Compare the new McLaren MP4-25 with last year’s car (Pictures)

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McLaren got their 2009 car badly wrong and spent much of the year catching up to their rivals.

They needs the MP4-25 to be on the pace from the first race – but is it a big enough step forward over its predecessor? Here’s how the two cars compare.


2010 McLaren MP4-25 and 2009 McLaren MP4-24 (click to enlarge)

Image scaled so rear wheel sizes match.


2010 McLaren MP4-25 and 2009 McLaren MP4-24 (click to enlarge)

Image scaled so rear wheel sizes match.


2010 McLaren MP4-25 and 2009 McLaren MP4-24 (click to enlarge)

Image scaled so front wing sizes match.

Images (C)

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...

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48 comments on “Compare the new McLaren MP4-25 with last year’s car (Pictures)”

  1. You provide an awesome service Keith, thanks!

  2. Is the MP4-24 picture from the start of end of 2009?

    1. That looks like the launch configuration to me, plus it’s a promo shot and they only tend to do those on launch.

  3. Wow, impressed you’ve got this up so quick Keith!
    At first glance the MP4-25 looks considerably bigger than the 24 but I think this is down to the size of the image being slightly out. Still, considerably longer wheel base and inevitably the driver is much further forward of the center point of the car. I wonder how much this (and the further rear bias due to extra fuel + thinner front tyres) affects driving these machines.

  4. Euh, ugly vertical stabilizer….

    1. yeah almost all 2010 cars are like these. really awful. but MP4-25 has a great silencer

  5. CounterStrike
    29th January 2010, 13:20

    McLaren must have been confident of the engine cooling to have such tiny sidepod openings. Shame they didn’t have a reliable merc engine back in 03,05 to have that aero liberty.

    1. In 05 they took it anyway an look where that got them.

      Kimi’s Cometlike in the McLaren.

      Mind you, Alonso may have one the championship but Kimi won the race of the decade.

  6. Reminds me of ’95 launch when Mansell says if it goes as fast as it looks ….. (then we’re in trouble …)

  7. The MP425 is definitely much longer than the previous model, amplified by the longer wheelbase also. Certainly a much bigger than the difference between the two Ferraris.

    I feel Ferrari may have the advantage here as they’ve kept this years car pretty damn close to the dimensions of last years.

    1. Not really, because last year’s Ferrari was crap.

      1. hmm, the whole point of Ferrari giving up development of the F60 was that it was so crap they felt they needed a clean sheet.

  8. I prefer last years engine cover and rear wing, but I like the side pods on the 2010 car, I cant decide which nose I prefer out of the two though.

  9. It looks like those two pics from the side aren’t the same scale. The length difference is massive.

    1. Comparing bits that should be the same size, e.g. wheels, bottom of front wing endplate, mount for universal camera… they look to be pretty comparable.

  10. Stuart Hotman
    29th January 2010, 13:47

    Now thats what I call a sharks fin!

  11. How simular is this years front wing to the end spec wing they where running of the MP4 25?

  12. Santander is not on the ML anymore ?

    1. I think it might be on the back. I belive Vodafone have slightly upped contributions this year.

      Possible inline with intrest only though.

      1. I’m wrong just the drivers as Carl says.

        To be fair thats all money going towards the McLaren kitty.

      2. Not on the rear of the rear wing

    2. Look a little closer, and you may notice that Santander have moved to sponser Ferrari? ;)

      1. Santander sponsor both teams I think Andy.

    3. ok anymore, because its Fernando esponsor.

  13. I miss the black wheels :(

  14. Forget DDDs, I wish they’d ban those bloody shark fins.

    Maybe it was just my imagination, but didn’t Brawn test a shark fin on their car in Valencia practice? I never saw it again, but now I think Mercedes will also have one on their car.

  15. No it only sponsors the McLaren drivers. By the way I don’t like the new car, the shark fin brings memories of the toyota and renault of previous years, arghhhhhh!

  16. It’s an interesting design. I’m amazed right now how much the new fuel tank requirements have affected the cars at the rear.

  17. It shows that the mew car have a longer wheelbase.

  18. It’s funny that McLaren still have the no. 1 car. YET, this time it’s Button who will drive it, not Hamilton.

    Will Hamilton drive a “0” car?
    I’d love it.

    1. This only happens when the champion leaves the series, for whatever reason.

  19. The comments make for interesting reading – slightly more reserved this year.

    I remember last January on Planet F1 on the release of the MP4-24, the first comments were: ‘That’s the car to win the WDC and WCC’. lol

    1. Weal thats Planet F1 isn’t it. I’m no tifosi, infact quite the macca fan but at least I’m under no illusions that our team being British or our car looking good actually means anything.

      Nor do I anything but like F1F local tifosi, nice people all round.

      Hopefully that is the car for the championships after all though.

  20. Looks like Renault’s 2009 car

  21. Looks great.

    The new long cars look great! Especially with the sharp nose :)

  22. to me the mclaren looks alot longer than the ferrari

  23. Anyone else notice the little ‘winglets’ from the sidepods? I thought that they were banned?

    1. There are very strict rules governing wings on the sidepods but there is room for some and a lot of teams had bits like this last year.

  24. full on v new mclewis looks pretty cool,outragous almost.

  25. yeah put those wheel covers on v new McLewis

  26. So glad to finally be able to logon to f1fanatic.

    Most striking aspect I see is how Mclaren have managed to retain the cokebottle shape whereas Ferrari haven’t done so.

    The mclaren does seem to have an awkward bump near the exhaust. Wonder what that is for!!

  27. Fantastic car! I love it!

    Quick question: all of the TV camera mountings seem to be there except for the unsightly T-bar mounting that we have seen in recent years… there seems to be something on top – does anyone know if we shall see these T-bars this year or have they changed their design?

  28. I thought the extra front wing elements had been banned at the of the 2008 season

    1. The new front wing regs for 2009 onwards say, if i remember right, that the wing as a whole must be lower and wider, and that an area of specific width in the middle of the wing must be aerodynamically neutral, in order to help lessen the wake behind the car. The areas either side of this central no-go zone, as well as the endplates, are free for designers to muck around with. The front wing of the new mclaren is an obvious evolution of the design they were using by the end of 2009, but there are various changes – including those very interesting-looking 3-piece endplates that I recall were trialled in one of the practice sessions in 2009 but never raced on the ’09 car.

      1. Sweet.
        Cheers for the heads up

  29. I like it but liked the look of the MP4-24 much more. To me that was a beauty. Hate shark fins, don’t like the rear wing as much and don’t like the nose as much either. Black rims too looked good on the mp4-24.
    Well as long as it’s quick.

  30. The new cars front air intakes look great. They look like that of a fighter plane. I’m not to sure about the higher nose but the underside of the nose looks like the bow of a high tech boat…

  31. More fascinating, more fantastic! 2010 F1 is gonna be a fantastic race ever!

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