McLaren have become the latest team to reveal their 2014 car in a ceremony at the team’s HQ in Woking.
The new car is a much different design to the flawed MP4-28 that saw the team fail to capture a single podium during the 2013 season.
Also obvious is the lack of sponsors on the launch car as the team have yet to confirm who will replace Vodafone as the the new title sponsor.
In the team’s press release they described the challenge of preparing for 2014 as the “steepest-ever learning curve” as they got to grips with the new V6 turbo engines and the ERS unit. They also claim the car seen today is a “frozen snapshot” of a car that is being constantly developed ahead of the new season.
New to the team in 2014 is rookie Kevin Magnussen who has been promoted through the young driver program following his championship triumph in the Formula Renault 3.5 series last year.
McLaren believe his “eagerness and commitment” provides the perfect blend of drivers as the 22-year-old prepares for his first season alongside Jenson Button who made his F1 debut when Magnussen was just 8 years old.
Managing Director Jonathon Neale spoke about the changes coming for the new season and how McLaren had adapted to them.
“We’ve never had such significant new regulations before,” he said. “Reacting to them, and managing those changes, while still pushing the performance limits, has been an extremely tough job.
”We’ve been relatively pragmatic about it. We know that the need for consistency initially outweighs the need for performance.
“The winter tests won’t be about chasing set-up or refining the car; the envelope of performance is likely to be so wide, and so relatively unknown, that the winter – and to some extent the opening races – will be about understanding the operational boundaries of the car as best we can.
Indeed looking ahead to the season as a whole Neale believes the development race will be the key factor in determining who will have success in 2014.
“The work of the engineers and designers to understand and interpret trackside data will be more important than before," he explained.
"That’s because this year, more than ever, will come down to a development race: I don’t necessarily think you can expect the car that wins the opening race to be the car that leads the championship charge, something we’ve often seen in the past.
"Now, it will be all about a team’s ability to react and respond. We already have an update package that we’re readying for race one, and we’re discovering new things in the ’tunnel,
or in CFD, all the time.
"Once we start track testing, I think you’ll see an intense throughput of ideas and concepts – that’s the nitty-gritty that will win or lose the world championship.”
At the same time Lotus published the first image of their new car, the E22.
While most teams will go for the nose design seen on the McLaren, Lotus have taken a different approach with a two pronged fork-style design, however some are questioning the legality of the car.
Finally Ferrari have announced the chassis name for it's new car set to be revealed on Saturday.
For the first time the team let fans decide the name of it's 2014 contender offering four possible options.
Revealing the results on Twitter, the team announced the new car would be called the F14-T after receiving over 300,000 votes on their poll site.
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