At the McLaren launch on Friday

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Hamilton and Kovalainen reveal the MP4-24 at last year's McLaren launch
Hamilton and Kovalainen reveal the MP4-24 at last year's McLaren launch

Of all the F1 car launches this year the McLaren launch on Friday is the one I’m most looking forward to.

Why? Because I’m going to be there – it’ll be the first F1 car launch I’ve attended.

I’ve had a talk to McLaren about what will happen on the day and wanted to get your thoughts on what you’re most interested in seeing from the event.

Anyone who struggled to find a live feed for the Mercedes livery launch yesterday will be glad to know McLaren are streaming their launch live – here’s the link for where the stream will be.

The stream will include coverage of the unveiling and of the press conference after the launch with Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Martin Whitmarsh, Jonathan Neale and Paddy Lowe.

There are many interesting changes at McLaren at the moment including their all-British, all-world champion driver line-up, the change of relationship with Mercedes and, of course, the new car.

But what are you most interested in finding out the team as they head into 2010? If you’ve got any suggestions for questions to the drivers or the top men at the team, let me know in the comments.

Oh, and I’ll keep an eye out for geej77 who won a place at the launch through the McLaren fan club – lucky thing!

A list of all confirmed launches, tests and every 2010 F1 Grand Prix session can be found on the F1 Fanatic Google Calendar

Image (C)

77 comments on “At the McLaren launch on Friday”

  1. Can I come with you, hun? xxxx

    1. Sorry – I had a few offers over Twitter from people wanting to be cameramen/personal assistants/bodyguards but I’m afraid I’ve not got a ‘plus one’ invite :-)

      1. I’m tiny. I could hide in your bag.
        Or your pocket. lol

      2. can you ask lewis whether he thinks alonso and massa will get on?
        he’s the best person to ask!

        1. Or the worst person depending upon how you look at it :P
          Question to anyone: Mclaren will they really be building their opwn engines and when will that process start? We’ve ahd all the hints that it will happen but has there been any confirmation? They probably will build their own engine but it would be nice to see the timeline and how the eventual and full break away from Mercedes will go.

          1. Steph 90

            I can give you a scoop here. Which keith might like to confirm on Friday. Although a poorly kept secret. The MP4/12C V8 engine will be cast and built in by Ricardo in Shoreham East Sussex. It’s McLaren’s design and I understand manufacture will transfer to Woking technical centre once the new building is complete. Therefore, the logical conclusion will be that McLaren are definately going into the engine building game. A frozen F1 engine design would be relatively easy to make. Particularly as most of the design is in the regulations – i.e. no of cylinders materials, v-angle, weight and crankshaft position. Ricardo have a history of high performance engines they have built superbike engines for years and built the JCB fastest Diesel engine world record.

          2. the Sri Lankan
            26th January 2010, 22:44

            didntmclaren look into purchasing toyotas engine maufacturing equipment a while ago?

          3. … and if they’re indeed building their own engine, would they try and get a B-team within the next few years, and trial-run the new engine there?

          4. Getting way ahead of myself and this isn’t really a question for Mclaren yet just a thought but what about supplying other teams? Michael S makes a good point (they could also try to put any young drivers there too). But it could also change the dynamic of the grid. Manufacturers may have really been hurt and clearly it is taking a lot of time to get over but the big names of could really taking advantage, imagine Ferrari, Mercedes and Mclaren in an engine war :P Maybe engine rules will have changed by then as well.

        2. what a rubbish question

          1. How is that a rubbish question?

          2. On the contrary, it’s an excellent question. The breakup of McMerc is rooted in the refusal of the Sons of Ron to work on supercars as an “in house shop” for Mercedes, the way AMG is run. What happens with engine supply 4 or 5 years down the line is vital for how competitive McLaren are – don’t forget it’s largely thanks to unreliable Mercedes or Peugot power that they missed out on success in the 90’s and early 00’s. Kimi would have been a McLaren WDC apart from engine failures. So, where are McLaren going to source engines in the future? Do they really intend to build their own?

          3. Thanks Del Boy for that scoop :)
            Thanks Hairs that is exactly what I’ve been thinking about :)

          4. thanks theo, go join planetf1 if u dont want to contribute.

          5. Which question are you referring too?

      3. Rats (though predictable enough). I live so close to the factory I could walk there on Friday! :(

        1. You could, but no-one will be there – the launch is at Vodafone’s headquarters near Reading!

          1. Sweet lets break in take loads of photos and send them to Ferrari.

    2. Can I come with you, hun? xxxx


  2. Keith, stupid question really, but are you going to bring your camera to take some awesome pictures?

    1. Not a stupid question. Only TV channels are allowed to do filming at the launch but there are photography services available on the day. Will have to play that one by ear a bit.

  3. Who’s going to update the site as soon as it happens? Mobile internet Keith? :-/

    1. I’ll be reporting as best I can live from the event, I’ve got a mobile internet set-up.

  4. CounterStrike
    26th January 2010, 18:04

    Man I want your job!

  5. Perhaps ask each of the drivers how many points they think they will beat the other by?

  6. Yep, this is the BIG one.

  7. You deserve to be going to events like this. This is the best F1 site after all!

    What percentage is this an all new car? Is it a clean sheet design or is it a bit of an evolution from the 24?
    Obviously the rules changes would mean a fair bit has to be brand new design.

    My random question would be why they went to a steering wheel dash midway through last season…always wondered after they had a proper dash for so long!!

    1. Very good questions stig :)Be nice to know how they eliminated the flaws with the 09 car too

  8. Could you ask if anyone is scared of Ron? :-)

  9. The dash on the car itself seems to be a Adrian Newey design feature (the RB5 has it now) but I agree with thestig84, ask that question.

  10. theRoswellite
    26th January 2010, 18:50

    Have a good time Keith, I certainly think you should begin to have a carte blanche invitation to almost anything F1, that is sure to come as this site grows…very well deserved.

    You might ask Martin what design element of the car gave them the most trouble…no disclosures, just general comments.

    Oh, and can anyone disclose how this car stands relevant to the minimum weight figure, and the amount of ballast available.

    They may find these questions too revealing, but we can only try.

    Again, have fun, as we say in the US…you’re the man!

    1. It is my understanding that FOM still does very little to acknowledge bloggers. Unless you are in print/TV media it is very difficult to gain F1 press credentials.

      Any softening on their long term stance, Keith?

  11. hello,
    bit of a bland question but, i know the drivers have some input into the car design as a machine, but do they have any input into the aesthetic appearence of them?

  12. I am wondering how many elements of the 2009 RBR McLaren has taken and designed into their car. Will you be able to tell from looking at the car during the launch event ? I would imagine for sure the double diffuser and perhaps some of the front aero parts/concepts.

    1. Unless they also copy the pull-rod suspension, it’d make more sense to copy Brawn/Mercedes’ double diffuser, but perhaps copy the RBR nose, as Ferrari is supposed to have done.

  13. I can’t really think of any good questions at the moment, I suppose the main thing from car launches is seeing the new car and any new livery.

    You will only be able to come up with some questions once you have seen the car, such as if it looks like last years Red Bull, as a few of the 2010 cars are rumoured to.

    When Button signed one of the main points of discussion was about Hamilton’s and Button’s contrasting driving styles, so you could ask if this has brought about any issues and if generally how signing a new driver affects the design process overall.

  14. congrats Keith!
    I don’t know if you will be able to ask questions. but I have some suggestions:
    1: To what extend is having experience in running a more rearward weight distribution last year due to KERS an advantage with the new no refuelling rules?
    2: with refuelling banned and no race fuel qualifying, will fuel consumption be more or less important than last year?

  15. Just one: Deal, or No Deal?

  16. Ask Jenson if he cut all ties with Brawn, or does he still have a phone number for that hot blond girl who was celebrating with Eddie Jordan in the garage in Brazil?

    1. It was his sister.

  17. Not really a question, just interested to see how Mclaren are going to cope with Mercedes who have already launched a livery that is different from a traditional Mclaren, but not by a lot…

  18. Bigbadderboom
    26th January 2010, 20:28

    First I hope you enjoy yourself Keith, but I’m sure you will, like a kid in a sweet shop.

    The best questions will be the ones they dodge, but I would be interested in aero questions that you can only ask after the unveiling. Have a good look and try to get an inside line on floor/diffuser design, I wouldn’t be suprised to see some extremely innovative aero solutions this year and normally McLaren are one of the first to offer these.
    For the drivers try and spot some body language and ask about driver team orders, look out for Jenson looking at his feet and Lewis taking a deep breath before he answers, and maybe Martin Whitmarsh suddenly looking at his watch! Try and get a read on them!!!!!
    Good luck mate and enjoy

  19. I have a question for the mclaren team :)

    Do the drivers think that banning double diffusers is a good idea or is it the circuits that need to be redesigned?

    And also this might sound stupid, but do the designers think this car can be as “evolutionary” as the RB5 was last year in its design?

    (This is for both jenson and lewis)
    Do they think that this is a new start/beginning for Mclaren, a long lasting reltionship with the two drivers instead fo the last two years?

    I have soooo many questions to askk!!

    Does jenson like going back to all the coorporate work and interviews that he didn’t really need to do last year at brawn?

  20. Maybe you could get Jenson to stand behind Lewis and then ask him if he likes the view.

    Is Jenson looking forward to driving for Renault in 2011?

    Has Martin Whitmarsh ever wanted to be interesting?

    How does Lewis manage to combine having a personality with driving for McLaren?

    1. He doesn’t. Whitmarsh has more of a personality than Hamilton.

      1. That’s a damning indictment.

  21. Take a good picture of the back-part of the car ;-)

    Congrats. :-)

  22. Will i be able to watch the launch after its finished (Like on this website or not..)
    (Just short videos)

    When is it exactly as well???

    1. The live stream starts at 11am. Not sure if you can watch if after it has finished… although no doubt a few videos will appear on YouTube

      1. ah right

        i’ll have a look afterwards then! :P


    2. might catch keith interviewing lewis!

  23. Keith – do you really think that they will reveal the car as it will be tested? I know that they can try to contain photographs of certain portions of the car, but other than using cloths to hide portions the easiest way to prevent early leaks is by not installing any new parts. There are no rules saying the launch car has to conform to the 2010 tech. regs.

    1. Think you’ve answered your own question there! Yes, I expect we’ll see an early aerodynamic treatment as we have in the past. For any team this could be because some parts aren’t finished yet, they’re bring kept secret or – one must wonder – because they’d make some sponsor logos too difficult to see.

      For example, we didn’t see many close-up shots of double diffusers until testing began last year.

  24. I’d imagine they’d launch the car in near-enough 2010 spec bodywork (engine cover etc) but with older spec wings painted in new colours. I doubt the diffuser etc will be current…

  25. I can’t wait for the Mclaren launch I will be attending for the first time ever!! I won the access via the Mclaren fan club but thought loads of other F1 fans would be going too. Hopefully it will be a great day but I can’t help thinking we will just be left in a corner miles away from the car and drivers, but still very grateful to be going!!! I ve never won anything before and it feels good!!

  26. You could ask them that based on the numbers from aero testing etc, how confident are you that this car will bring you success in 2010 and will be competitive from the start.

  27. I’m curious to know how many victories they predict they can achieve in a season where Red Bull/Merc/Ferrari and McLaren are being tipped to be winners.

    Alonso does that annual prediction :) If they were all competitive I’d expect winning more than 4 races is very optimistic!

  28. Serious question.

    To Martin Whitmarsh:

    In the last 7 years F1 has seen superfluous changes to the sporting rules made almost every year in an attempt to coerce a greater entertainment rating out of what has become known as “The Show”. In the past we’ve had to put up such ill thought out changes as single lap qualifying with race fuel, last year there was an attempt to introduce medals and we still have the two tyre compounds per race rule. Now we face more extraneous sporting rules with amongst others the possibility that the top ten cars will have to start on old tyres. How do the teams (and the FIA) continue to justify making these changes that the majority of fans feel to be needless and unnecessary and basically ruin the sport?

    1. Yes, please ask this. What the hell is going on in there heads with all this changes. Why don’t they just let qualifying be qualifying like the good old days. This new rule about used tyres is annoying to the fans.

  29. HounslowBusGarage
    27th January 2010, 8:39

    You might ask something about KERS. Does MacLaren regret the resources invested in it last year, or does the team recouping that investment if KERS returns in 2011.
    Apart from that Keith, well done and have great day!

  30. Will McLaren produce their own engine in the near future?

    How will be their relationship with Mercedes now?

  31. I’m looking forward to this too. Shame Button will be there, but looking forward to Lewis’ interview.

    1. It’s a shame Button will be there? At the launch of the car he will drive for this season… yes… that’s a right shame. /rollseyes

    2. Someone needs to climb out of Lewis’s rear end, and I’m not talking about his car ;)

  32. Congrats Keith
    Well deserved. I am so jealous!

    Pls take as many pics of Lewis as possible. He’s such a cutie!

  33. If you get the opportunity to ask Whitmarsh about FOTA issues ask him why the powers that be in F1 keep referring to it as The Show and does he realise how much some of us fans dislike it, also does he see a time when there will be no major rule changes for at least one season and end to gimmicks to try and spice up racing such as forcing drivers to pit.

    A light hearted question for the drivers would be how do they think they will do in the 2010 For Sure Championship.

  34. Is it true that Lewis has a new coach? What makes Adam Costanzo?

  35. I am just waiting to see what livery the cars will carry now, and if they have anything apart from ‘powered by Mercedes’ on the body…..

  36. 1. Since fuel consumption and efficiency is sooo important this year, please ask Paddy Lowe what properties do they monitor in their fuel flow sensors–volume or mass, etc. And what contributing factors do they monitor(temp, line pressure, viscosity, vapor pressures? Who is their fuel guru? The engineers will appreciate your question. It gives them a chance to spout out some nerd info.

    2. Would Jensen and Lewis ever consider sharing a suite to help save money and bond a bit more(assuming no WAGs along)?

    Keith, asking other-than-normal brain-dead journalist questions might afford you more access down the road.

  37. I would like to see whether this car is a millimetre example of what turns up on the 1st. And will beardy be rid of the beard.

  38. Nice one Keith. Call me strange but I just want to see this years car, and not be cheated by a silly fake mock-up that Mercedes embarrisingly produced…

  39. Pleeeeeese a return to traditional McClaren Orange!! This will start the “ll McClaren” process, which when we get the engine will make for a really interesting situation with direct Ferrari comparisons.
    Keith if you see Max at the launch keep an eye out for his red tape measure!

  40. Ask them what its like to be so awesome…

  41. If u look on the website it looks like they have goen for quite a vigorous red bull horns thingy. It looks ghost like i think.

    Anyone agree?

    1. guess i was wrong :P

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