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Posts Tagged ‘mclaren’

Formula One at Bathurst

March 25th, 2011 No comments

Two years ago I wondered what it would be like to see Formula One cars lapping the Mount Panorama circuit at Bathurst so I was happy to see McLaren take their championship winning MP4-23 to the Mountain as a promotional exercise with Vodafone.

The official lap record set by a V8 Falcon is 2:08.4651. Jenson button took the McLaren around in about 1:48.

Categories: Circuits Tags: , ,

McLaren launch MP4-25

January 29th, 2010 3 comments

McLaren launched their new F1 car, the MP4-25, at Vodafone’s headquarters in Newbury today.

2010 marks the first time since the 1989 pairing of Senna and Prost that McLaren will have an all world champion driver lineup and as the 2008 champion and the 2009 champion pulled back the cover, Lewis Hamilton remarked how different the MP4-25 looks from its predecessor.

The significantly larger fuel tank has forced an aerodynamic overhaul, the most noticeable feature of which is the long shark-fin that stretches all the way back to the rear wing – similar to last year’s Red Bull RB5. McLaren’s chief engineer, Tim Goss:

The dorsal fin is partly to accommodate the additional cooling duct and partly a logical development of the high-downforce wing we ran last year at races like Monaco, which feeds air more efficiently to the rear wing upper element.

The car looks stunning; even more like a rocket-ship than last year’s MP4-24. McLaren have retained the striking silver finish, despite Mercedes GP also adopting the same colour. While I like the carbon fiber touches on the Mercedes, I think the McLaren has the better finish of the two.

But the thing I like most about all the cars this year is the uncovered wheels. Can’t wait to see those glowing discs again!

Images: McLaren

Categories: Cars Tags: ,

Jenson Button signs for McLaren

November 18th, 2009 No comments

Jenson Button, Singapore, 2009Jenson Button has officially signed a multi-year deal to race at McLaren from 2010.

The pairing of Button and Hamilton will create a kind of British Dream Team that will see for the first time two British World Champions driving together since Graham Hill and Jim Clark at Lotus in 1968.

It seems that Brawn just couldn’t come up with the extra cash Button felt he was worth as a World Champion although the press release puts a slightly different spin on things. Button said:

It’s always a difficult decision to leave a team when you’ve been there for so long. But life is all about challenges – and, most important of all, it’s about challenging yourself. So, although I won the World Championship with Brawn GP last year, and I’ll never forget that, I was always adamant that I wanted to continue to set myself fresh challenges.

I don’t think it is just about money anyway. Although Brawn started 2009 miles ahead of any other team this was mostly down to a big head start in development and the fact that everyone was starting from a clean slate.

McLaren improved more than any other team this year and Button rightly feels they will have one of the most competitive cars on the track in 2010. And while McLaren might not have been around for as long as Ferrari, they are one of the most succesful teams in Formula One with their own distinguished history. After visiting the McLaren headquarters Button said:

McLaren is one of the greats of world sport, and its achievements and list of past champions read like a Who’s Who of Formula 1 – Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and of course my new team-mate Lewis Hamilton. I’ve followed the McLaren team ever since I was a small boy, and it feels unbelievable to finally be a part of it.

When I visited the McLaren Technology Centre earlier this month, it wasn’t simply the technical resources and the incredible standards of excellence that impressed me. No, I was equally struck by the ambition, the motivation and the winning spirit that flow through everybody there. And then there’s the team’s epic history: put it this way, the trophy cabinets seem to stretch for miles.

Whether Button will integrate with the team more successfully than the 2006 World Champion did remains to be seen. Team boss Martin Whitmarsh said:

It has always been our policy to employ the two very best possible drivers – and, in Jenson and Lewis, we feel we not only have the fastest pairing on the 2010 grid, but also the two most complete, professional and dedicated drivers in Formula 1.

Moreover, I’m confident that we’ll be able to successfully balance and harness Jenson’s and Lewis’s complementary skill-sets.

This also means Hekki Kovalainen is now out of a job which is a shame. Heikki can be very quick and deserves to get a seat at another team. Could we see him partnering Kubica at Renault?

Categories: Drivers Tags: , ,

Is Kimi going back to McLaren?

September 20th, 2009 1 comment

Kimi Raikkonen, Australia, 2005According to an article in the Mirror, Kimi Raikkonen has already signed an agreement to race for McLaren next year — as long as Ferrari will pay him his £30m salary for 2010.

It seems certain that Fernando Alonso will drive for Ferrari in 2010 which means the Scuderia will have way more drivers than they need; 5 if you include Michael Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella (7 if you also include Badoer and Gene.)  The trouble for Ferrari is that Raikkonen still has another year left of his contract.

There are always lots of rumours this time of year and I wouldn’t necessarily place too much confidence in the Mirror, especially as the article says:

Paddock sources say the Finn, 29, has signed an outline agreement to return to the car he won the world title with in 2007.

Raikkonen did indeed win the Championship in 2007 but I seem to remember him driving a Red Car that year…

This tweet from McLaren’s FifthDriver seems to suggest no decision has been made so as usual we will just have to wait for official confirmation.

As much as I like Heikki and think he deserves to keep his seat for 2010 I can’t deny I would love to see Kimi back in one of the Silver Arrows.  He was criticised earlier in the year for an apparent lack of interest in F1, but since then he  has scored 5 podiums including a win in Belgium.  That doesn’t seem like someone suffering from a lack of commitment.

I also think the team of Kimi and Lewis would work.  Raikkonen clearly doesn’t care who his team mate is, he just gets in the car and drives fast. Some think that Hamilton needs to be number one but I’m not so sure.

Both Hamilton and Raikkonen are awesome talents.  They have each won a world Championship and I would love to see them pushing each other all the way through 2010.

Image: McLaren

Categories: Drivers Tags: , , ,

Rare McLaren F1 GTR for sale

June 16th, 2009 No comments

McLaren F1 GTR Long TailEver wanted to race in Le Mans?  Here is your chance to pick up an extremely rare McLaren F1 GTR “Long Tail” in Gulf Team livery.

In 1995 McLaren built the first race version of the F1 and at Le Mans that year McLaren F1 GTRs took 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th places.

Despite being entered in the GT class, the reliability of the McLaren F1 saw it beat the faster purpose-built Le Mans Prototype cars, completing 298 laps at an average speed of more than 162 km/h.  It also recorded the highest top speed in practice, reaching 281 km/h.

Incredibly the first McLaren F1 GTR had only rolled off the production line six months earlier.

In 1997,  a number of changes were made to the GTR to meet major regulation changes but the most important was a substantial reduction in weight.  The ’97 car weighed only 915kg and this combined with an improved transmission and the new “long tail” aerodynamics saw lap times improve by four seconds over the GTR ’96.

At Le Mans in 1997 Gulf Team Davidoff won the GT category and also finished second overall.

Out of 28 McLaren F1 GTRs built, only 10 were long tails.  This one is chassis number 28 and was originally used as a Gulf Team Davidoff spare car that was raced during the second half of the season.

It might not be as rare or as beautiful as a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa but this is still an automotive work of art.

The ultimate race version of the ultimate road car.

Categories: Cars Tags: ,
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