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?
Life and Style
Baroness Lane-Fox warned that large companies such as have become so powerful that governments and regulators are left behind
techTech giants have left governments and regulators behind
News
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
news
Life and Style
'Prison Architect' players decide the fate of inmates
tech
Life and Style
A picture taken on February 11, 2014 at people walking at sunrise on the Trocadero Esplanade, also known as the Parvis des droits de l'homme (Parvis of Human Rights), in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor