February 4, 2011
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The McLaren MP4-26
McLaren were the 9th team of the Formula 1 grid to release their 2011 challenger: the MP4-26.
It was unveiled at Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz, where competition winners brought in different pieces of the car, and it was assembled in front of the press.
The innovative L-shaped sidepods on the McLaren MP4-26
The team say that their objective was to achieve 2010 levels of downforce, despite the ban on double-decker diffusers this year. As well as KERS and the adjustable rear wing, the Mp4-26 also features a strange L-shaped sidepod arrangement.
McLaren say that this is to manage airflow to the rear of the car more efficiently, although it means that they cannot run deep undercuts in the sidepods.
The car will first be tested at the Idiada Proving Ground on Tuesday, before joining the rest of the F1 paddock in Jerez on Thursday.
Tim Goss, director of engineering, explains how the new KERS unit was implemented:
"The system was also more difficult to package because you’ve got to carry
more fuel. That was the first challenge, but we got through that.
There were a few difficult decisions concerning architecture around
different aerodynamic concepts, but I think we ended up with a design
layout we’re happy with.
KERS is now a single integrated unit that sits within the survival cell,
beneath the fuel-tank. In 2009, it was housed in the sidepods. The hybrid’s
cooling intake sits directly below the main roll-hoop intake.
And, once again, we’ve really pushed the car’s cooling configuration: we’ve
got a second air intake on the engine cover for gearbox and hydraulic
A 3D view of their car is available on the McLaren website.