Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton unveil new McLaren

 

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton today unveiled McLaren's latest challenger which they hope will power them to Formula One glory this season.

After finishing second and fifth respectively in last year's title race, as Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel dominated in clinching back-to-back world titles, the Woking-based marque are determined for this to be their year.

The MP4-27, which bore a typical silver livery that has been the case for a few years now, will hit the track for the first time in Jerez on Tuesday, with Button at the wheel.

Button said: "It's a very exciting day for us all. It's the moment when we see how hard we've all been working.

"I want to say thanks to the guys who have been working flat out throughout the winter to develop this car.

"Testing is now very important. We've got to come out of the box and be strong.

"Testing is what it says on the tin, it's about finding your feet, about gaining in confidence in the team you're working with and the car you're driving."

After admiring the car for the first time, Hamilton said: "I think it looks fantastic. It's great to be here after a great winter.

"The car is the most refined looking we've had for some time, so I'm excited to get back into it."

Ahead of his sixth season with the team, Hamilton added: "It feels very much like only yesterday when I went up to (former team boss) Ron (Dennis) and said I wanted to race for his team.

"But we've been competing at the front all those years. We've strength in depth, a great foundation from which we work. This is a team that never gives up."

Caterham were the first to launch last week, with their car sporting a 'duck-billed platypus' shaped nose, the result of the meeting between front suspension and chassis.

That has been based on new regulations that decree a higher nose, with many suspecting that would be the way forward, leading to it being described as 'ugly'.

However, the new McLaren remained very much true to past cars, with a smooth transition across the chassis from cockpit to front wing.

Button said: "This is a beautiful car, which for me is important. Many you see will not be."

Hamilton concurred, adding: "We're coming in massively motivated, very fresh, and when you have a good-looking car, generally it's a good car, so hopefully that is the case."

Hamilton and Button represent a third of the six world champions that will be on the grid this season for the first time in the sport's history.

The duo are joined by Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and the returning Kimi Raikkonen, who this season will be driving for Lotus.

Hamilton added: "We love to have competition. It's great to have so many great drivers. Hopefully there won't be too many more added to it.

"It's great for fans, great for the sport."

Button and Hamilton took different routes over the winter, with the former preferring warm climes, whilst Hamilton opted for time in a chillier Colorado.

Button said: "It was great. I spent time with family and friends, and it was good to be away from the car for a while.

"But after a few weeks I couldn't wait to get behind the wheel again.

"I came back on the fifth of January. I spent some time in the simulator, and I've just been getting back to the way of life of a driver and spending time at the MTC (McLaren Technology Centre)."

As for Hamilton, he said: "For me it was nice to be away from it all, to get the energy back, to refresh, to start anew

"I altered training, I balanced things a bit better, spent more time with family and friends and I had a great break.

"Thanks to (team principal) Martin (Whitmarsh) for giving me such a good break."

Whitmarsh was certainly proud of the latest McLaren revealed at the MTC as he said: "It looks beautiful at the moment, but they only really do look beautiful when they win races.

"Beauty, though, is more than skin deep. It's about what's underneath.

"Of course, it's no surprise to anyone here that our goal is to win two championships. That's what we try to do every year.

"We don't like losing or coming second and the last two years have had their frustrations. But we've two drivers who are fierce competitors, they want to beat each other very badly, yet they spur each other on."

McLaren's winter testing form last year was awful as they took a wrong direction with the car, but Whitmarsh is quietly confident such mistakes will not be repeated.

"We won't know until qualifying in Australia where this car is," he added. "Last year we had, by McLaren standards, an abysmal winter testing session where we didn't have pace.

"It was a relatively stressful process, and of course I'd be much happier to be not fighting those issues.

"There's a lot of work gone into this car and we believe we're in a better position this winter compared to last."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen