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

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

  1. 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!)

  2. 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.

  3. “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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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 !

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

    just for kicks… a dress your own heikki doll:

    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 :)

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

  9. AmericanTifosi
    8th January 2008, 2:59

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

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

  11. Quote: “Lewis gets the number 23 MP4/23 on his 23rd birthday. Woah!”

    LOL… You summed it up mate!

  12. From the depths of their underground lair, looks like they are going to war, or are they launching Thunderbird 1? Cannot work it out, but looking at the pictures are they expecting James Bond or even better, Austin Powers to save the day?
    I’m sure Bloefeld or Dr Evil are in there somewhere stroking their furry cats.

  13. sorry about this but it made me laugh!!!

    the second image down from the right looks just like everyone putting fingers upto each other! :D hahaha

  14. Yeah it’s that cheesy ‘phone thing again isn’t it? I bet they love having to do those…

  15. That phone picture is brilliant. How come the other teams don’t do this i.e. the Toyota drivers pointing Panasonic tellies at each other, BMW drivers holding Intel computers, Renault drivers fighting against two rampaging orange ING lions.
    Also, middle picture, second row – what are they all looking at?

  16. Just watched that Reuters video – that man doing the talking is a) a moron and b) a man who, by the sound of it, knows absolutely nothing about F1!

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