Woking, UK, January 24 2014 - A period of unprecedented change – both in Formula 1 and within the team itself – is the backdrop against which McLaren launches its latest grand prix challenger, the all-new MP4-29.
2014: Formula 1 begins its reinvention
Gone are normally aspirated engines – a Formula 1 mainstay for a quarter of a century; in their place come 1.6-litre V6 power-units, which sophisticatedly integrate turbo-charging and turbo-compounding, fuel-flow restrictions, and a powerful energy recovery system.
These new regulations will enable teams to harness both traditional internal combustion and electrical energies. They further underline Formula 1’s relevance as a pioneer of future roadcar technologies, represent the biggest and most dynamic change to the sport since its inception in 1950, and are duly destined to re-shape grand prix racing.
McLaren, too, faces a period of dynamic change: the organisation has not only embraced the extreme technical and strategic challenges posed by the new regulations, it has simultaneously been growing and developing ahead of even bigger and more exciting future partnerships.
We have responded to the disappointment of our 2013 season by pragmatically framing our approach to the technical challenge. The new MP4-29, revealed today, is a sensible and calculated response to the new regulations.
But it is very much a frozen snapshot of the design team’s steep development curve, and, as such, a machine that will potentially undergo more technical change throughout a single season than any other car in McLaren’s long and illustrious history.
The challenge for 2014 is to build-in both performance and reliability – something that can no longer be taken for granted given the steep technical challenge ahead.
And that is entirely as it should be: for this season will be Formula 1’s steepest-ever learning curve.
It is also a time of transition. Our final season with our engine partner, Mercedes-Benz, will be our 20th together, before we begin an exciting new journey with Honda from 2015.
Our drivers: the perfect blend of styles
Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula 1 World Champion, remains for his fifth season at McLaren. For 2014, his experience, level-headedness and innate ability to read the behaviour of a racing car will be a powerful asset to our engineers, designers and analysts.
Kevin Magnussen arrives in Formula 1 with a stunning record in Renault Word Series 3.5, grand prix racing’s feeder series, and, crucially, no preconceptions. Having already devoted hundreds of hours to refining and developing our 2014 car in the McLaren simulator, his eagerness and commitment will sync perfectly with Jenson’s experience, providing us with a perfectly balanced driver pairing.