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autoviva2012-03-13 22:22:14

McLaren (F1 Preview)

Full Name Team: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Base: Woking, UK
Team Principal: Martin Whitmarsh
Technical Chief: Paddy Lowe
Test Driver: Gary Paffett
First Season: 1966
World Championships: 8
Highest Race Finish: 1 (x175)
Pole Positions: 147
Fastest Laps: 148

Last season McLaren were the runner-ups in the manufacturers’ standings, with Jenson Button claiming second position in the drivers’ championship. They clearly started on a slower pace then Red Bull, but towards the end of the season things started get more even. Still, Vettel’s succession of wins was almost unstoppable.

Lewis Hamilton was far from delivering his best in 2011 as the Brit only finished fifth thanks to some bad results and several childish mistakes which also included some silly fights against Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.

“The 2012 season will be an important one for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: having finished second in the constructors’ championship for the past two seasons, we’re determined to mount a sustained, hard challenge for both world titles,” says Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh.




MP4-27 Specs  
Engine: V8 (90º vee)
Valves per cylinder/total: 4/32
Displacement: 2400
Max. RPM: 18000
Transmission: 7-speed semi-automatic
Engine Provider: Mercedes
Weight: 640 kg

Looking close to the new single-seater, the MP4-27 definitely resembles last year’s runner. But according to McLaren the 2012 chassis has been substantially revised from the ground-up, with all major systems updated or re-designed for the new season.

One of the main differences can be found on the more tightly waisted rear bodywork, developed by engineers to improve flow to the rear of the car. The cooling system has also been revised for 2012, responsible for re-directing the gearbox oil-cooler.

Because of FIA’s new exhaust regulations that are responsible for the redefining of the shape of the rear bodywork last year’s U-shaped sidepods have also been re-designed.








Jenson Button  
Age: 32 (19/01/1980)
Nationality: British
Birth Place: Frome, Somerset
Grand Prix entered: 210
World Championships: 1
Wins: 12
Podium Finishes: 43
Points: 811
Pole Positions: 7
Lewis Hamilton  
Age: 27 (07/01/1985)
Nationality: British
Birth Place: Stevenage
Grand Prix entered: 90
World Championships: 1
Wins: 17
Podium Finishes: 42
Points: 723
Pole Positions: 19















Jenson Button

“With the regulations remaining relatively stable, we’ve really been able to focus on the detail with this year’s car. I still think we had a very fast package last year – it was very strong in certain areas – and our race pace was almost always fantastic, but we’re hoping for a further step forwards in 2012. With Mercedes-Benz, I think we also had the best overall engine and KERS Hybrid package in the pitlane.”

“I know that the whole team is extremely proud of the MP4-27. It may look like a direct evolution of last year’s car, but we’ve analysed every area of performance over the winter and the whole car has benefited from lots of fresh thinking and new ideas in every area.”

Lewis Hamilton

“I’ve been keenly following the development of MP4-27 over the winter and I’ve been really encouraged by the results and the data that the engineers have been showing me. I think we already had a very strong base to build upon: Jenson and I won six races with MP4-26 last year and I think we’ve been able to retain all the strengths and the reliability of that design while also incorporating lots of improvements and new ideas into the new car.”

“Of course, the biggest changes for 2012 are the modifications to the exhaust regulations – that will reduce the downforce and grip that we had last year, but it just puts the emphasis on the designers to try and claw some of that back in other areas.”

V 8 (90º vee)
146 cu in
Top Speed
7, semi-automatic
Maximum power
Single Seater
Fuel consumption (combined)
annual ownership cost




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