McLaren unveil sleek silver MP4-29

Friday 24-January-2014 12:05

McLaren unveiled the new MP4-29 on Friday as speculation mounted over who will lead the team this season...

Opting for an on-line launch of their 2014 challengers, Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen were on hand to take the covers off the new car.

The MP4-29 features the heavily dipped nose that is par for the course with the new regulations, which have again limited the height of the tip.

"We've never had such significant new regulations before; reacting to them, and managing those changes, while still pushing the performance limits, has been an extremely tough job," said MD Jonathan Neale.

""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.

"To achieve this, we need a consistent platform - one that responds positively to changes. Moreover, the work of the engineers and designers to understand and interpret trackside data will be more important than before. 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.

"No, 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."

But while the car had its moment, the big question is who will be the McLaren team boss.

With Lotus confirming Eric Boullier's departure on Friday morning, the Frenchman is now the favourite to head to Woking and take over from Martin Whitmarsh.

There was no sign of last year's team boss on Friday nor did he voice an opinion in the team's press releases.

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