In a unique event attended by hundreds of fans, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
this morning brought together members of the public to construct and reveal its
new MP4-26 chassis, the team's challenger for the 2011 FIA Formula 1 World
Revealed at Berlin's Potsdamer Platz, the famous public
space that sits on the fringe of the old Berlin Wall, the car was built up by
dozens of Vodafone competition-winners, fans and customers carrying components
into the arena, where the new chassis was gradually pieced together in front of
This culminated in McLaren's race drivers - 2008 world
champion Lewis Hamilton and 2009 world champion Jenson Button - assembling the
very final pieces to reveal the completed racecar.
McLaren team principal
Martin Whitmarsh said that the car would be developed aggressively before the
start of the season - and confirmed that the team gave little away about its
design in Berlin, beyond its U-shaped sidepods.
"Be warned, you haven't
seen it all," he said during a media conference. "I think there are some really
interesting bits on the car that you can see. But there are some bits we have
hidden from you and our competition.
"Naturally, we have not shown you
and our competitors our full hand today. Still, I think there are enough
interesting things to see. I think it's a beautifully packaged car. I'm brimming
with excitement, I think it's a fantastic car."
different from last year's race-winning chassis, MP4-26 features a range of
aerodynamic features designed to take advantage of new rules significantly
limiting the amount of downforce that can be derived from the car's underbody.
These most notably include distinctive U-shaped sidepods - to feed air more
efficiently to the car's rear-end - and a drag reduction system (active
rear-wing), introduced for 2011 to increase the potential for overtaking.
Beneath the skin, the car houses an all-new electric KERS hybrid system.
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, along with its engine partners Mercedes-Benz High
Performance Engines, became the first-ever Formula 1 team to win a grand prix
using a hybrid device in 2009, and this new system is expected to further refine
that race-winning package.
The team continues for 2011 with the proven
driver pairing of world champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Between
them, they helped Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to five grands prix victories, three
one-two results and second overall in the 2010 constructors' championship.
Following today's launch, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' Gary Paffett will shake
down MP4-26 during a private session at the Idiada Proving Ground in Spain on
Tuesday February 8 before the team begins track testing at the Circuito de Jerez
on Thursday February 10.
MP4-26 Technical Specifications
Monocoque: McLaren-moulded carbonfibre composite incorporating
front and side impact structures
Front suspension: Inboard torsion bar/damper
system operated by pushrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement
Rear suspension: Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pullrod and bell
crank with a double wishbone arrangement
Electronics: McLaren Electronic
Systems. Including chassis control, engine control, data acquisition, dashboard,
alternator, sensors, data analysis and telemetry.
composite. Separate engine cover, sidepods and floor. Structural nose with
intergral front wing Driver-operated drag reduction system [active rear wing
Tyres: Pirelli P Zero
Race wheels: Enkei
Master cylinders: Akebono
Batteries: GS Yuasa Corporation
Steering: McLaren power-assisted
Instruments: McLaren Electronic Systems
Paint solutions: AkzoNobel Car Refinishes using Sikkens Products
Type: Mercedes-Benz FO 108Y
Capacity: 2.4 litres
Maximum rpm: 18,000
Bank angle: 90°
Piston bore maximum: 98mm
Fuel: ExxonMobil High Performance Unleaded (5.75% bio fuel)
Spark plugs: NGK racing spark plugs specially designed for Mercedes-Benz F1
Lubricants: Mobil 1 - combining greater performance, protection and
cooling with increased economy and lower emissions
Weight: 95kg (minimum FIA
ESS: Integrated energy storage cells and power
Power: 60 kW
carbon-fibre composite. Integral rear impact structure
Gears: Seven forward
and one reverse
Gear selection: McLaren seamless shift, hand-operated
Clutch: Carbon/carbon, hand-operated