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. Younger Hamilton said on 4th February 2011, 17:07

    Love everything about the MP4-26,just stuns and amazes me.The Major and Interesting Innovations like the Sidepods,feeding airflow towards the Rear Wing thus producing more downforce,the two air intake system and the engine cover innovation,looks pretty similar to Mercedes’ last season when they first brought it up in Spain.Front wing is definetely the same as the last year’s updated Front Wing,what else we’ve got the new steering wheel,looks pretty good as well if you guys wanna see the new steering wheel,go to i really really do hope McLaren win both Drivers and Constructors Titles this year,i really think this is their year for the win.


  2. driftin said on 4th February 2011, 17:07

    Look at all that aero on the front wing! Reminds me of the 2007 / 2008 car.

  3. Icemangrins said on 4th February 2011, 17:21

    MP4-26 will get in trouble or it will atleast create a stir.. looks like they are feeding the air through that duct for aero effeciency

  4. Fantastic the Mclaren MP4-26!

  5. Racefan said on 4th February 2011, 17:58

    From the technical specifications,the rear suspension is pullrod.

  6. Looks great, looks sleek and fast, but will it BE faster and quicker then the Red Bulls???

    Side pods are absolutely stunning!

  7. stamos said on 4th February 2011, 18:36

    From a visual engineering standpoint, we all have to admit that mclaren exceeds all competition. They had the balls and took the chances to go with different design and utility elements. That shows they are poised to win this year. I can’t wait to time the car in the circuits and see if all this creativity can translate to real performance. Mclaren forever!

  8. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 4th February 2011, 18:38

    Looking at how that U-radiator feeds air into the diffuser looks like this could create some crazy levels of downforce. Everything looks to flow nicely.

  9. Bartholomew said on 4th February 2011, 18:58

    Absolutely gorgeous car !
    However, future rules should make these cars at least half a meter shorter, that way there would be more passing – these things are long as a train

  10. SennaNmbr1 (@) said on 4th February 2011, 19:15

    That is a beautiful piece of machinery.

  11. Xenon2 (@xenon2) said on 4th February 2011, 19:46

    If this years strategy is to follow the lead car closely, then overtake on the final lap, cooling in turbulent air will be vital.

  12. I’ve got to admit that it does make cars like the Ferrari look a bit ‘frumpy’. But there’s a few weeks left to the start of the season, so it’s still game on with regards to development.

  13. Dj xo2 (@dj-xo2) said on 4th February 2011, 21:14

    hi all, have a look at the front shot of the side pods, look at the nosecone (just above the frame of the picture…F-duct type holes/plates??

    I know they some times have those access plates to adjust components in the front end yet I havent noticed them on other cars yet this season

  14. SennaNmbr1 (@) said on 4th February 2011, 21:54

    Most interesting looking cars so far are the McLaren, Lotus and Williams. The Renault’s front exhausts are also interesting but they don’t have much effect on the overall look of the car.

    Can’t wait for the season to start!!

  15. Lewis hamiltons input to the car: make it stronger so I can bump wheels and not DNF

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