McLaren MP4-27 launch – first pictures of McLaren’s 2012 F1 car

2012 F1 cars

McLaren MP4-27, 2012

McLaren MP4-27, 2012

McLaren have revealed their latest F1 contender.

The MP4-27 is the car the team hope will allow Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton to compete for the championship in 2012.

Button said: “As you can see, this is a beautiful car. Many you see will not be.”

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh added: “Cars really do look beautiful if they win races. But beauty is more than skin deep and there’s some beautiful engineering under the skin.”

Hamilton described the new car as a “strong base”. The 2008 world champion said: “I’ve been keenly following the development of MP4-27 over the winter and I?ve been really encouraged by the results and the data that the engineers have been showing me.

“I think we already had a very strong base to build upon: Jenson and I won six races with MP4-26 last year and I think we?ve been able to retain all the strengths and the reliability of that design while also incorporating lots of improvements and new ideas into the new car.

??Of course, the biggest changes for 2012 are the modifications to the exhaust regulations ?ǣ that will reduce the downforce and grip that we had last year, but it just puts the emphasis on the designers to try and claw some of that back in other areas.”

According to McLaren, the new car features narrower rear bodywork, to improve airflow at the rear of the car. The revised cooling system re-directs air to the gearbox oil-cooler. The distinctive U-shaped sidepods of the 2011 car are gone, which McLaren say is a consequence of the FIA?s new exhaust regulations.

McLaren finished second in the championship for the last two years, and so have the numbers three and four on their cars once again. Whitmarsh said: “Having finished second in the constructors? championship for the past two seasons, we?re determined to mount a sustained, hard challenge for both world titles.

“Our engineering team continues to develop and grow: while the key names who head the department are well known ?ǣ Tim Goss, Paddy Lowe and Neil Oatley ?ǣ it?s the strength in depth within the department that continually impresses. I?m extremely proud of our efforts to invest in and recruit young graduate engineers and to develop and school them in the ways of Formula 1.”

Test driver Oliver Turvey will be first to drive the car at Jerez next week.

More information on the 2012 F1 season.

2012 F1 cars

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Images ?? McLaren, F1 Fanatic

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177 comments on McLaren MP4-27 launch – first pictures of McLaren’s 2012 F1 car

  1. Alehud42 (@alehud42) said on 1st February 2012, 16:19

    After the Caterham, this has restored some faith in 2012.

    • Harry Palmer said on 1st February 2012, 16:30


      I was worried we were going to have a grid of ugly ducklings like the Caterham this year… Ok, it may not be earth shattering to look at, but it’s miles better than what I was envisaging :)

      Can’t wait to see what RBR, Ferrari and Mercedes have to offer (though we’ll have to wait a while to see the latter)

  2. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 1st February 2012, 16:44

    First chance I’ve been able to see this…I like it! Something very 2009 about it, and looking at the details, there’s something that tells me there’s more going on here than we think…

  3. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 1st February 2012, 16:45

    I find it astonishing. A glimpse of hope that this years’s grid will not be composed only of caterhamish bottle-nose dolphin wannabies.

  4. JK (@justingt5) said on 1st February 2012, 17:05

    It looks better than I expected after seeing the Caterham. Interesting Nose Cone, its has a section underneath it which looks to split airflow either side, I think the MP4-26 had something similar only smaller.

    The sidepods look neat and tidy, and much cleaner around the rear of the floor. From looks I reckon it will have a much better start than last years effort, Shame to see the U shaped sidepods go though, I thought that design was ace, it just seem so logical to my mind……instead of air being slowed down to go over it just let it through!

    Overall I like it, there are elements of great design on this car and I look forward to seeing it in action.

  5. Cars stopped looking cool back in 2009!!!!!!

  6. UKFan (@) said on 1st February 2012, 19:57

    I have to say that this Mclaren is the most beautiful Mclaren since Coulthard drived for them. In first analysis Mclaren is trying to blow the rear brake and the whole rear end by having that type of exhaust output they are also possibly trying to combine the hot air from the exhaust with the air that enters the sidepod maybe using that chamber Ferrari and Mercedes invented (scarbs). It still is missing a few bits for obvious reasons but I hope they will be ok for the start of the season.

  7. Zippy123 (@zippy123) said on 1st February 2012, 19:58

    Having read all the posts I’ve got to say I’m a little suprised no one has mentioned the diffuser. I mean it doesn’t look like any diffuser i’ve ever seen before, surely thats not the finished piece.

    P.S Looks nothing light RB7(Which i have to say IMO is not a great looking car) and it’s defiantly better looking than the caterham!

    • If you’re referring to the apparent ‘flap’ at the end of the diffuser, i would say its there to keep Keith’s or indeed Scarb’s camera’s out of there…

  8. west (@west) said on 1st February 2012, 21:00

    The MP4-27 is looking fantastic the more you look at it the more you fall in love with it. The nose, sidepods, exhaust outlet all sport on

  9. The detailing of the underside of the nose is really very interesting…
    Was there talk of the Mclaren Monocoque being an separate entity from the sidepods themselves? So we could see different sidepods for different rounds…
    Hopefully it will be a good year none the less, and maybe we will see if Mclaren can keep up development when ahead of the pack instead of spending the season perfecting others ideas ;)

  10. GARY ALLEN said on 2nd February 2012, 0:19

    Wondering about the little hook shaped fin or scoop on the front brake ducts. Looks wing like and is moveable as the wheels turn. Also ahead of the front center line.
    Wouldn’t that constitute a moveable aero device and make it illegal??

  11. mr ROSSI (@mr-rossi) said on 2nd February 2012, 0:57

    surely thats not going to be mclarens exhaust exit (the horrid bulge) once they go racing, where about`s in the box does it sit, and is it directed at anything? imo, i think they`ll try blowing the underside of the beam/top of diffuser (if possible) not where they are now. Anyway`s THANK YOU MCLAREN simply for a nice looking car.

  12. Gareth (@gazz1989) said on 2nd February 2012, 4:28

    As much of a fan of McLaren I am, I do prefer the CT01 and the MP4-26 over this. This car really does feel just like a lifeless lump of aluminium with a rather dainty sloped nosecone and lack of the L-shaped side-pods which gave the MP4-26 character and differentiated itself much better from every other car car on the grid. Compared to Caterham which portrays a bit of attitude with it’s own nose sticking straight out in front.

  13. Caterham has done an awesome job creating as much publicity as possible by being the 1st to launch their Car. All cars will be compared with them no matter whether the other cars will have a platypus nose or not.

    If not: reactions will be : at least not the same nose like the Caterham car
    If yes: exactly the same platypus nose as the Caterham car.

    Brilliant PR from Tony Fernandes!!

  14. dennis (@dennis) said on 2nd February 2012, 9:07

    It’s a shame they blocked the diffusor from views… Or is that a feature? :P

  15. bad_whippet (@bad_whippet) said on 3rd February 2012, 11:23

    I thought this car looked stunning yesterday… now that I’ve seen the FI and Ferrari, it looks even prettier!

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