The 2013 Challengers: The McLaren Mercedes MP4-28

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The 2013 Challengers: The McLaren Mercedes MP4-28

Post by Ed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:34 pm


31 January 2013 - Vodafone McLaren Mercedes launched its 2013 Formula 1 challenger and kicked off a year of 50th anniversary celebrations with a spectacular parade of classic racing cars at the McLaren Technology Centre this morning.

The parade brought to life a string of race- and championship-winning McLarens from across the decades, included 1970’s M8D CanAm sportscar, Emerson Fittipaldi’s iconic 1974 M23, Ayrton Senna’s dominant 1988 MP4/4, our 1995 Le Mans-winning F1 GTR, Mika Hakkinen’s MP4-13 car from 1998 and Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 MP4-23.

The display culminated in the arrival of our 2013 race drivers, Jenson Button and Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez – who arrived driving a development model of our new McLaren P1TM sportscar and a 12C Spider, respectively.

Evolution through history

The display of classic McLarens was a timely reminder of the weight of history that constantly hangs over a team with such high expectations each and every season. Following such a winning pedigree is the aim and intention of each and every man and woman who comes to work at McLaren every day.

And, for everyone involved in its inception, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 is the logical culmination of everything we’ve ever done: it’s the sum of 50 years’ experience, expertise and passion.

The MP4-28 isn’t merely a refinement of last year’s seven-race-winning car, it’s a deep and sweeping re-design of an already successful chassis in several key areas – most notably around the nose and front suspension, the sidepod profiles and the rear bodywork.

Jenson and Checo – a perfect blend

Jenson and Checo continue the trend of evolution through history.

Jenson begins his fourth season at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes as the team’s most experienced driver. Indeed, during his time here, he has won more races (eight) and scored more points (672) than during the rest of his 10-year Formula 1 career.

For 2013, he is keenly anticipating the opportunity to maximise all his skill and depth of experience to spearhead the development of the car across the championship season.

By contrast, Checo is starting only his third season in Formula 1, aged 23. Young, eager to learn, and already impressing the team with his ability to absorb information, he is perfectly poised to benefit from the team’s professionalism and experience as he develops and gathers pace during his important first season as a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver.

Our driver pairing is the perfect blend of youth and experience.

We will once again be targeting both the drivers’ and constructors’ world championships. The ongoing strength in depth of the organisation, plus the exciting addition of Sergio to the proven package of Jenson gives the whole team strong encouragement and motivation for the year ahead.

Powering the market with 50 years of expertise

Our unrivalled experience as a British F1 team has enabled us to develop cutting-edge technologies. We’re proud that the technology and expertise pioneered at the racetrack and developed by McLaren Applied Technologies, working in partnership with Vodafone, were used by British canoeists, rowers, cyclists and sailors, helping to bring home 15 gold medals last summer.

In partnership with Vodafone and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, we have begun a successful pilot utilising Formula 1 data management expertise to improve the monitoring of children in intensive care – a project we hope to continue and expand in 2013.

We will also be supplying motors, transmissions and data systems for teams entering the new Formula E series, which is set to hit city streets in 2014.

The depth of trust and respect we enjoy with our partners has allowed us to extend record-breaking relationships with the likes of Hugo Boss (32 years), TAG Heuer (28 years), Kenwood (23 years), ExxonMobil and Mercedes-Benz (19 years) and SAP (15 years).

In addition, our longstanding partnerships with Johnnie Walker and Hilton (nine years), Vodafone and Santander (seven years) are globally successful. Our recent strategic partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, which has seen GSK scientists develop a successful drinks formula to hydrate the drivers, will see the launch of the McLaren GSK Centre for Applied Performance at the end of the year.

Last year, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes also became the first motorsport company to retain the challenging Carbon Trust Standard in recognition of our continued efforts to reduce the impact we have on the environment.

2013: the most exciting year yet for McLaren Automotive

On the road, McLaren Automotive’s high performance cars have been setting new standards. Last year we launched the 12C Spider, the open-roofed version of the groundbreaking 12C, and also unveiled the McLaren P1TM, which launches this year with the aim of being the best drivers’s car in the world, on both the road and track.

Evolution through history – or history through evolution? In 2013, we are set to do both.

Jenson will begin track testing of the MP4-28 at Spain’s Circuito de Jerez on Tuesday February 5.



Date of birth January 19 1980 (33)
Titles 2009 world champion
GPs 228
Wins 15 (eight for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes)
Poles 8
FLs 8
Points 999

Twitter @jensonbutton

“I’m going into my fourth season as a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver and, more than ever, I know and understand the strengths and abilities of this team. This year is really about continuity and consolidation.

“Obviously, the biggest change for 2013 is my new team-mate, Checo. It’s always interesting and inspiring to begin working with a new face, and it already feels like a very positive working relationship.

“I know from personal experience that it can feel initially daunting when you walk into the McLaren Technology Centre for the very first time, but I also remember how quickly I was made to feel at home and how welcoming I found the whole McLaren family. I’m sure Checo already feels very much at ease here.

“We were extremely strong throughout the whole of the 2012 season, but, for one reason or another, we couldn’t quite pull it all together to challenge for the championships. That’s something we want to address for 2013. I’ve seen just how closely everybody has been working together on this car, and I think we’ve got the basis for a very strong season.

“We’ll be working extremely hard during the pre-season to ensure we go to the first race with bulletproof reliability. Operationally, too, I think we’ve learned and developed from last year, and that will help us run a much smoother and stronger campaign.

“I also want to say that today’s demonstration of some classic McLarens makes me feel incredibly proud to be a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver. I don’t think anybody with a love for motorsport could fail to be moved by sound and fury of the cars we saw here today – they’ll always make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

“This year’s car is the best we’ve ever made – I know the engineers have left absolutely no stone unturned in wringing every ounce of performance from every available area. I cannot wait to get behind the wheel and attempt to carry forward the incredible legacy that lives beneath the skin of every single man and woman who works at McLaren.”


Date of birth January 26 1990 (23)
Titles -
GPs 37
Wins -
Poles -
FLs 1
Points 80

Twitter @schecoperez

“For me, this is a great day. In fact, every day this year has been great: I’ve been working hard with my new team to get everything ready for the start of the 2013 season – and it’s been an incredible journey to get to know this incredible organisation.

“I’m incredibly proud to be a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver. Seeing such famous cars brought to life today, and knowing that I’m driving for the team on it’s 50th anniversary – that’s such a special feeling.

“Of course, I am fully aware of the steep slope ahead of me: it has already been an intense couple of weeks, getting to grips with a new team, meeting my engineers and mechanics, learning new ways of working and, of course, learning all about a brand new car – something I’ll need to do with just six days of on-track testing. It’s a big challenge.

“But it’s definitely going to be an exciting few weeks: although I’ve been racing in Formula 1 for the past two seasons, every racing car is different and it always takes a little time to adjust. Firstly, I’ll need to understand the different characteristics of the car; secondly, I’ll learn how to best work with my engineers to make the car suit my personal driving style. It’s going to be an interesting and exciting journey.

“But I’m more prepared than I’ve ever been for the start of a new season. I feel extremely fit, focused and refreshed – there’s still a lot to do, but my aims are to feel confident, comfortable and ready to race by the time I land in Australia in just a few weeks’ time.”


Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“The launch of a new Formula 1 car is always an exciting and slightly nerve-wracking occasion. Today’s parade of some of our greatest and most significant cars was a thrilling way to kick off our 50th anniversary celebrations and also our 2013 campaign – but it’s a reminder of the tremendous responsibility everyone within the McLaren Technology Centre shares to uphold the legacy began by Bruce McLaren and taken on by Teddy Mayer and Ron Dennis.

“It’s fully appropriate that the echoes of the past should be made to reverberate around the glass walls of a thoroughly modern building like the McLaren Technology Centre. Equally, however, we’ve never lost sight of the fact that we’ll always be linked to that fearless band of enterprising pioneers who came together to form Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd in the autumn of 1963. Like Bruce and his closest friends, we still have the belief that we can go out into the world, risk everything and emerge victorious. That, ultimately, is the spirit that drives this organisation.

“For 2013, of course, we go racing to win. With Jenson and Checo, and this fantastic-looking new car, I believe we’re extremely well prepared for another competitive season. Jenson is driving better than ever – he’s the most experienced driver in Formula 1, but he makes every ounce of that experience count: he’s peerless in his ability to read a race and one of the very fastest drivers out there. He’s a consummate professional, too, and will revel in working hard to drive this team through the year.

“Checo joins us after a sensational 2012 season and he’s immediately proved that he’s intelligent, modest, hard-working and, make no mistake; very, very quick. Of course, there’ll be a learning curve to overcome as he gets used to our organisation, particularly during the hustle and bustle of the early-season race weekends, but he understands that we are placing no pressure on him.

“This is an exciting time for the whole team. In our 50th anniversary season, I want Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to underline why we are the finest grand prix team in the world.”



Monocoque: McLaren-moulded carbonfibre composite incorporating front and side impact structures, and survival cell

Front suspension: Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pullrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement

Rear suspension: Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pullrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement

Electronics: McLaren Electronic Systems. Including chassis control, engine control, data acquisition, dashboard, alternator, sensors, data analysis and telemetry.

Bodywork: Carbon-fibre composite. Including engine cover, sidepods, floor, nose, front wing and rear wing.

Driver-operated drag reduction system

Lubricants & Fluids: Mobilith SHC™ 1500 Grease – lubricates the four tripod joints on the drive-shafts resisting the high temperatures generated by the exhaust and braking systems

Mobilith SHC™ 220 Grease – minimises rolling resistance in the car’s ceramic wheel bearings to help maximise speed

Mobil SHC™ Hydraulic Oil – running at over 200 bar and 100° C this fluid is an essential part of the hydraulic system which controls gear shift, the throttles and operation of DRS and steering systems

Tyres: Pirelli P Zero

Radio: Kenwood

Race wheels: Enkei

Brake calipers: Akebono

Master cylinders: Akebono

Batteries: GS Yuasa Corporation

Steering: McLaren power-assisted

Instruments: McLaren Electronic Systems

Paint solutions: AkzoNobel Car Refinishes using Sikkens products


Type: Mercedes-Benz FO 108F

Capacity: 2.4 litres

Cylinders: 8

Maximum rpm: 18,000

Bank angle: 90°

Piston bore maximum: 98mm

Number of valves: 32

Fuel: ExxonMobil High Performance Unleaded (5.75% bio fuel)

Spark plugs: NGK Formula 1 specification racing spark plugs

Lubricants: Mobil 1™ Engine Oil – for long engine life, protection and cooling combined with improved fuel economy

Weight: 95kg (minimum FIA regulation weight)

KERS Hybrid

Type Mercedes-Benz

e-Motor: Engine-mounted electrical motor/generator

ESS: Integrated energy storage cells and power electronics

Power: 60 kW


Gearbox: McLaren-moulded carbon-fibre composite

Integral rear impact structure

Gears: Seven forward and one reverse

Gear selection: McLaren seamless shift, hand-operated

Clutch: Carbon/carbon, hand-operated

Lubricants: Mobil 1 SHC™ Gear Oil – provides reduced fluid traction losses improving gearbox efficiency and delivering more power to the rear wheels


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Post by Thaddeus » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:30 pm

I reckoned they'll win both titles.

They should have the edge with the car. Last season, at the end, they were fastest and, unlike Ferrari or Red Bull, they should have optimal development time this year.

However, they generally had the fastest car last year and managed to cock it up, so we'll have to see. I hope Perez can do well at the sharp end of the grid.

Jim Watt
Posts: 570
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:15 am

Post by Jim Watt » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:11 pm


It'll be fun to see who's right when the points start being handed out. As you know, the tests give us some idea of what to expect, but they're really more like cold war air shows: everyone is trying to throw everyone else off stride and nothing that is claimed is to be taken as gospel.

The only machines that matter are Lotus, Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes & Ferrari. What's come out of Woking looks O.K. but not very exciting. (they looked O.K. last year, too). You may well be correct in your enthusiasm for McLaren because you know something I don't.

Lotus's front end looks like a lot of trouble for pushy drivers like Kimi and Romain, so they'd better have plenty of spare noses.

I think Adrian Newy's new front end was designed to send all his competitors back to their computer assisted drawing boards in a panic. The side pods look like solutions to the overheating alternator problems in the Renault.

Cagy Ross Braun in the Merc pictures looks like he's not paying any attention to Bernie E.--and Lewis looks like the cat that ate the canary. Niko, I think, is dreaming of adding to last year's win, too. Even the car, with those shapely side pods, seems to be grinning.

Ferarri, alas, looks like another dog. Maybe Fernando wants to reprise last year by driving another red sled to second place in the driver's championship, but I doubt it; he's putting off dragging the red machine around the circuit as long as he can. Enzo must be spinning in his grave. I think the folks at Maranello have shifted to public relations from building race cars. Look at the billboard of sponsors they included in their launch photos.

I fear with Lotus, McLaren, RBR and Merc all looking good, Ferrari will fall even lower in the manufacturers rankings. It will still be fun to watch Fernando get the most out of it.

can't wait for the circus to begin!

Jim Watt
My Racing Gods: Fangio, Vukovich; Senna & Mears --all racers all the time; graceful winners & generous in defeat, but never giving up!!

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Post by Thaddeus » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:23 pm

Mr. Watt, I can assure you that I have all the technical expertise of a cabbage :)

I'm just going by gut instinct and what I've read elsewhere.

The only thing that's certain right now is that Red Bull had the worst launch.

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