McLaren MP4-27: The Car That Could End Red Bull’s Grip on the F1 Title

Formula 1

The most technical-minded team in Formula 1 has launched an evolutionary car for the 2012 F1 Season.

Today McLaren revealed the MP4-27, its challenger for 2012 F1 world title in a media event that took place at the team's headquarters in Surrey, England, at the McLaren Technology Center. The team's pair of drivers, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, were on hand to discuss their expectations for the forthcoming season as the design team explained the new car's appearance. Per tradition, both Hamilton and Button took the wraps off the new car.

The car was painted with all the expected sponsors' logo with a dominant silver color (a reminder of the Mercedes V8 engine that will propel the car, perhaps). Beneath the surface of the MP4-27, there is a car that has been adapted to the new technical regulations of F1 (though they weren't extensive). The exterior of the racer resembles last year's model quite a bit. The chassis, however, was substantially revised from the ground-up with all major systems updated or redesigned for the new season. The most evident visual differences include more tightly-designed rear bodywork.

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It was developed to improve air flow toward the rear of the car along with a revised cooling system which re-directs the gearbox oil-cooler. Last year's U-shaped sidepods have also been re-designed - a legacy of the FIA's new exhaust regulations that redefine the shape of the rear bodywork. "We've changed the sidepods," said Lewis Hamilton. "We had the L-shaped sidepods last year. The front of the car is generally the same. Obviously the nose dips down a little bit different to last year; we've changed our wing mirrors a little bit, so hopefully we'll be able to see a lot better, which is something that I was pushing hard for."

"Felipe [Massa] will be very happy with that." McLaren is proud of its drivers' line-up, which the team claims is the best in the field. This could be seen as a slight affront at the no. 2 drivers of the Ferrari and Red Bull teams, though it is a correct assertion. "Between them, they have scored 22 grand prix victories for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and are the strongest and most consistent driver line-up in the sport," the team said in a statement. "For sure we are massively motivated for next year," said Hamilton after he helped Button taking the wraps off the car.

"We have a good-looking car; I think generally when the car looks good, it generally is good, so hopefully that reflects on the circuit." When asked about their respective winter breaks, Hamilton replied: "I was over in the cold, in the mountains in Colorado, I wasn't missing the car too much." Button responded "I've had a pretty good winter, spent quite a lot time away somewhere nice and warm to chill out and recharge my batteries but also to do a lot of training. I was back on 5 January, been spending quite a lot of time in the simulator and also just getting back to the way of life of -- of a driver, and then spending time here at the MTC."

The Formula 1 teams will launch their 2012 racing machines during the next fortnight. Stay tuned to for full coverage of the build-up to the 2012 F1 racing season. Check out the full unveiling of the McLaren MP4-27 below.

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