McLaren’s MP4-28 is outwardly similar to its predecessor but the differences between the two run deeper than might seem immediately apparent.
McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale said the team considered starting the new season with a development of last year’s car, which ended the year as the quickest in the field.
But McLaren believe the MP4-28 will give them better scope for development:
“The hard part is looking at the regulations when you’ve got an evolutionary set of changes, relatively small, do you play conservatively and take your old car and just keep going at that development rate? Or do you do something more ambitious and then recognise you’ve got to split the resources somewhere
“On this occasion we’ve chosen to be ambitious. Looking at the car in thirds we couldn’t have done that front end on this year’s car we couldn’t have done this middle piece or the treatment at the rear end so it was going to be a step. And there’s some risk and some effort in that.
“But we believe that rather than run out of gas by the middle of the season that opens up much greater development opportunity to us. That’s what we’ve staked it on and so far the results are very promising. So I’m looking forward to the coming season.”
The MP4-27 was launched with a low, sloping nose but this was replaced with a taller version after four races. McLaren also introduced a new front wing design at the penultimate race of 2012 but the launch car seen today was sporting the previous design.
It is common practice for teams to present their new cars in earlier aerodynamic specifications. Neale said the car will be revised in time for the later tests at the Circuit de Catalunya.
“We know it’s not the fastest car we can make. The car we will take to Barcelona is a good step forwards. There is still plenty of time for us to invent things both in design and in aerodynamics for us to be able to take to Australia. And so it will go on.”
The comparison images will not have been taken from the same angles and so some differences between the cars will appear distorted.
More pictures and video of the McLaren MP4-28:
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