McLaren reveal their 2008 F1 car: the MP4/23 (updated)

McLaren have revealed their 2008 Formula 1 challenger in Stuttgart. The team continues its partnership with Mercedes for a 14th consecutive season. The pair have won two drivers’ and one constructors’ title in that time.

With 2008 marking ten years since the team did the double, they will be desperate to bounce back from an acrimonious and bitter 2007 to put some championship silverware on the mantelpiece for the first time since 1999.

See below for more pictures of the 2008 McLaren and video from the launch.

As the team officially finished last in the 2007 world championship their cars will carry the unusually high numbers of 22 and 23. Coincidentally, the 2008 car’s model designation is MP4/23.

The designation ’23′ holds further resonance for the team. The McLaren M23 of the pre-Ron Dennis years appeared in 80 Grands Prix from 1974-8; a total of 177 individual car appearances.

It won 16 races, taking Emerson Fittipaldi to the drivers’ title in 1974 and James Hunt in 1976. The M23 was the last title-winning car produced under the direction of Teddy Mayer before Ron Dennis took over the team in 1980.

Will the MP4/23 enjoy the same success and make a champion out of Lewis Hamilton or Heikki Kovalainen? Coincidentally, Hamilton is 23 today, and he will be given the number 23 car to drive.

Pictures from the 2008 McLaren launch

Here are the first pictures of the new car (click to enlarge):

McLaren 2008 MP4/23 Lewis Hamilton, Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes MP4/23 launch, 2008 Lewis Hamilton, Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes MP4/23 launch, 2008, 2

Mercedes-Benz FO108V engine McLaren 2008 MP4/23 launch - drivers McLaren 2008 MP4/23 launch - drivers, 2

McLaren 2008 MP4/23 launch McLaren 2008 MP4/23 launch, 2 McLaren 2008 MP4/23 launch - team

McLaren MP4-23 launch, 2008 McLaren MP4-23 launch, 2008, 2

2008 McLaren-Mercedes MP4/23 (same as top image, high resolution)

Video from the 2008 McLaren launch

Photos: Daimler / McLaren

More about the 2008 F1 season

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36 comments on McLaren reveal their 2008 F1 car: the MP4/23 (updated)

  1. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th January 2008, 16:35

    Interesting to see Bernie Ecclestone pop up in the ‘family photo’…

  2. Vertigo said on 7th January 2008, 17:02

    Why do McLaren have white overalls and a silver car? Also, who made the decision that the number 13 was unlucky and that it shouldn’t be on any of the cars?

  3. i think kovy will push hamy like hamy pushed alonso.

  4. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th January 2008, 17:07

    Don’t get me started about the number 13 thing that winds me up like mad. They spend millions on build giga-high-tech cars like these and then won’t put the number 13 on the side because of some silly superstition…

  5. Just like Alfa Romeo could not release their 164 car in Hong Kong, an extremely superstitious lot, and had to designate it as 168. Because 164 “sounds” like “a path to death” whereas 168 “sounds” like “a path to fortune”. I’ve been brought up around superstition, and I can’t believe people will try to make you believe something that has not been proven to even themselves.

    Speaking of 23′s – Hamilton’s Birthday, Hamilton’s Car No, the car itself is designated 23!

    Back to the launch, I have to say 10/10 for presentation. It looks like an underground resistance bunker, or some old space station (could’ve done without the tacky sci-fi space lifts/pods though).

    When McLaren first adopted this chrome paint job I thought it had something to with reflecting ambient heat in hotter countries, or to distract the competition by glare tactics.

  6. Daniel PT said on 7th January 2008, 18:49

    Well, that is just the 2007 Mclaren a little longer and with a 2 or 3 new things… I bet Mclaren has 2 silver Ferraris ready for Australia on it’s werehouse! :) (Just joking, its not that i am Mclaren’s janitor or anything like that!)

  7. Steven Roy said on 7th January 2008, 19:28

    Nissan always ask for number 23 when they enter a new championship. In Japanese 2 is Ni and 3 is San.

    I think the launch cars of all the teams will look radically different when they hit the track. McLaren’s nose wing is probably missing to make sure it doesn’t interfere with the Vodafone logos. I expect it to re-appear as soon as the car hits the track.

    I am very curious about Bernie being in the team photo. There has to be a story behind that. Ferrari will probably protest his presence unless he was at their launch as well.

  8. “McLaren’s nose wing is probably missing to make sure it doesn’t interfere with the Vodafone logos. I expect it to re-appear as soon as the car hits the track.”

    good call. sounds very likely.

  9. oliver said on 7th January 2008, 21:05

    Apart from a slightly altered nose, as usual, the Mclaren doesn’t seem to have changed much in the past few years. Good thing the drivers wear white though, will look really queer if they were dressed in tin foil.

  10. the lauch venue does look like the inside of a bunker(seige mentality?) – but the car seems very broad – can there be any ground effect with that? – and they do look like they are from thunderbirds – good fun

  11. PinkPeril said on 7th January 2008, 22:26

    Heikki does look like a thunderbird in those overalls !
    Or maybe he just looks odd to me as I keep thinking Ferenando should be there.

    As for the car – it looks great – I couldn’t care less if it was white with green polka dots as long as it performs !

  12. “hey do look like they are from thunderbirds – good fun”

    just for kicks… a dress your own heikki doll:

    http://tinyurl.com/29g7kd

    plus, three simple steps to recreating today’s mclaren launch:

    1) print doll onto stiff paper
    2) cut and fold
    3) play some dodgy dance music

    it’s almost as if you were invited :)

  13. congrats, heikki! Now it’s your turn to play second fiddle to the egotistical boy-wonder!

  14. AmericanTifosi said on 8th January 2008, 2:59

    Lewis gets the number 23 MP4/23 on his 23rd birthday. Woah!

  15. Jean said on 8th January 2008, 8:46

    A real ‘Silver Arrow’ at last. I think its beautiful.

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