_was_senna says:

      My friend, show me a team that doesn’t expect to be more competitive than last year?

  5. ashboy says:

    I thought Max Chilton’s dad owend AON and they was going to sponsor Marussia? But AON was on the drivers overalls.

    The side pods look more like 07/08 designs then the more rounded ones we see now. They have also kept a similar nose to last year, i thought they might put a step it like everyone else.

    1. Arion says:

      But of course this isnt really the 2013 car

      1. James Allen says:

        Some fundamentals won’t change and there are some interesting fundamentals..check in later for tech analysis

      2. Indeed there are, is Mark Gillan writing a tech review for you again James? I’ve of course already done mine but always interested to see others observations.

  6. Peter says:

    The car looks great as always with McLaren, but these events are just so “over-PRised”. The build-up with the two presenters was just so artificial.
    It will be interesting to see Jenson if he can own the team. I think he is mature and good enough to have a decent year, but will be hard to beat Alonso, Vettel, Kimi as they are just very stable performers (if they have the car).

  7. Anne says:

    May be it´s just me. But MW doesn´t sound very optimistic. I mean his comments about Paddy Lowe, the fact that Paddy wasn´t there and the comments about Ferrari last year miximasing the points.

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      Maybe he is already on gardening leave.

      1. Joel says:

        I thought the same.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Conspiracy theories abound.
        Was he there last year? I just remember the 2 drivers and Whitmarsh.

      3. Elie says:

        Exactly..With the 2014 cars well under progress – you would surely consider letting him go sooner rather than later.

    2. Colombia Concalvez says:

      So you know it too that Paddy Lowe was not present, i think that was the reason not to give public/live interviews with senior technical members

    3. Anne says:

      Allison has been linked to McLaren. However he was at the presentation of the new Lotus. He may or may not move to McLaren or some other team. But for now it´s look like business as usual in Lotus. I can´t say the same thing about Paddy Lowe. Using the famous Star Wars quote. I had a bad feeling about this

      1. Brad says:

        and I’m glad Allison is staying, that guy is the next Adrian Newey, he just needs a bigger budget to play with…

      2. Anne says:

        That´s a very interesting comment you made.I think he could be the next Ross Brawn. He worked at Ferrari during the Brawn-Schumacher era. In fact the passive DRS is something Brawn came up with last year in Mercedes. Well Brawn came up with the Double DRS last year and Lotus tried that but it didn´t work for them. And this year is not allowed the Double DRS or at least the development is not allowed in the same way it was last year so the passive DRS is the weapon to use and develope

      3. Elie says:

        Me too Brad- he’s done fantastic with a much smaller budget than the big 3. Very innovative, I like the idea for the self levelling suspension under braking which fell through before the start of 2012.

  8. Fausto Cedros says:

    I found the presentation very, very,emotional,starting with the legacy video and then on with the historic cars parade. The 28 itself looks clearly a development of the 27, but for the visible exception of the pull rod at the front. Looks like the incoming season is going to be even more of a tire management challenge than the last, so actually mechanical development of suspension can really be a key. So fingers crossed and can’t wait for the next season.

    1. Andrew Carter says:

      Are you sure, looks like a pushrod to me.

      1. Tank says:

        Nah, pull rod methinks. Steering rod on top, pull rod from bottom of chassis to the wheel.

      2. Luca says:

        yep it is – confirmed on BBC page

      3. All revved-up says:

        pullrod – as the link to the dampers attaches to the bottom of the front tub, this link “pulls” the dampers as the front wheels rise relative to the car.

    2. McLaren78 says:

      Ferrari were the only ones with a front suspension pull rod and that was a major surprise. I think this does look like a pull rod. Maybe they think that this suspension would suit them better for tyre management in race-pace and suit Button’s style. Plus it gives them the chance to lower the nose and the centre of gravity of the car as a whole.

      1. Joel says:

        Slightly off topic – does anyone know why the 2012 Ferrari was a rocket off the starting grid? I’m pretty sure there is some tech-gizmo or fundamentals behind it, rather that the driver factor.
        Any ideas?

      2. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        Last years Ferrari has worked hard on launch systems, and 2012 wasn’t an exception, but must be said that Alonso has always been a great starter, specialy when choosing where and how to take the first corner.

      3. Elie says:

        It’s more aero efficient as it creates less drag at the front if the car too.

    3. david nelson says:

      The tyres will be softer with the new hard tyre being roughly equivalent to last years medium. Sidewall softer but shoulder will be tougher. New tyres are to heat up to operating temp more evenly & quickly. That’s the theory anyway. I guess Pirelli should know by now as they have have been testing them.

  9. goferet says:

    An event Button won last year.
    ———————————————–

    In my view, the fact Jenson won the 2012 Australian Grand Prix makes his championship credentials looking not too good.

    Based on stats from previous seasons, with Jenson having the number 5 car, one would say, he has a very good claim to the spoils considering the fact the number 5 and number 1 cars have been pretty successful.

    However, the fact that Jenson won Australian 2012 and more so won Brazil 2013, this would make his odds of winning Australia 2013 very slim (irrespective of whether he sleeps in the same Melbourne hotel room)

    And as a reminder, if a number 1 driver (talent-wise) wins the Australian Grand Prix >>> There’s your champion.

    On the other hand, if a number 2 driver in any team wins in Melbourne then the season would have been blown wide open = unpredictable season e.g. 2003

    As for Perez, he too has a chance at the championship (albeit a slim one) because only Kimi has won the title in the number 6 car.

    1. BJC says:

      You need urgent help.

      1. Random 79 says:

        I like your reply better: Succinct and straight to the point.

      2. Red Rider says:

        LOL – That was so funny. It was all I could do to keep my coffee from spurting out.

        Not all stats are equal.

    2. Random 79 says:

      Huh? Nothing you wrote makes any sense!

      Winning Australia last year affects his championship this year? No.

      Having a 5 on your car makes you faster? No.

      Winning Australia and Brazil last year makes his chances of winning Australia this year ‘very slim’? How does that work?

      A number one driver DID win the Australian GP last year (he is a WDC after all…), but he was not champion, and we did have an unpredictable season.

      Perez has a chance at the WDC? Yes, maybe, but on his own merit; not because Kimi happened to win with a 6 on his car.

      Maybe I missed something. If so, tell me, because I am seriously scratching my head trying to make sense of this.

      1. Stephen Taylor says:

        Infact when Kimi drove a Mclaren with the no6 he nevber won the championship . Perez will never be in the same class as Kimi . He will get thrashed by Jenson and will not last I don’t think he’ll even see out the season.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Perez may or may not be in the same class as Kimi; for now I tend to agree with you but time will tell. All I was saying is that if he DID happen to win, it wouldn’t have anything to do with the number on his car.

        As for getting thrashed by Jensen, everyone was saying how Jensen was going to get thrashed by Lewis when he first joined. You could argue who was the better driver (i.e. speed vs consistency), but Jensen didn’t get thrashed, and I don’t think Perez will either.

        I doubt McLaren would drop Perez midway through the season. If they did that, it would be tantamount to saying that all their and Perez’s detractors were right and make them look foolish, and they would definitely want to avoid that.

        Personally, I hope Perez does well, but a part of me still says hmmm…

      3. david nelson says:

        Perez, obviously, is an unknown quantity in a top team. I’d be suprised if he genuinely challenged Button but I don’t think he’ll be thrashed unless he just loses it.

        JB was not an unknown quantity in 2010. McLaren knew, that Button KNEW how to win races when he had the advantage. Later when his car was not the best, he was still able to come thru the field & gain valuable points. Perez is far more of a gamble than JB was in 2010. Hope he does a solid job.

      4. Elie says:

        Random 79- the first line you wrote describes this guy to a T. He just trawling for posts

    3. Wade Parmino says:

      Those types of statistics are irrelevant and mean nothing. If you roll a dice 100 times and end up with a six each time, the odds of rolling a six (or any other number) on the 101st roll still remain 1 in 6.

      Button is pretty good around Albert Park. I hope Webber can finally manage to get the win this year though. He has two Monaco wins, might not get a championship, so if he can win his home GP once, that would be good. If the McLaren is a competetive car, Perez may very well out do Button.

      1. Sri says:

        To get six each of the 100 times a dice is rolled: it is statistically improbable event: (1/6)^100. it is like 1 in 10^75 or so. I would say that your dice has all six faces with six on it!

      2. Wade Parmino says:

        Of course it is improbable, but still possible. I was simply illustrating the fact the every time dice is rolled each number has a one in six chance of turning up, regardless of the results of the previous roll. Previous rolls do not affect the odds (1 in 6) of the next roll.

        Calculating the odds of actually having a given number turn up a given number of times in row is a seperate and more complicated issue.

    4. Andrew Carter says:

      Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

    5. Random 79 says:

      Just curious for all you older JA fans:

      I’ve only been visiting this site a very short while, but I get the impression that goferet may have been floating around a while longer.

      So here’s my question: Does he do this every year?

      1. Antti says:

        Not just every year, but more or less for every race! I just take it as a joke on over-analyzing everything based on statistics, whether or not it is meant as such ;).

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Every year? Or as Antti said, every race?

        I have seen this with every post!!

        At times I have likened him to David Icke or a court jester, but part of me thinks, he’s on day release from Broadmoor..

        I must say, I like the “floating around” terminology you use

      3. Random 79 says:

        Thank you, yes, I can very eloquent in the small hours of the morning ;)

    6. Craig D says:

      I bet you read your star sign every day!

      You may as well have said, “Statistics show all F1 drivers have their luckiest days on a Sunday, since no driver ever wins on any other day”

      1. Philippe H. says:

        With the difference being that your stat actually makes sense ;).

    7. Brad says:

      Give the guy a break! It may seem abit different but goferet’s predictions with his stats usually end up true

      1. goferet says:

        @ Brad

        Cheers mate, I do thank you!

      2. Random 79 says:

        Records show that 678 out of 842 ‘cheers’ are followed by ‘mate’, while 99.7% of the time ‘thank’ is followed by ‘you’. The remaining 0.3% constitutes an unexplained anomaly, which proves that Charles Pic will win the WDC this year.

        JK

    8. Alex W says:

      Love your work Goferet, keep ‘em coming!

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Oh dear God!!!
        Now he’s signing in with a different nick to back himself up! :)

      2. goferet says:

        @ Alex W

        Thank you sir, I will do my best.

      3. Random 79 says:

        …and thanking himself too.

        When Elie said that he trawling for posts he was absolutely right; there are more responses to this than anything else on the page!

    9. Monktonnik says:

      I think I am rot in saying that Australia is the GP that JB has won the most in his career.

      Lies, damn lies and statistics!

  10. SJM says:

    Looks like McLaren are already in panic mode to me.

    Sergio is already being told to “enjoy and learn” from Jenson…maybe the simulator run where not promising as they thought. Also I wonder what is going to happen when Jenson break out over the radio his usual “..no grip…massive understeer” over the radio.

    Oh and Paddy Lowe not being present at the launch?…

    1. Colombia Concalvez says:

      Indeed, i think it’s going to be a heavy year for them. Button is simply not capable to squeeze more out the car then Lewis can so i don’t expect that much to be honest after the first three races

    2. TheBestPoint? says:

      “Perhaps surprisingly, there were no new Mexican sponsors visible on the car; ”

      I wonder if they are waiting to make sure Perez is not treated like a “number 2″ driver.
      McLaren would do well to heed their philosophy on driver equality if they are expecting sponsorship from that quarter.
      sometimes it appears as though Whitmarsh can’t help himself when it comes to “bigging up” Jenson – not the best vote of confidence for someone supposed to be the most experienced driver in the paddock either!

  11. Methusalem says:

    The same Japanese company (GS Yuasa) that makes the batteries for the troubled Boeing 787 Dreamliner, also supplies batteries to McLaren. How important are batteries in a F1 car?

    1. grat says:

      Since the battery manufacturer has already been cleared by investigators, and the car is unlikely to reach 20,000 feet (unless Mark Webber is driving), I suspect it’s completely irrelevant.

      1. Random 79 says:

        Classic

      2. Alex W says:

        So that’s why Webbers Kers keeps failing! Thanks Boeing!

      3. Wade Parmino says:

        Good one.

        I think Webber is actually a pilot as well.

    2. HRC says:

      The 787 batteries have been cleared of blame. The investigation is now looking at the control systems.
      Often, when a part fails, the problem lies in a related area.
      Traditionally, broken engine parts took the blame where the root problem was often with the gearshift linkage – driver included.

  12. batom says:

    is that a pull rod suspension in front?

    1. Martin says:

      You sort of beat me to the thought in comment 20. I think it is still pushrod, just with a mounting high on the upright. The steering arm, which is much lighter as it carries much less load is the near horizontal one.

    2. Scuderia McLaren says:

      Yes. They are chasing C of G improvements.

  13. Random 79 says:

    Looks like a cleaned up version of the MP4-27.

    Considering how the F2012 performed last year it’s interesting to see that they went for the pull rod suspension at the front.

    Hopefully it will be as fast as it’s predecessor – without the niggles.

    1. Justin says:

      Yes because it was the mysteries of a pull rod suspensions that confounded the best & most well funded F1 team and had nothing to do with the coanda style exhaust and an uncallibrated wind tunnel.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Ridiculous really.
        It wasn’t as if it was new technology, after all teams have used pull rods on the front suspension years ago.
        The last one in fact being the 2001 Minardi.

  14. Glen D says:

    After the eventual reveal and the new car looking extremely similar to last year (understandable), i’m now more interested in the new, oddly painted, McLaren road car that Jenson drove onto set!!

  15. Andrew Carter says:

    Nice launch, interesting to see they’ve kept the low-ish nose this year, along with the heavily sculpted front to the side pods and that they’ve changed to a Red Bull style coanda exhaust set up.

  16. goferet says:

    Meanwhile, seeing as the Mclaren cars (by some coincidence) were in parallel to Lewis’ age for instance in 2012 Lewis was 27 and we had the MP4-27 so in a way the Mclarens of the past few years seemed like they had a connection with Lewis and thus he was able to extra the maximum out of the machinery (especially in qualifying).

    So now, with Perez being 23 and Jenson being 33, I will be curious to see if the MP4-28 will embrace or reject the current Mclaren drivers.

    1. Scott D says:

      Please, no more…my head hurts!

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Nice to see others sharing my views. I honestly thought I’d lost my mind, everyone else seems to humour him/ her…

    2. Martin says:

      It will average them out…

    3. Colombia Concalvez says:

      Spot on mate, i never realized that to be honest!

    4. Gunner says:

      And it’s no coincidence that the 4 in the MP4 happens to relate EXACTLY to the amount of wheels on the car.

      It can’t fail!!

      1. Monktonnik says:

        What about the steering wheel?

      2. Jake says:

        Not always the case with Lewis. Several times last year he ended with a wheel or two missing.. :-)

    5. Yak says:

      You might as well say “Sergio Perez World Champion 2013″ contains 28 characters, therefore, given this year’s car is the MP4-28, Perez will win the WDC.

      Also, if you add the number 5 to Perez’s age, you get 28, therefore he will win. Why 5? Well it may or may not be Perez’s favourite number. Whether it is or not is irrelevant in the end, because as you can see, the maths works out.

    6. Wade Parmino says:

      But no McLaren driver has ever won the championship in the third year of a decade. It is simply not possible for either driver to win! ;)

      Goferet, you didn’t happen to reside in a survival shelter in the lead up to the end of the Mayan calendar did you? :) JJ

  17. Andy says:

    Looks a beautiful car as always, not too different than last year but then all the development is underneath.
    Also lets not forget, this is merely a show car and will no doubt be different come Melbourne. Stuff the politics and veiled comments, Lewis is gone, embrace the change and lets go racing!!

  18. Elaine says:

    Loved seeing the old cars, sorry not to see my mate Lewis not there. I will always follow mclaren , but my heart will be following Lewis again this year. Good luck to Jenson & Sergio for the new season

    1. Cona says:

      Red 5 or not adorning the front of his Macca, I’m afraid but Jense is no Nige…neither in driving skills or charisma, only drivers with balls should be allowed to use RED 5 on their cars or the number 27 for that matter!!!

  19. Serrated_Edge says:

    Looks a case of when not if Paddy Lowe will leave the team…

    1. Gul says:

      Can Paddy Lowe start work at Mercedes immediately? (if that is what he is going to do) or do they have to wait for a certain amount of time before moving to a competitor?

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        6 months

      2. Gul says:

        thanks. 6 months is long.

  20. Seán Craddock says:

    In order to win the championship McLaren will need to improve in qualifying. That’s an area that I think will be impacted a lot by Lewis’ departure. Button has only ever had 1 pole for McLaren and has generally been far behind in Q3. Perez admitted today that he needs to improve in quali

    It’s gonna be a struggle…

    1. SJM says:

      ..especially when you look at the competition
      LH, FA, SV, KR….I doubt we are going to see a lot JB poles.

  21. Steve says:

    I have one thing to say: “Pull-rod front suspension”…..

  22. Martin says:

    Someone might be able to explain/confirm what McLaren has done with its front suspension. The thickest arm, which is probably a pushrod goes from the top of the upright to the top of the nose. I think the steering arm is near horizontal. Being at very different angle to the wishbones, this would create bump steer very easily, although most of the travel is in the tyre not the wishbone. I’m guessing McLaren wanted a lot of open space low down behind the front wings, but it seems to be notably higher centre of gravity solution than what Ferrari did in 2012. The pushrod angle is a bit more favourable than Ferrari’s pullrod, but I’m not sure it is the compromise I’d have picked.

    The way it is designed, the toe in would be increased as the car brakes, which is the opposite of the Ackerman geometry effect. My guess is that McLaren is a good chance to be running the hardest springs in the pit lane again.

    Cheers,
    Martin

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s definitely a pullrod

      1. Stephen Taylor says:

        Maybe Pushrods aren’t so advanced/radical any more. Lamborghini uses pushrod suspension in its V12 Aventador road car. Will we see more teams follow Mclaren and Ferraris lead in future?

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        It’s not new technology, just reinvented.

        Ferrari last year adopted pull road suspension front and rear, whereas in previous seasons it always used push rod.

        Red Bull have been running rear pull road suspension since 2009, and other teams copied them in 2010 and 2011.

  23. Carl Craven says:

    If anyone had read anything of the Paddy Lowe affair recently they’d know that Wolff was already trying to tease him away to Williams.

    I think people are reading too much into everything here.

    If Lowe had been at the launch it would have detracted from the event which was about the car and not Lowe’s career opportunities.

    Perhaps Button was anxious and excited rather than nervous? I know I would have been if I had the chance to drive a car like that.

    Armchair pundits are getting annoying.

  24. Monji says:

    Typo… @

    … Fernando “”amd”” Ferrari never had the fastest “”ar”” but they maximised the spoints and we have worked hard at that for this year.”

  25. Gunner says:

    James, do you think the pull-rod suspension has been developed in order to encourage the front tyres to warm up quicker and therefore help Jenson in qualifying?

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      If you look at Ferrari and their weaknesses last season, it was lack of pace in qualifying. They couldn’t switch the tyres on quickly enough.
      I’d imagine that pull rod suspension makes no differences to tyre warming

  26. Red Rider says:

    Who knows whether or not the car will be any good? All that will come out later.

    It does seem that tire care will be a factor .. a major factor? If so, that could play into one of Jenson’s strengths. If tires and pit stops are more important, one has to hope that Mclaren will be better at those. They’d better get that pit crew in tip-top shape, and also have a team planning ahead on race strategy.

    I was dismayed when they signed Perez last year. Still, if car management is a major factor, he too might get better results than I expected.

    Will Lewis’ being gone be good for Jenson, or will it make him a bit too relaxed?

  27. Rob says:

    I feel so sorry for Ron Dennis… McLaren have a terrible driver pairing.

    Expect to see the top engineers leave McLaren at the earliest oppotunity.

    Button inspires no confidence – infact, he is more of a liability.

    I can’t think of anything more positive to say…

    1. Colombia Concalvez says:

      I’ve to agree with you mate

    2. Carl Craven says:

      I have to disagree with . . . . mate

    3. Joel says:

      With LH moving, McL will lose that extra couple tenth he gets from those qualifying runs. But, him not there, McL will never know whether that 2 tenths were even there to be extracted from the car…
      However, I don’t share your gloom over JB or SP – they both will do a decent job. If McL is a fundamentally fast car, JB will definitely be a contender for the title.

    4. Andrew C. says:

      Hamilton – 190 pts 4 wins 4dnfs

      Button – 188 pts 3 wins 2 dnfs

    5. Jake says:

      Nothing wrong with Jenson, I would have him as my number two driver anyday.
      Don’t think he is going to trouble Seb tho’ but should be mixing it up with Lotus and Ferrari.

  28. Val from montreal says:

    Interesting that their ( McLaren ) only mention of Lewis Hamilton was when they rolled in their 2008 championship winning car but never of him during their video when Hunt, Senna, Prost and Hakkinen were talked about …. Whatever Button manages to do with this MP4-28 , the Hamilton fans will be fast to say Lewis “could of done much more” ….. Thats a shame ….

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      I would imagine that its because Lewis is a current competitor

  29. Gary E says:

    I think Button has a very good shot at the WDC this year. The fact that Perez has the same or similar style can only make life easier for the engineers. I think race pace wise they will both be right up there, my only concern is qualifying. Niether driver seems to excel in that area.

    1. Monktonnik says:

      I believe that if JB has a car he likes under him his qualifying issues will disappear as in the early part of 2009. And before anyone talks about double diffusers please remember that he beat his team mate in qualifying in those first races as well.

  30. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Button, a number 2 driver in McLaren before, I don’t think he can be world champion again, but he can win a couple of races, because he is a good driver and a lucky guy.

    Checo will be difficult sometimes as a partner, he can win also.

    Go Checo!

  31. G Hindle says:

    I don’t know the culture within McLaren, but I would be much more likely to go the extra mile for Button. I like Lewis, but he wouldn’t inspire me as an employee.

  32. hero_was_senna says:

    James, will Mclaren having to pay for their engines have any effect on their budget regarding development?

    Or does the RRA apply to other factors?

  33. Chris says:

    Awkward question here, and I hate asking it, but here goes, does anyone think McLaren believe Button can deliver the world championship his year (remember, not your opinion, Mclarens)? And who here believes Mclaren will have the same driver lineup next year?

  34. JohnBt says:

    Certainly the best looking car without the stepped nose. Kinda strange without Lewis being there.

    All the best to McLaren for 2013.
    And soon the first race will begin!

  35. Mark in Australia says:

    Off topic.. But where did McLaren find that hostess?

    1. James Allen says:

      She works for SKY Sports F1 HD in the UK. Natalie Pinkham. I thought she did a great job, making what could be quite a stuffy and dry presentation more human and lively.

      1. Mark in Australia says:

        I agree a fantastic job. So often events like these are so stuff and blah in general.

        Good choice.

        Thanks

  36. krischar says:

    Letting lewis go is a big loss and cannot be replaced

    I do believe Perez can easily match button’s pace

    Not sure how quick mclaren will be this season. However mclaren have always competed well with RB6, RB7 and RB8. So Mclaren might be the ones to watch out along with RBR this season as well.

    All the pre season talks are positive from button. Can he deliver WDC this season ? Not possible though

  37. Owen says:

    New McLaren looks great and what presentation celebrating their 50th anniversary…. only thinkg that could top it is a reunion of The Spice Girls… oh wait a minute…

    http://www.zigazig-ha.com/zgallery/displayimage.php?pid=158535

    1. Gul says:

      OMG! BRILLANT!

  38. Dren says:

    When Button got the set-up/tires working last year, he was very strong. He seems to think these tires will help him in that area. I have every reason to think Button will challenge for the championship. I pick him and Kimi down to the end.

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