Tuesday, March 8, 2011

F1: 2011 Constructor McLaren

(McLaren MP4-26 – Source: adamcooperf1.com)

Launch Date/Venue: February 4 - Berlin
Name: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Base: Woking, Surrey; United Kingdom
Former Team Name: McLaren
Constructors Titles: 8 (1974, 1984-85, 1988-91, 1998)
Drivers Titles: 12 (1974, 1976, 1984-86, 1988-91, 1998-99, 2008)
2010 Standings: 2nd; 454-points
2010 Chassis: MP4-25

Team Principal: Martin Whitmarsh
Technical Directors: Paddy Lowe, Neil Oatley
Seasons: 46 (1966-Present)
Debut Race: 1966 Monaco GP
Races: 685
Wins: 169
Poles: 149

Model: MP4-26
Engine: Mercedes Benz FO 108 (2011-spec)
((Upgraded for KERS installation)
Gearbox: McLaren

TECH: MP4-26 Exhaust Bending

No. 3: Lewis Hamilton; Britain (UK)
No. 4: Jenson Button; Britain (UK)
Test/Reserve Driver) Gary Paffett

Originally founded in 1966 by the late, great Bruce McLaren as Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd, as many will know the team was taken over by Ron Dennis in 1980 with the backing of Phillip Morris. As this Uber-successful racing team ranks only second in all time glory to la Scuderia..

Yet, interestingly, in what Professor (Steve) Matchett considers more important then the Driver’s Title, McLaren hasn’t won the coveted Constructor’s (Title) laurels since 1998... With its latest Drivers crown being acquired in 2008 on the races final lap in Sao Paolo, Brazil...

I only bring this up since although the last year saw the team run the last two World Champions – Jenson Button & Lewis Hamilton, the team struggled to get the MP4-25 up to speed... As I seem to recall them creating a brand new floor/lower half of the chassis, albeit ‘JENSE won two races early on and “Louise ‘JAGUAR” (Hamilton) ultimately won a further three races. (Turkey win aided by Red Bull’s drivers colliding...) The duo finished positions P4-5 in the Drivers Title chase.

The team had another “Wonky” launch ceremony, this time taking place in Berlin, with apparently the car being bolted together on stage...

Now comes word that this year’s MP4-26 which is reportedly running L-shaped Sidepods in hopes of recouping lost ‘Aero due to the latest rules revision – whilst playing the exhaust exit game is suffering in performance once again – yet only time will tell if this is indeed true, as the Woking based firm always has a knack of bouncing back...

McLaren launches MP4-26

McLaren MP4-26: Pictures

McLaren MP4-26: Launch notes