McLaren MP4-26 launch, 2011

McLaren MP4-26 launch – first pictures

2011 F1 carsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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”

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  1. Is that Mark Hughes in the first picture?

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

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

      1. @ 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.

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

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

    1. Man wears Mclaren airbox on his head.

      lol From a front on view it really does look simalar to a cylon helmet.

  4. It reminds me the Ferrari F92A

    1. 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. 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.

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

      1. 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. 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. 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

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

    2. 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.

      1. Thanks for that, I’ve not read that anywhere.

        Gets ones mind racing as to what exhaust set up they will use!

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

  11. 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.

    1. lol, yep, turn off the TC and play…

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

    My hope & prayer is that, substance will surpass Form

  13. 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. 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

    1. 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?

      1. 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.

    2. the-muffin-man
      4th February 2011, 15:06

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

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

  15. dyslexicbunny
    4th February 2011, 15:02

    Mind. Blown. (probably not long enough)

  16. 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.

    1. You nailed it I agree.

  17. The chrome livery looks cheaper every year.

    1. Soon it will have rust showing through.

      1. 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.

        1. I still like the proper Ferrari red, not the marlboro one they swapped to. It’s too orange IMHO

  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. 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”

    1. the arrow key of course…what else would such a technically advanced company like Mclaren use?

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