At the McLaren launch on Friday

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Hamilton and Kovalainen reveal the MP4-24 at last year's McLaren launch
Hamilton and Kovalainen reveal the MP4-24 at last year's McLaren launch

Of all the F1 car launches this year the McLaren launch on Friday is the one I’m most looking forward to.

Why? Because I’m going to be there – it’ll be the first F1 car launch I’ve attended.

I’ve had a talk to McLaren about what will happen on the day and wanted to get your thoughts on what you’re most interested in seeing from the event.

Anyone who struggled to find a live feed for the Mercedes livery launch yesterday will be glad to know McLaren are streaming their launch live – here’s the link for where the stream will be.

The stream will include coverage of the unveiling and of the press conference after the launch with Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Martin Whitmarsh, Jonathan Neale and Paddy Lowe.

There are many interesting changes at McLaren at the moment including their all-British, all-world champion driver line-up, the change of relationship with Mercedes and, of course, the new car.

But what are you most interested in finding out the team as they head into 2010? If you’ve got any suggestions for questions to the drivers or the top men at the team, let me know in the comments.

Oh, and I’ll keep an eye out for geej77 who won a place at the launch through the McLaren fan club – lucky thing!

A list of all confirmed launches, tests and every 2010 F1 Grand Prix session can be found on the F1 Fanatic Google Calendar

Image (C)

77 comments on “At the McLaren launch on Friday”

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  1. Can I come with you, hun? xxxx

    1. Sorry – I had a few offers over Twitter from people wanting to be cameramen/personal assistants/bodyguards but I’m afraid I’ve not got a ‘plus one’ invite :-)

      1. I’m tiny. I could hide in your bag.
        Or your pocket. lol

      2. can you ask lewis whether he thinks alonso and massa will get on?
        he’s the best person to ask!

        1. Or the worst person depending upon how you look at it :P
          Question to anyone: Mclaren will they really be building their opwn engines and when will that process start? We’ve ahd all the hints that it will happen but has there been any confirmation? They probably will build their own engine but it would be nice to see the timeline and how the eventual and full break away from Mercedes will go.

          1. Steph 90

            I can give you a scoop here. Which keith might like to confirm on Friday. Although a poorly kept secret. The MP4/12C V8 engine will be cast and built in by Ricardo in Shoreham East Sussex. It’s McLaren’s design and I understand manufacture will transfer to Woking technical centre once the new building is complete. Therefore, the logical conclusion will be that McLaren are definately going into the engine building game. A frozen F1 engine design would be relatively easy to make. Particularly as most of the design is in the regulations – i.e. no of cylinders materials, v-angle, weight and crankshaft position. Ricardo have a history of high performance engines they have built superbike engines for years and built the JCB fastest Diesel engine world record.

          2. the Sri Lankan
            26th January 2010, 22:44

            didntmclaren look into purchasing toyotas engine maufacturing equipment a while ago?

          3. … and if they’re indeed building their own engine, would they try and get a B-team within the next few years, and trial-run the new engine there?

          4. Getting way ahead of myself and this isn’t really a question for Mclaren yet just a thought but what about supplying other teams? Michael S makes a good point (they could also try to put any young drivers there too). But it could also change the dynamic of the grid. Manufacturers may have really been hurt and clearly it is taking a lot of time to get over but the big names of could really taking advantage, imagine Ferrari, Mercedes and Mclaren in an engine war :P Maybe engine rules will have changed by then as well.

        2. what a rubbish question

          1. How is that a rubbish question?

          2. On the contrary, it’s an excellent question. The breakup of McMerc is rooted in the refusal of the Sons of Ron to work on supercars as an “in house shop” for Mercedes, the way AMG is run. What happens with engine supply 4 or 5 years down the line is vital for how competitive McLaren are – don’t forget it’s largely thanks to unreliable Mercedes or Peugot power that they missed out on success in the 90’s and early 00’s. Kimi would have been a McLaren WDC apart from engine failures. So, where are McLaren going to source engines in the future? Do they really intend to build their own?

          3. Thanks Del Boy for that scoop :)
            Thanks Hairs that is exactly what I’ve been thinking about :)

          4. thanks theo, go join planetf1 if u dont want to contribute.

          5. Which question are you referring too?

      3. Rats (though predictable enough). I live so close to the factory I could walk there on Friday! :(

        1. You could, but no-one will be there – the launch is at Vodafone’s headquarters near Reading!

          1. Sweet lets break in take loads of photos and send them to Ferrari.

    2. Can I come with you, hun? xxxx


  2. Keith, stupid question really, but are you going to bring your camera to take some awesome pictures?

    1. Not a stupid question. Only TV channels are allowed to do filming at the launch but there are photography services available on the day. Will have to play that one by ear a bit.

  3. Who’s going to update the site as soon as it happens? Mobile internet Keith? :-/

    1. I’ll be reporting as best I can live from the event, I’ve got a mobile internet set-up.

  4. CounterStrike
    26th January 2010, 18:04

    Man I want your job!

  5. Perhaps ask each of the drivers how many points they think they will beat the other by?

  6. Yep, this is the BIG one.

  7. You deserve to be going to events like this. This is the best F1 site after all!

    What percentage is this an all new car? Is it a clean sheet design or is it a bit of an evolution from the 24?
    Obviously the rules changes would mean a fair bit has to be brand new design.

    My random question would be why they went to a steering wheel dash midway through last season…always wondered after they had a proper dash for so long!!

    1. Very good questions stig :)Be nice to know how they eliminated the flaws with the 09 car too

  8. Could you ask if anyone is scared of Ron? :-)

  9. The dash on the car itself seems to be a Adrian Newey design feature (the RB5 has it now) but I agree with thestig84, ask that question.

  10. theRoswellite
    26th January 2010, 18:50

    Have a good time Keith, I certainly think you should begin to have a carte blanche invitation to almost anything F1, that is sure to come as this site grows…very well deserved.

    You might ask Martin what design element of the car gave them the most trouble…no disclosures, just general comments.

    Oh, and can anyone disclose how this car stands relevant to the minimum weight figure, and the amount of ballast available.

    They may find these questions too revealing, but we can only try.

    Again, have fun, as we say in the US…you’re the man!

    1. It is my understanding that FOM still does very little to acknowledge bloggers. Unless you are in print/TV media it is very difficult to gain F1 press credentials.

      Any softening on their long term stance, Keith?

  11. hello,
    bit of a bland question but, i know the drivers have some input into the car design as a machine, but do they have any input into the aesthetic appearence of them?

  12. I am wondering how many elements of the 2009 RBR McLaren has taken and designed into their car. Will you be able to tell from looking at the car during the launch event ? I would imagine for sure the double diffuser and perhaps some of the front aero parts/concepts.

    1. Unless they also copy the pull-rod suspension, it’d make more sense to copy Brawn/Mercedes’ double diffuser, but perhaps copy the RBR nose, as Ferrari is supposed to have done.

  13. I can’t really think of any good questions at the moment, I suppose the main thing from car launches is seeing the new car and any new livery.

    You will only be able to come up with some questions once you have seen the car, such as if it looks like last years Red Bull, as a few of the 2010 cars are rumoured to.

    When Button signed one of the main points of discussion was about Hamilton’s and Button’s contrasting driving styles, so you could ask if this has brought about any issues and if generally how signing a new driver affects the design process overall.

  14. congrats Keith!
    I don’t know if you will be able to ask questions. but I have some suggestions:
    1: To what extend is having experience in running a more rearward weight distribution last year due to KERS an advantage with the new no refuelling rules?
    2: with refuelling banned and no race fuel qualifying, will fuel consumption be more or less important than last year?

  15. Just one: Deal, or No Deal?

  16. Ask Jenson if he cut all ties with Brawn, or does he still have a phone number for that hot blond girl who was celebrating with Eddie Jordan in the garage in Brazil?

    1. It was his sister.

  17. Not really a question, just interested to see how Mclaren are going to cope with Mercedes who have already launched a livery that is different from a traditional Mclaren, but not by a lot…

  18. Bigbadderboom
    26th January 2010, 20:28

    First I hope you enjoy yourself Keith, but I’m sure you will, like a kid in a sweet shop.

    The best questions will be the ones they dodge, but I would be interested in aero questions that you can only ask after the unveiling. Have a good look and try to get an inside line on floor/diffuser design, I wouldn’t be suprised to see some extremely innovative aero solutions this year and normally McLaren are one of the first to offer these.
    For the drivers try and spot some body language and ask about driver team orders, look out for Jenson looking at his feet and Lewis taking a deep breath before he answers, and maybe Martin Whitmarsh suddenly looking at his watch! Try and get a read on them!!!!!
    Good luck mate and enjoy

  19. I have a question for the mclaren team :)

    Do the drivers think that banning double diffusers is a good idea or is it the circuits that need to be redesigned?

    And also this might sound stupid, but do the designers think this car can be as “evolutionary” as the RB5 was last year in its design?

    (This is for both jenson and lewis)
    Do they think that this is a new start/beginning for Mclaren, a long lasting reltionship with the two drivers instead fo the last two years?

    I have soooo many questions to askk!!

    Does jenson like going back to all the coorporate work and interviews that he didn’t really need to do last year at brawn?

  20. Maybe you could get Jenson to stand behind Lewis and then ask him if he likes the view.

    Is Jenson looking forward to driving for Renault in 2011?

    Has Martin Whitmarsh ever wanted to be interesting?

    How does Lewis manage to combine having a personality with driving for McLaren?

    1. He doesn’t. Whitmarsh has more of a personality than Hamilton.

      1. That’s a damning indictment.

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