McLaren unveils MP4-29 in Woking

By on Friday, January 24, 2014
McLaren Mercedes

McLaren Mercedes

McLaren has revealed their 2014 challenger ahead of the first pre-season test at Jerez.

The MP4-29 is the team's final car to be powered by Mercedes, prior to their switch to Honda power from 2015.

The car will be raced by Jenson Button, who is entering his fifth year as a McLaren driver, and Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen.

The car was unveiled in basic silver livery with MP4-29 branding.

"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 managing director 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."

Button says that the vast regulation changes are 'exciting' for the drivers.

"I’ve spent my whole career jumping from different specification cars – I’ve driven V10s, V8s, I’ve raced on grooved tyres, on slicks, with KERS, with DRS, with traction control, without it, with refueling, without it. I’m still here!"

"Obviously, there’s a period of adaption, but the way I drive – working upwards to find the grip level, rather than working downwards – has always made it quite a seamless transition."

"As a driver, it’s just an exciting time. I’m really looking forward to it – I love the mental challenge of tackling such a complex task; there’s so much to get your teeth into, and the prospect of problem-solving, and pulling apart difficult concepts and drilling down to find the best solution – that really motivates me."

Team-mate Magnussen is hoping that the regulation changes will aid his transition into the sport.

"In a way, the regulation changes makes things a little easier: at that first test in Jerez, everybody will be easing themselves into something new, rather than just getting in the car and driving away, so I’ll really be no different from any other driver," he said.

"It’ll be how we react during the season that will define how successful we are. I know the engineers are working on new things all the time, but I think there’s still plenty of scope to move forward."

Button will give the car its debut at Jerez on Tuesday.


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