McLaren MP4-26 launch – first pictures

2011 F1 cars

McLaren MP4-26 launch, 2011

McLaren have launched their 2011 F1 car in Berlin. Here are the first pictures of the car.

McLaren staged an unusual launch in Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz. Competition winners brought different pieces of the car and they were assembled together in front of the public and press.

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “I think today’s innovative launch demonstrates the enthusiasm within Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to engage the general public; to show them that our sport is intense and exciting and that we’re very keen to showcase Formula 1 to the wider world.”

As well as featuring KERS and an adjustable rear wing, as permitted by the 2011 rules, the MP4-26 sports an unusual U-shaped sidepod arrangement. McLaren say the layout is to direct air to the rear of the car more efficiently.

McLaren will conduct a shakedown test with the car at the Idiada Proving Ground in Spain on Tuesday, before arriving at Jerez for the second F1 test two days later.

You can also view the McLaren MP4-26 in 3D on the team’s website.

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392 comments on McLaren MP4-26 launch – first pictures

  1. RIISE (@riise) said on 4th February 2011, 13:33

    Is that Mark Hughes in the first picture?

  2. McG (@mcg) said on 4th February 2011, 13:47

    Doesn’t seem to me a mechanism to move the rear wing???

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th February 2011, 13:51

      I was also wondering where they put it. But this certainly is not the wing that will be used for the races.

      • Unipart said on 4th February 2011, 13:56

        @ BasCB

        This certainly will be the wing used for races,but with an addon in the form of the mechanism to move the rear wing plates.

        • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 4th February 2011, 14:06

          The real MP4-26 rear wing is likly to be completely different than this old MP4-25 wing.

          • Dobin1000 (@dobin1000) said on 4th February 2011, 14:16

            Once all the testing is done and everyone rocks up at Bahrain with their cars there is a good chance most of them will have some modified aero parts from what we have seen this week.

  3. Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 4th February 2011, 13:58

    I like the way the air box looks… rather sinister, like something Darth Vader would drive.

  4. marco said on 4th February 2011, 13:59

    It reminds me the Ferrari F92A

    • LuvinF1 said on 4th February 2011, 17:16

      Every time someone has mentioned the F92A, I’ve gone back to look at it – and in my opinion it just does not remind me of the Ferrari. The angles, proportions and contours just aren’t there in my view.

  5. Hinton Steve said on 4th February 2011, 14:00

    I hope that this car has something the last one lacked- good basic levels of mechanical grip. The Redbull had this in abundance last year as I’m sure this years RB will have too. The aero devices are great and state of the art, however without a basic solid handling chasis to bolt them on it will fail.

    • the edge said on 4th February 2011, 14:59

      gotta agree there, mclarens used to rule the wet but last years was more like a tub in the wet

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 4th February 2011, 17:59

        Well, this year the front suspension seems to be less angled, and connected lower, maybe that is to do with their doing something to make those tyres last more than 10 laps. Could also help basic levels of grip.

  6. The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 4th February 2011, 14:03

    I think it would have been cool if Pirelli let each team choose which colour tyre they used for their car launches.
    The Mclaren is going to look even better when using the red texted super-softs.

  7. matt88 (@matt88) said on 4th February 2011, 14:12

    it looks very good. the sidepods’ concept is interesting and the nose cone seems a slenderer version of the late 90s-early 00s ones.

  8. Love the new car, deffinatley the best looking car on the track, i love how every year McLaren have a new concept or way of racing, im sure this can et Lewis to 2011 WDC and be a winning car

  9. looks like it has normal exhausts so far. You can see them in this picture just beneath the copper coloured horizontal suspension arm (or whatever it is), one either side of the safety light

    • Argent said on 4th February 2011, 14:36

      You’re right, good eye! The copper colored bars are the drive shafts, by the way.

    • Might as well stop looking for the exhaust outlet, they have openly said it not revealed, you won’t find out until they test it.

  10. Wow, this car looks AMAZING! The most unique car so far!

  11. Argent said on 4th February 2011, 14:40

    Is anyone else just doing doughnuts with the 3D car on the website? Wow, I’m easily entertained!

    I love the looks of the car–very aggressive design. The sidepod channels look to be directing airflow to the rear of the car over the beam wing and diffuser. Perhaps the channels accelerate the air to an extent.

  12. kenneth Ntulume said on 4th February 2011, 14:41

    My hope & prayer is that, substance will surpass Form

  13. Icthyes said on 4th February 2011, 14:42

    Wow, well McLaren certainly haven’t disappointed, in my view. I love the nose, the ethos of aggression and I can live with those sidepods. Let’s just hope it’s FAST!

  14. nakos said on 4th February 2011, 15:00

    Cars I’ve seen so far:

    Ferrari = ugly beyond belief, looking unsymmetrical from many angles and fragile (lame, tame, shame)
    Sauber = just like Ferrari
    Mercedes = not bad, they get away with it
    Williams = not bad at all
    Lotus Renault = the livery can’t save it (no Lotus feeling whatsoever)
    Team Lotus = lame & tame. Not aggressive enough
    McLaren = a stunner, just put the sharkfin on
    HRT = Quite goodlooking from what I can see

    • the edge said on 4th February 2011, 15:06

      i think thats a little unfair nakos…the ferrari’s just…well…simple, conservative & un-imaginative. not sure they’ve done enough to realise their hopes but what the hell do i know?

      • nakos said on 4th February 2011, 15:11

        I just find it hard to see it as an aggressive F1 challenger from most angles. Not a fan of the high nose concept I guess. Very few cars with this looks good.

    • the-muffin-man said on 4th February 2011, 15:06

      HRT is last years car. Doubt we’ll see the new one before the first race (if at all!).

    • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 4th February 2011, 15:09

      HRT? I think that must be a joke that I’m not getting?

  15. dyslexicbunny said on 4th February 2011, 15:02

    Mind. Blown. (probably not long enough)

  16. DaveW said on 4th February 2011, 15:07

    Looks like they swung for the fence this time. Lots of interesting details and some dramatic departures from convention. It seems they are not relying on a super-high, flattened nose to get air to the diffuser, which seems the current style. Since they have gone their own way this year it seems they will either be competitive or we will see the cars soaked in flow-vis every race Friday.

  17. Mc Phisto said on 4th February 2011, 15:11

    The chrome livery looks cheaper every year.

    • Soon it will have rust showing through.

      • fordsrule said on 5th February 2011, 5:31

        And the Ferrari red that they have every year? I dont get how people can say crap about McLaren for having the same livery for the last couple of years when Ferrari do the exact same.

  18. the edge said on 4th February 2011, 15:18

    Being a fan of Mclaren…or Vodafone Mclaren Mercedes (as Lewis would put it) I wish Him & Jenson all the best for the double

    The MP4 26 certainly looks well developed…but so did the 25

    I’m pretty sure the boys at Mclaren wouldn’t have missed a trick with the exhausts second time round but as for beating the soft drinks manufacturing team…well were not going to know that until Bahrain

  19. spezza said on 4th February 2011, 15:22

    that nose is fugly
    and looks slow

    i hope ^^

  20. k i know im being a kid but does anyone know what you click to drive the car on the mclaren website. I can get the rotating 3D video up but dont know what to do to “take it for a spin”

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