McLaren to launch 2011 F1 car today

F1 Fanatic round-up

Today attention turns from Valencia to Berlin, where McLaren are set to launch their 2011 F1 challenger, the MP4-26.

I’m making my way over there and will have pictures from the launch as soon as possible. The car is being revealed at 12 noon local time, 11am GMT.

You can watch the launch live on McLaren’s website.

Meanwhile Lotus will be staying behind in Valencia for one more day of testing with their T128.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Gascoyne troubled by F1’s “boring” desert circuits (Reuters)

??Formula One would see more overtaking if it addressed the problem of boring new circuits in the Middle East, according to Team Lotus technical head Mike Gascoyne.??

The Horse Whisperer – If the shoe fits… (

??Unexpectedly woken from his winter reveries, the Horse Whisperer has stumbled across some declarations in today?s papers from Mario Moretti Polegato, emanating from Valencia at the time that the Red Bull team launched its new car.

??The Horse Whisperer caught a whiff of something familiar on the wind, because it instantly revived memories of persistent offers, backed up with significant amounts of cash, made on numerous occasions by the very same Moretti Polegato to Ferrari during the course of 2010.??

Senna (Adelaide Film Festival)

The film Senna will make its Adelaide premiere at the end of the month.

Thanks to GT VIRUS for the tip!

Lewis looking to rev up IMaGe (The Sun)

??Formula One star Lewis Hamilton is poised to sign with IMG. The high-profile sports management company will replace Hamilton’s father – who the McLaren driver split with a year ago – as his agents.??

Sir Jackie Stewart becomes a partner in Genii Business Exchange (Genii)

??Genii Business Exchange is delighted to announce the arrival of Sir Jackie Stewart, triple F1 world champion, as a partner for the years to come.

??Sir Jackie?s mission will be to reinforce the existing commercial, technological and industrial links between the world of racing and the motor car industry, as well as Genii?s core sectors including new technologies, infotainment and cleantech related industries.??

McLaren Automotive and the MP4-12C best of 2010 (YouTube)

Jenson Button (via Twitter)

??Great to be back in the car today, the main objective of the test was to understand the tyres which I think we do. Big day tomorrow! ;-)??

Associating with Brand Name Changes Behavior Even without the Product (Scientific American)

??Volunteers who drove a Red Bull car in a video came were more reckless than those who drove cars with the logos of other drinks.??

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Felipe Massa had a dramatic start to testing in Valencia when his Ferrari caught fire in the first hour of running. Paul Grainger says:

Well Alonso topped the testing times yesterday but I wasn?t about to say Ferrari were on fire just yet?? until now!
Paul Grainger

From the forum

Dougy_D asks: there are too many buttons in the cockpit so at what point will the FIA say enough is enough?

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Jacques Laffite won the second race of the 1979 season in Brazil.

It was a repeat of the result in the first race at Argentina as Laffite won from pole position and set fastest lap in his Ligier. On top of that he led every lap in Interlagos, giving him a perfect result or ‘grand chelem’.

At that stage it looked like he might dominate the season but as it turned out it was his final victory of the year.

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124 comments on McLaren to launch 2011 F1 car today

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  1. Icthyes said on 4th February 2011, 0:14

    ‘There’s nothing wrong with that car, except it’s on fire.’

    Can’t believe I didn’t think of it straight away!

  2. McGregski (@mcgregski) said on 4th February 2011, 0:18

    I can’t wait to see the new McLaren!! 10 hours 43 minutes to go… lol

    I hope it is as “innovative” as Whitmarsh was touting and as different as Hamilton said this week

    Roll on Bahrain… Lewis and Jenson to smash 2011!!!

    • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 4th February 2011, 0:41

      I just hope the livery looks a bit different! But they already said it’ll be silver and red as per usual so I’m not getting my hopes up

      • Scribe (@scribe) said on 4th February 2011, 1:04

        I hope they haven’t overcomplicated again, why not do what they’re good at huh? Different failed last year, ya couldn’t set the damn thing up, or develop it at the end.

      • Regis said on 4th February 2011, 2:11

        I was a huge fan of the silver and red at first, but now i hope they change it slightly, it feels outdated.

        • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 4th February 2011, 4:27

          You mean it feals dated. The chrome and red will only be outdated when they replace it with something else.

          • Maciek said on 4th February 2011, 7:25

            Hmm, not quite – if it went out of fashion or became obsolete for some reason, then it would be outdated; when they change it, it will be… old.

          • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 4th February 2011, 8:41

            Maciek, Obsolete and outdated mean the same thing. Example, If Vodafone left Mclaren they would have to get a new livery, the old livery would then be obsolete, outdated.
            So something cannot feel outdated. It either is or isn’t. Something can, on the other hand feel dated. Mclaren’s livery feels old/dated but it hasn’t been replaced/outdated… Yet. A couple of more hours until we find out.

          • Maciek said on 4th February 2011, 13:34

            True true – though my point was more that it’s difficult to use the word outdated when talking about an old livery… in the sense that outdated and obsolete, to me anyways, usually apply to technological things, or in any case things that are actually used rather than just looked at. Anyhoo, one way or another, I think that I have officially become a word nerd.

      • McGregski (@mcgregski) said on 4th February 2011, 8:43

        I’d like it if they did something different maybe tie in the chrome with the traditional orange or something a bit crazy. Luminous green lol

        But that said… I do like the red and chrome and its kind of the VMM identity now

  3. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 4th February 2011, 0:24

    Looking forward to the McLaren launch. Will be interesting to see if all the rumours are true! Not going to be able to watch it live though :(

    • US_Peter said on 4th February 2011, 2:29

      I can’t wait to see it either, but like you I won’t be watching it live. It’ll be the first thing I check when I’m up in the morning though.

    • Todfod said on 4th February 2011, 6:15

      Yep.. this is the most awaited launch of the year. Lets see if they have the game changer on their car..

  4. Pedal to the Vettel (@pedal-to-the-vettel) said on 4th February 2011, 0:25

    I would like to see that MP4-12C in a James Bond film rather than a Ford.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th February 2011, 7:01

      Now that would be great.
      Not going to happen though, apparently that is one of the most expensive product placement opportunities in the world.
      Sure, Ron is not Frank Williams, but I would think he is hardly going to pay for that.

      • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 4th February 2011, 7:31

        I don’t know…perhaps a tie-in whereby the F1 team promotes the films in return for the car being used in the film…

        …of course I would imagine Group Lotus will also be looking to return their cars to the Bond franchise…I hear that in a move that Dany Bahar swears is nothing to do with the past that they are preparing a version of their new Esprit that turns into a Submarine… ;-)

  5. Bernard said on 4th February 2011, 0:38

    I never thought a man of Sir Jackie’s prudence would get sucked in by Lopez.

    • Scribe (@scribe) said on 4th February 2011, 1:05

      Lol at that, Sir Jackie, widley recognised as the first rock star F1 driver, the first superstar in aviators.

      • Hamish said on 4th February 2011, 1:12

        It became Jackie $tewart many years ago.

        • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 4th February 2011, 1:31

          Hahaha you’re right there. Great driver, better buisnessman?! Although to be fair, iirc he cut short a multi million pound deal with RBS when they in financial turmoil, so kudos to him for that

          • Hamish said on 4th February 2011, 1:55

            Yea only after the huge public reaction when he stated he has a contract with them and isn’t willing to compromise on that.

            I think it was a decision based on damage limitation.

        • Icthyes said on 4th February 2011, 7:49

          Stewart grew up in a time when you had to maximise your earnings potential or that was it for you.

          Plus Stewart, because of his dyslexia, has always felt the need to pprove himself and be the best in everything he does. He used ti di work like this for Ford and Williams for many years, evidendtly he enjoys it and wants to cement his reputation.

          • Icthyes, are you saying the “certified halfwit”-saga from Max was correct?

          • Hamish said on 4th February 2011, 9:19

            Even Jackie admits Max’s comment is pretty accurate. Icthyes, I do agree with you. I don’t know whether its because in his early years he was always behind the eight ball and felt he had a point to prove, but the man does follow the dollar. My only complaint about the guy is if you’ve read one Stewart interview you’ve read them all (no disrespect Keith).:

            – Nurburgring 1968
            – Dyslexia
            – Cervert death
            – Spa, upside down with aviation fuel all over him, on ground covered in cigarettes, getting lost in an ambulance.
            – Safety.

            Boring, to the avid F1 follower yes. But to those new to the sport, they’d be all ears.

  6. Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 4th February 2011, 0:40

    Is it just me who reads those Horse Whisperer column’s and wonders if it was Luca di Montezemelo himself who penned them? Honestly, I wish Mr Whisperer would put a sock in his mouth and glue his fingers together because he does nothing for Ferrari’s credibility

    • Scribe (@scribe) said on 4th February 2011, 1:08

      ner ner ner ner neeeeh, weeee didn’t want him so he went to Reeeeeedbuuuuuuuul.

      Luca? You do wonder, 5 year old? Also a possibility.

      Possibly the’re annoyed a rich italian sponsered a direct rival, they’ve gotten sickeningly patriotic recently, all that politics there supposedly getting into, an as an Englishman, nothing sicens me quite like patriotism.

      • US_Peter said on 4th February 2011, 2:35

        …as an Englishman American, nothing sickens me quite like patriotism.

        If Mental Monty isn’t penning the blog himself he’s certainly informing the writer what to post, and I find the comparison to a 5 year old as very apropos.

        • Icthyes said on 4th February 2011, 7:52

          I fail to see what patriotism has to do with it. The term makes no sense in the context of the situation.

    • Hamish said on 4th February 2011, 1:16

      It think consensus is that its Luca.

    • The whole the horse whisperer thing is getting kinda dull, I mean. All he spouts is crap which is obviously rubbish, and only going to appeal to the very nuttiest of Ferrari nuts.

      fallen back on the energy drink manufacturer’s company

      I wonder if Ferrari have noticed they lost to Red Bull in the two most recent championships? I don’t think Mr horsey has…

      Also, considering all the Horseman does is gossip and make dirty comments about other people and teams, Don’t you think Ferrari as a professional company would be above this? And above allowing it to be posted on their official site?

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th February 2011, 7:03

        Or maybe that is why he is taking it so bad. Possibly afraid, next time Bernie will want to agree with Mateschitz upfront instead of dealing with Ferrari first.

      • Andy C said on 4th February 2011, 9:52

        Maybe they should rename the column one step away from the glue factory.

        Self indulgent nonsense would be my summary.

        Why Ferrari are that bothered is beyond me. They have at least the joint biggest budget in F1, and if they were offered and were interested they would have taken the offer.

        I’m sure Puma are happy anyway.

    • they should rename column to horse farts

      • US_Peter said on 4th February 2011, 5:37

        :-) That would be more appropriately titled!

        • Adam Tate said on 4th February 2011, 5:57

          There are lots of horse butchers in Italy, maybe someone could just call one up, say from San’t Agata and point them in the direction of the horse whisperer. ;)

    • macahan said on 4th February 2011, 3:20

      I read it twice and had to check the domain the article was posted on three times. Yet to understand what that driveling article is doing on Ferraris site. It makes them come of looking childish and stupid. That behavior is something I would expect to see at kindergarten. My Sponsor is better then your sponsor. My daddy didn’t like that XXX so he threw it in the trash and kept his XYZ.

      If it’s not Luca himself then I would say his trainee that is being trained to succeed him or something.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th February 2011, 7:04

        I think it must be Luca himself, otherwise no sensible PR or press officer would allow something as pathetic as that on their site?

        • bosyber said on 4th February 2011, 8:38

          I think I agree – I still don’t see the PR point of this one, others at least carried forward a ferrari point of view, this one just slags a competitors sponsor. Huh?

          It’s not like this could be due to being lost in translation or anything, it just seems an incoherent pointless rant. Maybe someone was bored.

          • incoherent pointless rant

            Just like everything anyone working for Ferrari ever says ever?

            I had to read it twice and I’m still not entirely sure what the horse was trying to whisper. Thankfully the coherent comments by sensible people on here cleared it up for me.

  7. Mach1 said on 4th February 2011, 0:53

    It will be interesting to see if maclaren show the car with any innovative ideas in full veiw…with it being a studio launch. For example; if the have a similar “blown floor” as Reanault, will they have the parts on that make it visible, or will they put dummy parts on. As if it’s not actually running, why would they bother to show their hand…

    just a thought

    • himmatsj (@himmatsj) said on 4th February 2011, 1:17

      Yeah Mach, I mean if they have highly visible innovate ideas, they’d be shooting themselves in the foot by letting the other teams know what they’re up to. I know the next test is next Tuesday, but still, every three/four days make a whole lot of difference in terms of development.

      • US_Peter said on 4th February 2011, 2:40

        I would imagine they’ll do the same as Red Bull and show standard exhausts that leave everyone thinking “well that’s conventional” only to run something different in the test.

      • DeadManWoking (@deadmanwoking) said on 4th February 2011, 6:50

        You would think that a company that’s been operating globally for almost 50 years could at least get they’re time zones right:

        McLaren Homepage
        Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 Reveal – 12pm CET, 11am UK time, 5am EST

        Eastern Standard Time is UTC-5, 11AM UK is 6AM in New York.

    • verstappen said on 4th February 2011, 8:04

      Lews said something along the lines of the car looking different, so maybe they have things they can’t hide.

      Like a rocket nose, or bulky back end or, or…

      just a few hours

  8. rfs (@rfs) said on 4th February 2011, 2:44

    Does thinks the Mclaren will be faster than the Red Bull? Personally I think the RB7 will be untouchable and Vettel will have the title sealed by October at the latest.

  9. Oliver said on 4th February 2011, 2:51

    If Mclaren were developing something similar to what Renault did with the exhaust then their attempt to delay other teams having a look at it will have been defeated as the teams will already he ahead by 3days.

    • bosyber said on 4th February 2011, 8:44

      And they should be smart enough to know it, so I thought that maybe they took that idea and did something extra.

      But it could well be the car is looking very intriguing, and then lags well behind Red Bull. I like that McLaren tends not to just copy things, like Ferrari has seemed to do these last years, but Ferrari do seem to have at least learned to copy an idea well and run with it, which gave them a more versatile and fast car at the end of last year.

      • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 4th February 2011, 10:13

        “And they should be smart enough to know it”.

        Well, they made the decision about delayed launch before they knew what other teams would show. They didn’t know about Renault’s exhaust back then. I guess we’ll have to wait another hour to find out what surprise they have prepared for this year.

  10. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 4th February 2011, 3:07

    I do agree with Gascoyne,yes are cars do play a part but I think the circuits are the biggest problem why we don’t see too many overtaking nowadays.

    • Oliver said on 4th February 2011, 7:35

      That is so true and we have even discussed such here in the past. Even take Korea for example, a new track on an open field, the track is as tight as an ordinary road in Monaco. As for Abu Dhabi, we already know the track has chicanes leading onto a hairpin.
      Those who watched the race last year will remember that on several occasions, the trailing cars will catch up with the car ahead while going through several corners, only to meet a braking zone, then you have a long straight placed after corners that forces the field to spread out.

      I just believe there is something not healthy about the Eccleston, Tilke partnership.

    • John H said on 4th February 2011, 8:56

      Hats off to Gascoyne.

      While most in the paddock are scared to say anything in case it might upset their wallets, he tells it like it is.

      More of this please.

  11. ForzaLaScuderia (@) said on 4th February 2011, 4:26

    Why are Mclaren, a team known for their over British-ness launching their car in Berlin?

  12. GT VIRUS (@gt-virus) said on 4th February 2011, 5:11

    Thanks for the meantion! Made my day :P

    FYI it’s spelt Adelaide. There are some mad people making the trip interstate from sydney just to see this!

    • MPJ1994 said on 4th February 2011, 12:47

      I posted about the premier last Saturday in the Round-Up… It was in The Advertiser.

      Does anyone have an idea of how many tickets, if any, are left?

      Thanks :)

    • Chops said on 5th February 2011, 1:12

      I posted about it too haha. I’m not sure how to check how many tickets are left, but as soon as I saw it in the guide in the Advertiser I went online and bought them to make sure :)

  13. Adam Tate said on 4th February 2011, 6:02

    The article about brand names and the red bull car experiment was fascinating. Scary, but fascinating.

  14. BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th February 2011, 7:17

    The twitter app seems to encounter some problems for me.

    Instead of showing the messages it just shows “fail#” instead (thats with Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; cs; rv: Gecko/20100401 Firefox/3.6.3 ( .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET4.0C).

  15. matt88 (@matt88) said on 4th February 2011, 7:36

    haha, the Horse Whisperer is back! It’s like reading a teenager’s log, he always complains about everything and everyone, the system is evil, blah blah blah…
    It’s curious that his identity is one of the few secrets that haven’t been ‘leaked’ yet. :D

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