McLaren MP4-28 launch: First pictures and video

2013 F1 carsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The McLaren MP4-28 was launched today by the team at the McLaren Technology Centre.

The MP4-28 will be raced by Jenson Button and new team mate Sergio Perez, who joins the team from Sauber.

“With Jenson and Checo, and this fantastic-looking new car, I believe we?re extremely well prepared for another competitive season,” said team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

“Jenson is driving better than ever ?ǣ he?s the most experienced driver in Formula 1, but he makes every ounce of that experience count: he?s peerless in his ability to read a race and one of the very fastest drivers out there. He?s a consummate professional, too, and will revel in working hard to drive this team through the year.

“Checo joins us after a sensational 2012 season and he?s immediately proved that he?s intelligent, modest, hard-working and, make no mistake; very, very quick. Of course, there?ll be a learning curve to overcome as he gets used to our organisation, particularly during the hustle and bustle of the early-season race weekends, but he understands that we are placing no pressure on him.

“This is an exciting time for the whole team. In our 50th anniversary season, I want Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to underline why we are the finest grand prix team in the world.”

As McLaren reach their 50th anniversary this year the team displayed their racing heritage before unveiling their latest Formula One car. An M8D Can-Am sportscar began the parade of cars, followed by a 1974 M23 of the type Emerson Fittipaldi won the world championship with.

An MP4-4 from 1988, as driven by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, was followed by the 1995 Le Mans-winning F1 GTR.

The pre-launch show concluded with two Mercedes-powered cars: an MP4-13 from 1998 and the MP4-23 Lewis Hamilton used to win the 2008 world championship.

McLaren MP4-28 launch pictures

McLaren MP4-28 launch video

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Images ?? F1 Fanatic, McLaren/Hoch Zwei

128 comments on “McLaren MP4-28 launch: First pictures and video”

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  1. It looks the same.
    But I bet it isn’t under the skin

    1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
      31st January 2013, 11:38


    2. If you look at the image side by side it has a lot of differences.

    3. The front quarter is very different if you look.

  2. Tough to see from the first image, but did they just rollout the MP4-27 again?

    1. There’s a few minor bodywork changes, most notably around the sidepods, and there’s talk of a new suspension configuration, but that remains to be confirmed.

      But even if it is nothing more than the MP4-27 that raced in Brazil, that’s hardly a bad starting point, is it?

      1. Yeah, the new image is much better. High nose with modesty panel, front pull rod suspension, tighter rear end. Looks good.

        1. @geemac – There is no modesty panel.

          The 2012 regulations were introduced to lower noses for safety reasons (case in point: Liuzzi and Schumacher’s crash in Abu Dhabi), in preparation for the 2014 regulations, which will make lower monocoques mandatory. The nose shape of the McLaren MP4-27 is closer to what the FIA is aiming for in 2014. The FIA never expected teams to use stepped noses, but they did because it was the easiest solution. They got all the benefits of a higher monocoque, whilst fulfilling the safety criteria of the lower nose. So the FIA introduced the modesty palt for 2013 to cover it up.

          However, McLaren never used a stepped nose in 2012, because the trend in their designs was already leaning towards using lower noses and monocoques. They’ve got a huge headstart on everyone else in 2014, because this is their third year with a lower nose. They don’t have a modesty plate on the 2013 car, because they never used a stepped nose in 2012, and it makes no sense to design a car with a stepped nose for 2013 if the 2014 regualtions will remove stepped noses entirely.

          1. Yeah I know all that, but thanks for the explaination anyway! I read a tweet saying it had a modesty panel from some one respectable. The first images weren’t all that clear but it looked plausable so I took the plunge and commented that it had one. Seemed like a legitimate assumption but after looking at the images again it clearly is just the same lower nose design that McLaren have been using for the last few years.

          2. Apparently Scarbsf1 Tweeted that. Which surprises me, because he of all people would have known that McLaren have been using low noses for a decade now (with the possible exception of the MP4-25), and that the 2014 regulations call for low noses, and so McLaren abandoning that design principle for a season only to go back to it next year makes no sense.

          3. to me the nose looks higher than last year, and they have pull rod suspension. i’ll take a punt and say that here is a modesty panel.

            i dont get the argument that its not worth it to implement a high nose for just one season. 2014 rule changes are so big that all cars will be designed from scratch from the ground up. they will not share almost any parts with this years cars. i dont think that the fact that McLaren have been using lower noses than everyone is a significant advantage, given all the variables.

          4. jhmvsdfnhgfds
            31st January 2013, 12:26

            I think it does have a modesty panel, the nose looks too high not to. If you look at the plane through the front axle, the nose is level with the top of the tyres, similar to other teams’ cars. The Mp4-27 was noticably lower at this point.

          5. Fully agree with vjanik, and @adamf184 ‘s comment below @prisoner-monkeys: not surprised you know better, but the nose is raised to max. bulkhead height, to look like it does and still be legal, there has to be a modesty panel above the structural nose.

          6. Yes bosyber, vjanik. The only thing I can thing of is people expected it to be an actual panel as its described as non structural. However it is fully integrated into the nose and paint job, you wont see it until perhaps a crash where it should break off and leave the crash tested nose structure to do its job.

          7. @prisoner-monkeys – there is a modesty panel, it is just very well disguised by the paintwork. Here is a picture that was originally posted on Ted Kravitz’s twitter and I trust his and Scarbsf1’s judgement – they are after all F1 journalists and aren’t renowned for making stuff up.

          8. Amusing that @prisoner-monkeys assumes he knows better than Scarbs on this topic!

        2. Stuart Fenton
          31st January 2013, 11:47

          What modesty panel?

          1. There isn’t one…an incorrect assumption on my part.

          2. An incorrect assumption on my part. I was mislead by a tweet by ScarbsF1 (Craig Scarborough) which said it had one. He’s an amazing journo on the technical side so I thought it was safe to follow his lead!

          3. GeeMac you and Scarbs are quite right. There is a modesty panel. You cant see it as that is the whole point!! The chassis has been raised slightly. Last year had a blended step there isnt even that now…..due to panel hiding it. 100%

          4. Also avoiding the step is no adventage for 2014. The current regs are nose cone under 550mm, with the rest of the footwell of the monocoque as high as 625mm. 2014 nose tip is 185mm and the front bulkhead lowered to 500mm. Much much lower nose tips and fair bit lower bulkhead. Totally new concept that Mclaren would gain no advantage in if they avoided the step this year.

          5. jhmvsdfnhgfds
            31st January 2013, 13:43

            Adam Cooper has seen an unpainted nose, with step, and no modesty panel


          6. Thanks for clearing that up @adamf184

    2. It is definitely noticeable from the side profile that the nose is higher than the MP4-27 and is perhaps high enough that the only reason there isn’t a step is because of the use of a modesty panel. I will try to obtain a rough height of the chassis and the nose and from that I’ll be better qualified to judge if a modesty panel has been used.

      1. But even if it is nothing more than the MP4-27 that raced in Brazil, that’s hardly a bad starting point, is it?

        You mean the rocketship made out which broke down every second race?

  3. It basically looks the same as last year!
    Shame it’s not Orange to celebrate 50 years of Bruce McLaren.

    1. I hope the same, maybe if they want to maintain the blings on the body, they should get a copper shine livery :D
      Lotus has better launching but no one knows which the best car :p

    2. Shame it’s not Orange to celebrate 50 years of Bruce McLaren.

      A shame?

      I’d say it’s fortunate – McLaren orange and Vodafone red would clash horribly.

      1. that colour clash, is why it would be so great

        1. People seemed to love the HRT last year with its vomit beije, white and red or whatever it was. People said it looked great! Personally, it offended my eyes. Most disgusting car I’ve seen in ages.

          1. It was red, white and gold. Not beige. The beige was used in the team’s logo, which was beige and rose pink on a white background (but never appeared on the car like that).

          2. Still looked repulsive.

        2. @baldgye – I might be colour-blind, but even I know that’s a bad idea. The colour clash would not “be so great”. It would be a wretched eyesore.

          1. hahaha yeah… it would be pretty great…

        3. @ baldgye it would be horrible, but if they were able to replace vodafone colours with orange, it’d be pretty great – see here.
          otherwise im pretty tired of mclaren livery.

      2. maybe they should change their sponsor to Orange.

    3. When they first started pulling the cover off I thought they had gone with a matte looking darker grey, but it was just the light at the front of the car.

  4. Looks like some interesting shapes on the sidepods and the radiator ducts. They look rather “pinched”?

  5. Apart from the sidepods I’m guessing that is just the mp4-27. Mclaren trying to trick the oposition?

    1. @force-maikel I believe every launch car won’t be the one we will see racing. As 2013 spec are very similar to 2012, they have worked to refine the car, and during launch people can get quite close to take pics which could please other teams.
      It’s probably why we didn’t see the Lotus with the ‘Device’ at the launch while apparently they will run it. Probably the same story at McLaren, showing the general aspect of the car but without every bit of detail …

      1. I would take a good bet that the rear difuser is a dummy part and the wings are from last years cars. They are hardly going to allow detailed photos of these important parts before the season even starts….

  6. I loved the whole lead up to the reveal with previous cars! It looks tighter towards the back(a lot of floor showing) and the side pod shape has changed a bit. Jenson sounds very excited about it and so am I!

    1. I also don’t see a pushrodd in that front suspension. That being changed makes sen se as the whole nose is lifted up. As you say @tomand95, interesting change to sice pod front radiator openings.

    2. Loved the old cars being driven in. Special thanks to whoever drove the F1 GT car came in much faster and louder than everyone else.

  7. Why are people surprised that the cars looks the same as last year? I saw alot of comments about this on the Lotus too.

    The rules havnt changed, thus, the cars wont change. Other than to refine last years ideas.

    1. +1 x 10! Reminds me of a Bon Jovi song “It’s all the same, only the names will change “

    2. +1 x 10 …..Reminds me of a Bon Jovi track ‘It’s all the same, only the names will change ” or maybe a few stickers

      1. @funkyf1 I think you would be referring to “Wanted Dead or Alive”. Good track.

    3. Agreed. I don’t know why so many people seems surprised the cars look “the same” as last year. It makes perfect sense considering that, aside for a few things, the rules are the same. Not to mention that the cars they show off at the launch are only development versions of what will actually make it on the gird. And, on top of this, 2014 will bring about big changes, which means most money and effort is probably going in that direction.

      All in all I’m perfectly satisfied with a refined version of last year’s car. And, of course, none of that ugly stepped nose.

  8. Was hoping for more of a Throwback livery but alas it’s not :(

    1. I was hoping for that too! I had my fingers crossed for red and white (especially as the drivers overalls are this colour) but unfortunately, they are persisting with the “Mclaren” (ahem, mercedes) chrome. Such a shame

  9. lol…thats the car of the last year.

  10. oh yeah! :)

  11. The exhaust area and sidepod intakes look quite different compared to last year. Just hoping that this is the year that it takes Button to his second title!

  12. Pull rod front suspension!!!!

  13. No turning vanes, old front wing, old exhaust set up… I imagine the car we see thought testing will develop quite significantly. It does look tidier at the back though, and the sidepods look quite aggressively shaped too.

  14. Where’s the Telmex sponsorship?? I guess Pérez isn’t a pay driver anymore hehe

    1. I guess the place where it says “Tooned” will be for Telmex in future. For now it’s for Lewis to read on the track!

  15. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    31st January 2013, 11:25

    The nose looks a bit like the MP4-25, in the way that it dips down towards the front.

  16. Anyone seen the presentation ?, Button looked a bit insecure and the whole introduction was a bit awkward

  17. William Brierty
    31st January 2013, 11:25

    Should’ve been called the MP4-JB! In fact the launch should’ve ended with: The MP4-JB – Never knowingly rear-limited. Achingly beautiful though.

  18. It looks very similar to last year’s 27 model, but it will be interesting to see more close up images of the side pods, rear wing and other parts. I agree, more floor showing towards the rear, etc too Jenson does seem happy about it too so we will see.

  19. Anyone notice is the lead up to the revealing on the live stream one of the hosts said the Aus GP was in South Australia and then said something about Perez coming from South America?

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