WOKING, England – The wraps came off McLaren’s 2013 car on Thursday morning, as drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez revealed the Mercedes-powered MP4-28 at the team’s UK base in Woking.
Following a cavalcade of historic machinery from McLaren’s past – the team celebrate their 50th anniversary this year – Button and Perez entered the McLaren Technical Centre driving the company’s latest road cars, before uncovering their new F-1 challenger.
McLaren describe the MP4-28 as a deep and sweeping re-design of its race-winning 2012 predecessor in several key areas, most notably around the nose (now higher and stepped, but with the step covered by a ‘modesty panel’ as permitted by the 2013 regulations) and front suspension (now a pull-rod configuration following the trend set by Ferrari last year), the sidepod profiles and the rear bodywork.
“We were extremely strong throughout the whole of the 2012 season, but, for one reason or another, we couldn’t quite pull it all together to challenge for the championships,” said Button, who starts his fourth season with McLaren this year. “That’s something we want to address for 2013. I’ve seen just how closely everybody has been working together on this car, and I think we’ve got the basis for a very strong season.
“This year’s car is the best we’ve ever made – I know the engineers have left absolutely no stone unturned in wringing every ounce of performance from every available area. I cannot wait to get behind the wheel and attempt to carry forward the incredible legacy that lives beneath the skin of every single man and woman who works at McLaren.
“We’ll be working extremely hard during the pre-season to ensure we go to the first race with bulletproof reliability. Operationally, too, I think we’ve learned and developed from last year, and that will help us run a much smoother and stronger campaign.”
As well as a new car, Button has a new team mate for 2013 in Perez, who will start only his third season of Formula One competition this year, having joined McLaren from Sauber over the winter.
“For me, this is a great day,” said Perez. “In fact, every day this year has been great: I’ve been working hard with my new team to get everything ready for the start of the 2013 season – and it’s been an incredible journey to get to know this incredible organization.
“Of course, I am fully aware of the steep slope ahead of me: it has already been an intense couple of weeks, getting to grips with a new team, meeting my engineers and mechanics, learning new ways of working and, of course, learning all about a brand new car – something I’ll need to do with just six days of on-track testing. It’s a big challenge.”