The McLaren F1 team unveiled their 2010 Formula One entry earlier today at their headquarters in Newbury, and almost as impressive as their new machine is the all English driver lineup with returning champion Lewis Hamilton and last year’s break out sensation Jensen Button leading the charge.
In accordance with the new sporting regulations for the 2010 season, the car has undergone some considerable changes, even if it appears to be quite the same to the untrained eye. Dubbed the MP4-25, the new race car features a radical aerodynamic overhaul and a significantly larger fuel tank to allow the team to run longer between pit stops and the championship winning McLaren design team has declared they are confident that they have explored every possible avenue in order to maximize the MP4-25’s on track performance. Powered by a Mercedes-Benz FO 108X V8 engine, the same power plant that brought McLaren and Lewis Hamilton the world title in 2008, tipping the scales at just under 210 pounds, the slightly heavier MP4-25 will make its first on track appearance in Valencia, Spain on February 1 along with many of the other F1 competitors for some pre season testing.
Press release after the jump.
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team today revealed its brand new MP4-25 chassis - the car in which reigning world champion Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will contest the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Unveiled at Vodafone UK’s stunning headquarters in Newbury, the 2010 car looks noticeably different from last year’s race-winning MP4-24. MP4-25 features a radical aerodynamic overhaul and a significantly larger fuel tank to take full advantage of this year’s new regulations, and its design team is confident it has explored every possible avenue to maximise the car’s performance.
Horsepower once again comes from our friends in Stuttgart. Mercedes-Benz’s FO 108X V8 subtly improves upon an engine which has become the benchmark in Formula 1, winning the last two drivers’ world championships.
The team kicks off its 2010 campaign with a stunning driver pairing: 2009 world champion Jenson Button and 2008 title winner Lewis Hamilton. It is the first time since 1989 - when it ran Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna - that the team has fielded a joint-world champion driver line-up, and marks the first time in Formula 1 history that the sport’s two most recent world champions have been partnered together.
However, the driver line-up represents only a fraction of the team’s remarkable strength in depth. Members of the design team who contributed to the development of MP4-25 can also trace their involvement back through an incredible seven drivers’ world championships, five of the team’s eight constructors’ world championships and 112 of the team’s 164 grand prix victories.
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team begins pre-season testing with MP4-25 at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo on Monday.
While nowhere near as radical as last year’s reinvention of the technical rulebook, 2010’s regulations feature a number of key differences from the previous season. Outlined below are the major developments, their primary effects and the ways that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has approached them:
CHANGE In-race refueling banned
EFFECT Cars feature significantly larger fuel-tanks; efficient packaging becomes critical; in-race fuel stops will disappear; races will become more dependent on tyre strategy; pitstops will become significantly quicker (around 4 sec or less); cars will be significantly heavier and slower at the start of races, which could have consequences on tyre wear, drivetrain and brake life
CHANGE Teams unanimously agree to no longer use KERS
EFFECT Overtaking opportunities available to KERS-equipped cars will disappear; teams have far greater freedom on systems packaging and weight distribution
CHANGE Narrower width introduced for (dry weather) front tyres
EFFECT Smaller tyre will have knock-on effect for car aerodynamics and overall car balance
CHANGE Aerodynamic hubcaps banned
EFFECT A FOTA cost-saving initiative. Teams will look to recover their aero properties elsewhere
CHANGE Wheel rim-heaters banned
EFFECT While tyre blankets are still permitted, the removal of the inner heated core that heats the rim will make tyre warm-up more critical
CHANGE Minimum weight increased from 605kg to 620kg
EFFECT Cars will be heavier on track; ballast positioning will become more efficient
CHANGE On-track aero testing reduced from eight to four days
EFFECT Requires teams to capitalise on increasingly limited track testing away from the races; windtunnel testing is provided as a substitute
CHANGE Backmarkers no longer able to unlap themselves behind the Safety Car
EFFECT Safety Car periods should be shorter and the restart quicker
CHANGE Points system runs from 1st to 10th (POINTS ORDER TBC)
EFFECT Greater rewards are now offered to the winning driver, placing more importance on pushing for victory rather than accepting a minor placing; a greater spread of points ought to reward the larger field expected in 2010
CHANGE Using a second additional engine during a race weekend carries a 10-place grid penalty for the following event
EFFECT Engine life and effective usage will be even more critical, particularly towards the end of the season
Monocoque McLaren-moulded carbonfibre composite incorporating front and side impact structures
Front suspension Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement
Rear suspension Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement
Suspension dampers Koni
Electronics McLaren Electronic Systems control units incorporating electronics for chassis, engine and data acquisition. McLaren Electronic Systems also supplies the electronic dashboard, alternator voltage control, sensors, data analysis and telemetry systems
Bodywork Carbonfibre composite. Separate engine cover, sidepods and floor. Structural nose with intergral front wing.
Paint solutions provided by AkzoNobel Car Refinishes using Sikkens Products
Tyres Bridgestone Potenza
Race wheels Enkei
Brake calipers Akebono
Master cylinders Akebono
Batteries GS Yuasa Corporation
Steering McLaren power-assisted
Instruments McLaren Electronic Systems
Type Mercedes-Benz FO 108X
Capacity 2.4 litres
Maximum rpm 18,000
Bank angle 90°
Piston bore maximum 98mm
Number of valves 32
Fuel ExxonMobil High Performance Unleaded (5.75% bio fuel)
Spark plugs NGK racing spark plugs specially designed for Mercedes-Benz F1 engine
Lubricants Mobil 1 – for higher performance, lower friction, better protection, cooling and wear resistance
Weight 95kg (minimum FIA regulation weight)
Gearbox McLaren-moulded carbonfibre composite. Integral rear impact structure