Heikki Kovalainen, Lewis Hamilton, Pedro de la Rosa, Gary Paffett, McLaren MP4-24 launch, 2009

Pictures: McLaren reveal their MP4/24 for the 2009 season

2009 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

McLaren has shown off its 2009 Formula 1 car, the MP4/24, with which Lewis Hamilton will be looking to defend his crown.

The team is seeking its first constructors championship title since 1998. This is the first time one of its cars has carried the coveted number ‘one’ belonging to the world champion since Mika Hakkinen drove for them in 2000.

The car’s launch took place today at the McLaren Technology Centre. Hamilton was joined by Heikki Kovalainen, who returns for a second season as his team mate. For both drivers this is their third full season in F1.

McLaren’s two test drivers, Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett, also attended today’s launch.

The new technical regulations introduced for 2009 mean the MP4/24 is a distinctively different car to its predecessor, as will be the case up and down the grid. While McLaren retain one of the best engines in Formula 1 today, Mercedes’ powerful V8, they no longer have exclusive access to it, as rivals Force India will use the same engines this year.

See below for more pictures of the new McLaren at its launch today.

McLaren MP4-24 launch pictures

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

McLaren is the third F1 team to reveal its 2009 F1 car. See pictures of the new Ferrari and Toyota below:

Formula 1

Browse all Formula 1 articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

63 comments on “Pictures: McLaren reveal their MP4/24 for the 2009 season”

  1. one sexy, slippery looking car. thats going to be quick.

    1. I was thinking the exact same thing. The nose looks like a bullet train.

  2. Very, very nice… The MP4/24 will again be the best looking car on the Grid. Well done guys, and good luck for the season.

  3. If you look at the pictures on Formula1.com I really like the pictures of the exhaust. Its been incorporated into the body, make the body look really smooth, but i think it is the better looking than both Toyota and Ferarri!

  4. Those sidepods openings look very interesting. I wonder how soon we’ll see some flow conditioners in the positions Ferrari and Toyota have added them..??

    Very much prefer the lower nose of this car the raised ones of the F60 and TF109…

  5. What a lovely looking car. I thought the toyota was nice yesterday, but this Mclaren is even better. Just have to see how it performs on the track next week now.

    1. rubbish about Ron, but i do like Martin Whitmarsh, he wears his heart on his sleeve a bit more than Ron

  6. the best looking car in f1..love that rear wing :)
    Ron Dennis stepping down :( the end of an era?

  7. I wonder if Martin will do a good job as team principal

  8. Best looking car of the ones lauched so far.

  9. I think Ron will have the same involvement in McLaren’s F1 Team that Di Montezemolo has in Ferrari’s….

  10. F1’s undergoing so many changes recently. As much as I have never liked Ron, I can respect him for having built a successful team.

    Hate to admit it, but the new McLaren does look rather nice – in some ways nicer than the Ferrari. We’ll just have to see how it races!

  11. Easily the best-looking 2009 car so far. Love it! :D

  12. Good stuff…

    1. McLaren should release more photos. I’ve had a look at their site and there’s not much there which is a poor show really…

    2. They have released a few more, all of which are above. More are expected on Saturday when they started testing the car in Portugal.

  13. A good-looking car for sure, but I really like the front wing of toyota, it’s radical. Also there are no sidepods like these in the mirrors of ferrari and toyota, maybe mclaren missed this point…I also notice a new engine cover design, it’s like a moderate solution between shark-fin and the classic engine cover.

  14. Great car. Looks amazing. What a shame Ron is to step down as team principle. I’ve been facinated by how he runs the team since I was young. Been as much a fan of Ron Dennis as I am of the whole McLaren F1 team. Won’t feel right seeing him at every race.

    However, it seemed like this was bound to happen. His wonder kid superstar gives him one last Drivers Champion, and he moves on. Still sucks.

    As for the new McLaren, once again it will effortlessly be the sexiest car on the grid.

  15. Jordy - The Egg Man
    16th January 2009, 13:41

    I convinced big Ron to use Slick 50 in order to make the tyres shine a little more…

    Did Mclaren lose the West sponsorship?

    Jordy Go West

    1. I seem to think McLaren have not had West sponsorship for a while now…

    2. Did Mclaren lose the West sponsorship?

      Word on the street is that Williams won’t have Camel in 2009 either. :O


    3. Jordy, McLaren lost the West sponsorship in 2005 due to the anti-tobacco policy of F1 organaizers. This is the reason that since 2006 mclaren cars aren’t black-silver, but silver-red because of Fly emirates(2006) and Vodafone(2007,08) sponsorships

  16. Beautiful! No doubt that it will get progressively uglier throughout the year :(

    That car looks so slick, though, my guess is that McLaren should have quite a fruitful year ahead of them. Looking forward to more car launches next week with the first group test of the new cars! :D

  17. Wow, I think I’m falling in love with F1 car design again…..

    Not too sure about the narrow rear wings and the wide front wings yet, but I’ll probably get used to them. At least we didn’t end up with the 2 separate wings over each back wheel that was rumoured a while back.

    But I’m really loving the slick tyres and the fact that we can appreciate the body shapes a lot more now, without all those extra fins and wings. Although, having said that, I’m not too keen on the mirror stalks on the Ferrari – are these allowed?

    Overall, it’s a toss-up between the Ferrari and the McLaren for beauty. I can’t wait to see them in action!

    1. I would really have liked to have seen a real life full size F1 car with the CDG Rear Wings on it… Just out of curiosity you understand.

  18. First car to be launched with a number on the front too.

  19. Really wish they’d ban those stupid wheel covers. The front wheels look like one solid piece rather than a wheel with a tyre on it – just not nice…

    1. Sooner that than the fake ‘drawn on’ wheels on the Ferrari though in my opinion. I do not understand why they do that to such a beautiful machine – it’s sacrilege!

  20. Wow! The back wing is extraordinarily unique. I’d really like to see the aerodynamic tests for it…

  21. I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but the MP4-24 looks better than the F60 or the TF106. I especially like the somewhat bigger sidepods, with the exaust incorporated into the bodywork.

  22. yeah i love this car. roll on oz.

  23. All of the cars so far have looked amazing. I am so pleased that they got rid of all of those ugly looking aero wings on the bodywork, making the cars look far more sleak and more traditional. They are really taking the ‘look’ back twenty years, with the slick tyres and narrow rear ends and narrow, high rear wings.
    All we need is the sparks out of the back during the race, and it’ll be like 1991 all over again.

  24. What a great looking car. The details on the car are amazing…the exhaust, the nose, the air intakes, the body as a whole. Stunning.

    I’m glad the rear wing doesn’t look like a lego block like on the F60. Somehow it comes off as looking like it’s not too tall.

  25. Nice&sleek. I love the oval air intakes, they make it look fast, but the real gem is the nose. I’ve been wondering how this design would withstand the safety regulations, but if it looks like this it has to be ok. Good work McLaren, you made me smile instead of cry like TF109.

  26. Oddly reminds me of the Ferrari F92A – I think it’s the nose and radiator ducts. No double floor though.

    1. I know what you mean I thought the same thing. Unfortunately the F92A was – and I’m being very kind here – a complete and utter dog. In fact I think it was in Autosport’s ‘top ten rubbish F1 cars’ recently.

  27. Great looking car, no doubt. I always thought that the current paint scheme is the best on the grid, glad they haven’t changed it.

    Is it just my perception or is the front suspension of the Ferrari way more aero looking than the McLaren’s??

  28. For some reason the nose reminded me of a dolphin (look at the top down pic) and now I can’t get that image out of my head! Great looking car though

  29. the McLaren and Ferrari cars actually look alright (cant judge speed on that though). more sleak than the Toyota

  30. It looks sensational from profile and the midships view from above is almost beautiful. I guess like everything, the devils in the detail and Mclaren never get that wrong. If theyd only put the engines in the front and ban wings we’d have a true renaissance, even the second golden age. Form is as important as form in F1

  31. Its nice, but is it just me or are the sidepods quite a bit fatter than last years car and this years ferrari and toyota?

  32. Here, in this LINK, the McLaren MP4/24 presentation in VIDEO.

    1. Cheers Becken – have added the video above.

  33. Whether or not you are a McLaren fan, you have to admit that the car is simply gorgeous. It is possibly the most beautiful car in motor racing history.

    1. Ive got to agree with you Paige. I’m certainly not a McLaren fan, but just one look at the silhouette of MP4/24 tells me it’s going to be one hell of a car to beat. By comparison the TF109 doesn’t have that lightness of form McL has. It may not at all be rellevant or true, but there’s just so much energy hidden in it’s shape I’d be surprised if the performance didn’t follow. Can’t wait for BMW Sauber now!

  34. Following a reversed version of the old concept, “form follows function”, you can predict the cars performance based on only appearance. I actually believe this has, at least, a bit of merit. For long time followers of F1, the “look” of the car is unconsciously analyzed, and one is left with a “feeling” about the overall speed of the car. Maybe this is rubbish, I certainly would not want to put it to any kind of test, never the less, I certainly get those “feelings” about certain cars, and have for years (probably impossible not to).

    So, my vote…..this baby is going to be quick.

  35. Yeah, the McLaren looks nice, but I’ve got a funny feeling it’s not going to be that quick. Of course, I’ll be proven wrong by a McLaren 1-2 on the grid in Melbourne, but comparing it to the Toyota and Ferrari it looks a little underdone.

    It doesn’t look as tightly packaged as either the F60 or TF109 and they seem to have overlooked the area at the front of the sidepods that the others have exploited. I know the aero package will likely change considerably by Melbourne, but the front wing end plates look a little crude, particularly in comparison to Toyota’s, as do the actuators for the movable front flaps – the other two seem to have incorporated these more effectively into the front wing design than McLaren has.

    I wonder whether the development that went into securing Hamilton’s title has set them back for 2009, or if they’ll be as quick as ever?

  36. Beauty is judged by speed, and nothing is more homely than being slow. I’m looking at you, MP4-18.

  37. This time Mclaren should win the WCC also. They are the best of all the cars. Great looking too.I wish them all the best.

  38. the best looking car by far. The way an f1 should look like. The rear tyres a bit wider woulden’t hurt though.
    Dennis steping down… makes me wonder. First ferrari was giving engines to honda, then all of a sudden they say they would’t, soon afterwards mercedes is very happy to help, no dead line, and at this particular moment, dennis steps down. All very convenient… for ron dennis to buy honda and get the best deal ever in formula one. Well sorry, the second best. remember that ecclestone got the hole show for free.

  39. I absolutely love the exhaust integrated into the body. Great design. +1 for McLaren.

    The front wing looks a bit crude due to the support for the different layers at the edges. Ferrari, however, has a much cleaner design. +1 for Ferrari.
    Can someone comment on where exactly the adjustable front wing would be? McLaren design seems to have been pretty fixed — can’t see the movable part from the pics.

    The rear-view mirrors on the Ferrari is a definite stand-out. But, it is not clear if it will suffer from severe vibration during the race (last year’s races showed significant vibrations of their sidepods).

  40. I agree it looks nice. The exhausts in particular look good, as long as they do not overheat like Ferrari’s did early last season. Do the tyres look narrower this year in addition to being slicks? I’m sad to hear that Ron is stepping down as Team principal but he is leaving that responsibility in good hands with Martin Whitmarsh, and I’m sure he’ll be keeping a close eye on things in the background. Finally is the Kers system on this car now?

  41. really nice! it seems to have a muscular flow in style and some great little design touches, that is quite contrasting to the toyota or ferrari. i love the wings, front and rear… hopefully there won’t be any need for any more dotted all over! but i will say, is it just me, or does the suspension (particular front) look really over engineered and not particular elegant or aerodynamic? im sure it is! it just doesnt look like it! good luck for the new season lads!

  42. What a fantastic looking car… cant wait for the start of this season!!

  43. I’ve uploaded some new pictures from the launch and new studio pictures showing the car in greater detail.

  44. MCLAREN number one forever!

  45. viva mclaren!!! it’s time to kick ferrari ass!!!
    nice color choice…
    Mclaren still no.1 in the world

    1. I am sorry, but more 1st places count more that points and Philippe really deserved the championship. Look at the bad luck he sustained last season and be reasonable. He deserved the championship and is not a ‘prima donna’ who seriously upset a two times world champion when just an F1 rookie!

  46. Surely the best 2009 car looking.

  47. 2009 is Massa’s year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. Just look at Haug and Dennis faces, makes you wonder if they know it’s nearly the worst car on the grid at this stage.
    I mean yeah it looks awesome, AND IS THAT YOU STEPH???!!

    A supporter of McLarens, no way! Acidentally ended up here but thats crazy.

Comments are closed.