Launch Season: McLaren MP4-24

McLaren-Mercedes MP4-24
The 2009 McLaren was unveiled at the Woking factory earlier today, along with the announcement that Ron Dennis was moving out of his F1 role to concentrate on McLaren’s ever growing portfolio in other areas.

The McLaren group of companies is active in electronics, engineering and is currently designing and building it’s own road car, as well as many other things which I’m not quite sure about…

Martin Whitmarsh, Ron’s long-time Lieutenant, will take over the day-to-day running of the race team as well as being the Top Dog at the racetrack. Dennis will remain as Chief Exec and will still oversee the general running of the F1 operation.
This has been coming for a while and was maybe due a 12-18 months ago, but the whole Stepneygate affair seemed to galvanise Ron into staying longer than maybe he’d originally planned. Still, it wasn’t expected that he’d announce it at the ’09 car launch.

The car itself looks absolutely gorgeous, save for the stupid-ass rear wing. On the other hand, now that we’re seeing true designs the front wings are growing on me, and they are sure to become further refined before we reach Melbourne. The rear wings definitely do need more work. The MP4-24 overall though looks absolutely fantastic in this colour-scheme without all of the aerodynamic and cooling devices on the main bodywork. This is the third car which looks better than the ’08 cars, discounting the main wings, so I’m very quickly becoming a fan of this particular new regulation!

By the way, is anyone else absolutely loving the return of slick tyres? They look brilliant on these cars. Racing cars should always run on slick tyres except when it is raining.

Here’s a pic from McLaren.com:

This chassis is actually the second ’24 constructed, the first car is already at the Algarve circuit in Portimao for a shakedown on Saturday, where McLaren have booked an exclusive test day. Other teams will join McLaren at the same venue next week. Check the news sites for on-track photos!


Previous launches (now with photos):

Toyota
Ferrari

I will return on Sunday. I’m thinking of doing something on British coverage of motorsport now that some announcements are coming through, although I may hold it for a while. In the meantime it looks like A1GP is falling to pieces so that could be an interesting talking point. The Furious Wedge is keeping tabs on things and I tend to agree with his assessments when it comes to A1GP.
(I’m developing a habit of ending my blog posts on a tangent, maybe I should reign that in a bit..)

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2 thoughts on “Launch Season: McLaren MP4-24”

  1. Hey, tangent whatever you like. It’s your blog. Of course, this is coming from Mr. Tangent here. On an unrelated note…the other day, I was walking down the street…Ha. I kid.The McLaren is definitely my fav of the three cars unveiled so far. I actually think it looks really, really good, and the overall shape is just so much better than anything that’s been in F1 for the last few years. It’s funny how the kick-ups and winglets in front of the rear wheels for the last 15 or so years cluttered up the shape, and now that they’ve had to go back to the simple “Coke bottle” thing, the cars look great again. The rear wings are a different matter all together, but I guess my eyes continue to slide right over them.And the slicks. Thank God. The grooved tire era was far, far too long…

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  2. I like both the McLaren and the Ferrari. I don’t know if my lack of enthusiasm for the Toyota is down to the car, the uninspiring paint job or just that I don’t care for the company as a whole.I’m interested in what Renault come up with, and Williams for that matter. I’ll write a few notes on those on Tuesday as I’m probably not about tomorrow.

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