McLaren MP4-27 and MP4-26 compared

2012 F1 season

Here’s how the new McLaren MP4-27 compares with its predecessor.

Find more pictures of the McLaren MP4-27 here.

McLaren MP4-27 and MP4-26 side comparison

McLaren MP4-27 and MP4-26 side comparison

McLaren MP4-27 and MP4-26 comparison

McLaren MP4-27 and MP4-26 comparison

2012 F1 season


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116 comments on McLaren MP4-27 and MP4-26 compared

  1. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 1st February 2012, 12:17

    Those wing mirrors sure are raised up compared to the MP4-26. I wonder if this is due to the drivers having a higher seating in the car?
    Or maybe it’s so Lewis will be able to see Massa this season! ;)

  2. sato113 (@sato113) said on 1st February 2012, 12:18

    last years car looked better IMO. this year the mclaren looks a bit fat.

  3. I’m sure someone will do proper ones, but I did a quick one of the 25/26/27. Well actually I just took an existing comparison of the 25/26 from HunnyF1 and put the 27 in there (top/plan views), but here you go:

    http://i.imgur.com/3NrXU.jpg

    • vjanik said on 1st February 2012, 14:46

      nice one.

      It first glance i notice the exhaust blobs on the MP4-27.

      the rear is packaged differently in all three cars.

  4. Girts (@girts) said on 1st February 2012, 12:32

    I love these side comparisons, they make me wanna play “Find 10 differences”.

    Talking about the design of MP4-27, I don’t think it’s ugly although I’m a bit tired of the chrome.

    I’ll just quote David Coulthard. It is what it is.

    • Tom Bisset (@pianoshizzle) said on 1st February 2012, 12:51

      Agreed with the chrome. I don’t like it that much any more either. I however doubt that it’ll change any time soon, for example, back to the white and red of the marlboro days as it might look like a Ferrari (in the sense that Ferrari have introduced white to the wings etc). I think there would have to be a major change in sponsorship, or company image for there to be a change.

  5. scribbler (@scribbler) said on 1st February 2012, 12:33

    Guys the reason it looks bigger is the rake angle look at the gap under the car to the floor its nioticable bigger at the back under wind load it will push the car down at the back but they obviously realised that last year they didn’t have enough adjustment in the rake angle so have jacked it up at the back. Its obvious this is where redbull got quite a bit of there performance from last year as their rake angle was extreme. I think this car is a big improvement over last year aero wise and the nose is the icing on the cake. This is awesome and fills me with confidence for the 2012 season. Looks like they have some clever hidden scoops and deflectors added also to direct air to the floor and spoil the airflow at the back of the car. I think they are aiming to get in front early on and disrupt the airflow at the back as much as possible to negate the effect of the car behinds drs.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 1st February 2012, 12:38

      Dirty are would only effect the following car in the corners.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 1st February 2012, 13:33

        @scribbler What @mike said. In the straights you would benefit from dirty air.

      • scribbler (@scribbler) said on 1st February 2012, 13:35

        Aero has less effect on the cars in the corners unless your talking about ground effect. the biggest effect on straightline speed is aero and drag coefficient. There for if you can spoil the air and effectively pass that dirty air onto the car behind you will slow them down. Now the DRS was introduced to give cars a fighting chance of breaking this cycle of not being able to pass but if you can spoil there clean air by the same net amount as the DRS gives them then your back at stale mate.

        • scribbler (@scribbler) said on 1st February 2012, 13:38

          Im just saying that this car looks like it will make a lot of turbulence for the car behind based on the new channels and deeper rear wing end plates. Of course its only any good if you get in front.

        • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 1st February 2012, 13:39

          @scribbler Dirty air means less drag and less downforce. What do you think slipstreaming is?

          • scribbler (@scribbler) said on 1st February 2012, 13:47

            Yes but thats a narrow sweet spot thats eroded over the years. Im talking exactly as your point suggests that by spoiling the air you break the tow.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 1st February 2012, 13:52

            @scribbler For one, dirty air = slipstream/tow. The more dirty air you have, the slower the car behind is in the corners, but the less drag they will have. The following car will be slower in the corners but quicker on the straights.

            Making turbulence also causes YOU a lot of drag; and will slow your own car down. A LOT.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 1st February 2012, 16:02

            When a car moves it displaces the air behind it.
            Look at the bottom picture at this link.

            Slip streaming occurs when another car occupies this space, because there is less resistance from the air, as it has been displaced, there is less resistance from the air. Therefore the car is able to go faster than it normally would.

            However, for an F1 cars aerodynamics to work effectively it needs that air to be moving across the car.

            You can see here how a wing works (note that this is how an aeroplane wing works, which is the same as the wings on the cars, except upside down.) , as the diagram shows, because the air has to go further across the top of the wing, it moves faster, this, as the air is spread thinner, creates a low pressure zone above the wing. This is what pushes the wing up.

            When the air the wing passes through is disturbed, it means that the wing can’t function as well as it normally would.

            Down the straights this doesn’t matter as you don’t need a particularly high amount of grip but it makes it a lot harder to follow the car through the corners.

            Right, so, I hope that helps. Was a bit long. But I thought it might help.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 1st February 2012, 13:46

          DRS is meant to make up for the dirty air slowing cars down in the corners.

  6. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 1st February 2012, 12:41

    Just wondering, is this the MP4-26 at the beginning of last year?

    I’ve noted the rear-wing improvements & the fact it’s a lot slimmer, but it’s not as innovative as I had hoped by the looks of it.

    I hope it’s gonna be quick!

  7. Tom Bisset (@pianoshizzle) said on 1st February 2012, 12:47

    These overhead photos show off just how ridiculous the wide front wing + skinny rear wing concept is. Bring back mechanical grip please!

  8. KBAutomotive (@kbautomotive) said on 1st February 2012, 12:47

    I think it is pretty clear to see that the MP4-27 has a much tighter rear end than last years car. You can only presume this is to increase the airflow to the diffuser/rear wing to try and claw back some downforce. I guess this is why they have dropped the U shaped sidepods, the majority of the cooling was done in the outer section of the sidepods which made it more difficult to keep the bodywork tight at the back

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 1st February 2012, 13:36

      @kbautomotive the two aren’t really comparable in that sense. The MP4-26 had air go through the channel in the side pods; and the air now is moving around the outside of the side pods. Last year’s car, tight didn’t matter as the fat **** was all low down anyways; where the air WASN’T going.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 1st February 2012, 13:37

      @kbautomotive the two aren’t really comparable in that sense. The MP4-26 had air go through the channel in the side pods; and the air now is moving around the outside of the side pods. Last year’s car, tight didn’t matter as the fat rear end was all low down anyways; where the air WASN’T going.

      • KBAutomotive (@kbautomotive) said on 1st February 2012, 14:45

        I agree, the U sidepods were feeding more air straight through to the rear wing and I think (by McLarens own admission) they were very dependant on exhaust blowing to help feed the diffuser. No EBD means the air has to come from somewhere else, hence the tight coke bottle with undercuts which the MP4-26 did not have or need

  9. KBAutomotive (@kbautomotive) said on 1st February 2012, 12:56

    Regarding rake, I am no expert at aerodynamics but I would think we will see less rake on 2012 cars compared to last year. They were using the exhaust blown diffuser to ‘seal’ the diffuser to the ground with a higher rear ride height than they could otherwise use. I think the cars will still have more rake than in days gone by because the teams have learned the benefit of using rake to keep the front wing low and control the under floor air flow

  10. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 1st February 2012, 13:01

    From the side, the MP4-27 looks to flow so much better than last year’s iteration. I also think that the tightly packaged rear end of this year’s car will really help McLaren, as will the noticeable rake.

    What I’d like to see is the comparisons of the cars from 2009-2012. Because to me, the MP4-27 has some similarities to the 2009 version. Maybe it’s just my mind playing tricks on me though.

    I’d also enjoy the teams to change up the liveries once in a while. It doesn’t have to be anything major, but it can get a little repetitive.

    • JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 1st February 2012, 13:08

      Scratch that, after looking at it. Although some of the features kind of resemble the MP4-24. I’ve found that the MP4-25 does look very similar to this year’s car. (Apart from the fin that attaches to the rear wing)

  11. Lemon (@lemon) said on 1st February 2012, 13:14

    There’s definitely something going on at the rear end that they’re not letting us in on!

  12. Brakius (@brakius) said on 1st February 2012, 13:15

    Not sure why all the chrome hate, might be one of the few things I really love about today’s McLaren. There was a great article in F1 racing back in Oct 2010 about the painting process and how AkzoNobel have managed to reduce the weight and number of coats it takes to prime and paint the car, really makes you appreciate all the finer details some teams put into trying to find an edge.

    My only complaint is stilll with the regs. Dear FIA, please bring back the wider rear wing. Bring it back or do away with wings all together.

    • scribbler (@scribbler) said on 1st February 2012, 13:44

      Reflective surface could potentially be more than just styling and possibly heat reflection for Hot races. Black paint as we know adds to heat soak. Especially when they are just sat on the grid with no airflow.

  13. Mads (@mads) said on 1st February 2012, 13:59

    It looks better then last years car, and I like the new sidepods. They are slimmer and is sort of triangles pointing towards the car, only just very slight, but it gives it an aggressive look.
    Though I hate the exhaust outlet on the back. Oh and that livery.. please get rid of the chrome!
    It makes it impossible to see the lines and curves on the car, and with all the reflections it looks way too bussy.
    A gray, silver or white version would be better. Maybe McLaren orange, just for the sake of it.

  14. interesting to note, supposedly everyone wants higher noses, but this mp4-27′s nose is a bit lower than even the 26. However, the front wing supports are much shorter, keeping the wing higher off the ground, which could potentially swoop more air under the car, even without a high nose. Also, noticed that the floor plate strut behind the front tires looks beefier.

  15. Boomerang said on 1st February 2012, 14:50

    Let’s wait the first test. Car looks great, ‘hope it runs in the same way… Regarding rake, I don’t see the front wing design being in favor of high rake levels as in RB7′s case. The future will provide an answer for sure… Good luck guys from Woking.

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