• 2010 Launch

McLaren takes wraps off MP4-25

ESPNF1 Staff
January 29, 2010 « Williams signs F3 driver Valtteri Bottas to test | »
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton stand in front of their new car © Sutton Images
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McLaren became the second team to launch a 2010 car on Friday at Vodafone's headquarters in Newbury.

After Ferrari unveiled its car on Thursday, McLaren took centre stage on Friday taking the wraps off its new MP4-25. The team is hoping to build on the progress it made during 2009, when it transformed a back-of-the-grid car into a race winner by the Hungarian Grand Prix.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said the car would exploit a new double diffuser design as well as adapting to the ban on refuelling and the narrower front Bridgestone tyres for 2010. In a statement of intent he said: "Our goal is clear and we aim to win."

The hopes of the last two world champions, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, rest on the car and both said they had a positive first impression ahead of the opening test in Valencia on February 1.

"I must say it looks pretty amazing," said Button. "I always thought that McLaren would put a good car together properly. We've seen all the wind tunnel numbers and everything looks very positive. We've driven the simulator but the real work for us will start in a couple of days when we head to Valencia where we'll put this car through its paces."

With its raised nose cone and striking engine cover fin, the MP4-25 looks very different from its predecessor and Hamilton said he was hoping it would be a big improvement as well.

"The car looks very different to last year's car and I feel very proud that I've also put quite a bit of input into it," he said. "I can't wait to get on the track with it and I'm sure it's going to handle completely different to last year's car, I certainly hope so because, trust me, you don't want to try last year's car. "

He admitted that testing time would be short but was certain that, if he and Button worked together, they would have a good car for the opening race in Bahrain.

"We won't get much testing. We only have seven days testing each, and we have this big heavy fuel tank to get used to as well as these narrower tyres," he said. "The important thing is we give positive feedback to the team. We'll really have to maximise our time in the car and really get as much running as possible. Hopefully we'll go in the same direction, in terms of our driving, and hopefully that'll get us to the first race in a great position."