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

Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
i100
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments