McLaren launch MP4-27 in Woking

The new McLaren MP4-27

The new McLaren MP4-27

McLaren are the second team to unveil their 2012 challenger, called the MP4-27.

Interestingly, the car does not feature the odd nosecone design that most teams seem to have been developing. Caterham, the only other team to have launched their car so far, incorporated the new innovation into their CT01, with mixed reactions regarding its appearance.

At the launch, Jenson Button noted that the MP4-27 was a “beautiful car”, but “many you see will not be”.

Lewis Hamilton talked about the redesign at the back of the car:

"Particularly the back of the car is a lot neater than it was last year. It’s 
much, much tighter. The focus is making it as snug as possible at the back to 
improve aerodynamics. It’s just refinement.

The rear wing is a bit better in terms of dropping drag. We’re trying our best 
to improve the rear flow especially with no blown diffuser this year it’s going 
to be very tricky for us. You’ll lose a lot of downforce without the blown diffuser.

When we were off-power last year we had a tremendous amount of downforce just 
coming from the back floor with the exhaust-blown diffuser. We don’t have that 
this year which is really the biggest loss for us.

It’s about finding the balance last year we obviously had a lot of weight and a 
lot of downforce on the rear of the car and we had to try to balance it with 
getting enough front end. This year I think it will be the other way around: 
having too much at the front and trying to find more rear."
A frontal view of the McLaren MP4-27

A frontal view of the McLaren MP4-27

Lewis also joked: "We’ve changed the mirrors, we’ll be able to see a lot better. Felipe [Massa] will be very happy with that!"

Instead of incorporating drastic changes in height on the nosecone, McLaren have opted to lower the front of their car, to cope with the lower front wing technical rule change this year.

Compared to the MP4-26, the car is tighter at the back for improved airflow. The U-shaped sidepods have been replaced with a more conventional design (which McLaren claim was a cause of the FIA banning exhaust-blown diffusers), while a revised cooling system now directs air to the gearbox oil cooling system.

Force India and Ferrari are next up to reveal their cars, both launching in two days time.

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