McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 launch, 2011

McLaren MP4-26 launch – first pictures

2011 F1 cars

Posted on

| Written by

McLaren have launched their 2011 F1 car in Berlin. Here are the first pictures of the car.

McLaren staged an unusual launch in Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz. Competition winners brought different pieces of the car and they were assembled together in front of the public and press.

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “I think today’s innovative launch demonstrates the enthusiasm within Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to engage the general public; to show them that our sport is intense and exciting and that we’re very keen to showcase Formula 1 to the wider world.”

As well as featuring KERS and an adjustable rear wing, as permitted by the 2011 rules, the MP4-26 sports an unusual U-shaped sidepod arrangement. McLaren say the layout is to direct air to the rear of the car more efficiently.

McLaren will conduct a shakedown test with the car at the Idiada Proving Ground in Spain on Tuesday, before arriving at Jerez for the second F1 test two days later.

You can also view the McLaren MP4-26 in 3D on the team’s website.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2011 F1 cars

Browse all 2011 F1 cars 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.

392 comments on “McLaren MP4-26 launch – first pictures”

  1. I’m not really sure what to think. It’s a very skinny-looking car, which makes the whole thing look longer. It’s also got a very industrial look compared to its predecessors. I was instantly reminded of the Tumbler in Batman Begins compared to the Batmobile in Batman & Robin.

    I loved the way they built the car in the middle of the square. I just wish they would have given us a heads-up as to what was happening – I thought it was an ad to begin with, and it took me a long time to work out what was actualy going on.

    1. I don’t like the look of the nose being so much lower than the top of the front wheels. It almost looks Indy-Car esque. I am also disappointed with the fact they’ve not got the red stripe along the top of the engine cover. It looks too boring without it.

      But I am loving this no shark-fin-to-rear wing rule!

      1. “I don’t like the look of the nose being so much lower than the top of the front wheels.”

        WHAT?!? The nose is still way too high. You like those ridiculously high noses??
        That’s the most surprising statement I’ve ever read. They are plain disgusting, come on!!!
        Mercedes nose = floods of vomit.

        1. WHAT?!? The nose is still way too high. You like those ridiculously high noses??
          That’s the most surprising statement I’ve ever read. They are plain disgusting, come on!!!
          Mercedes nose = floods of vomit.

          I don’t mean the nosecone itself; I mean the part of the car level with the front wheels. It reminds me too much of an Indy-Car – and that is by no means a good thing.

          1. Oh, so you mean the fact that it is flat on its length?
            I love it – it reminds my of the 90’s Benettons!

          2. I agree. That makes McLaren look really ugly.

          3. High nose, narrow track and grooved, narrower tyres – THE WORST DESIGN CHANGES TO HAPPEN TO F1 CARS. Period.

            The grooved tyres are gone, but the other elements are still there along with other ugly bits like turning vanes and mini barge boards. When will these change? Can’t wait for 2013.

            Meanwhile, how about race pitstops by competition winners for McLaren? A sure recipe to lose the championship.:)

          4. Not a good thing for you, but some of us actually like Indy Cars :P

          5. Ditto Joey, love the side-on view

      2. miguelF1O (@)
        4th February 2011, 22:49

        you right, all team went for a higher nose this year cause of the front suspension and to feed the floor even better, it seem like mclaren forgot the suspension troubles they had

    2. I like that idea as well. Something new, I just hope the guys get in it in the end, do a few doughnuts on the logo, then pick up Withmarsh from somewhere and drive off to the second test :-D
      Now i have the live feed, that interview with Lewis is horrible, how many times does he want to mention the sponsor name?

      Did you get yourself a Button or Lewis signed cap as well Keith?

      1. @ BasCB

        I completely disagree with your thoughts. I think the launch, if you can call it one, was totally lifeless.

        And the interview by Lewis was the only good part about the whole thing.

        1. It was wierd, I put on the live feed just after 11 UK time, to see mechanics putting on wheels and a nosecone. :/ I thought it was a behind the scenes but it was good for the public to see rather than a dust sheet removal…

        2. LOL sorry to get involved, but do you EVER agree with anyone? It just seems that every single one of your posts (especially to BasCB) seem to start with “I completely disagree…”. As someone said earlier, it’s like a comedy double act… :)

          1. The worst looking car on the grid…

    3. your an idiot…it looks awesome and different to the others which is a good thing….and you thought it was an advert ha….your opinion is crap, it doesn’t look industrial at all

      1. “you’re”

        I normally wouldn’t bother correcting people, but I’ve decided to make an exception.

        1. yeah YOUR!! an idiot too

          1. You need some anger management sessions…. Plus possibly some English lessons….

          2. And a warn perhaps…

          3. Hi Darren,

            Posters like you aren’t welcome around here, sorry.

            Hope you manage to sort your issues out.

          4. That kind of aggression and plain rude comments are not the norm on this site, dont know where you normally post/read but you’ll be welcome if you reign in the aggression and make your comments relevant. Otherwise I am sure you wont be missed.

          5. got you all talking though didn’t i…….

      2. y o u [apostrophe] r e

        For what it’s worth, I think the best thing is that it’s different to most of the other cars. Makes things interesting – let’s see how it goes.

      3. “No swearing, insults, advertising or racial, sexual or similar discrimination allowed.”

        Have a nice day.

      4. Hey be cool Darren. This is not a drunkard pub. Be polite and talk what you want.

    4. I thought it was an ad to begin with

      You thought? You were propably not the only one. it was basically a thirty minute vodafone ad

    5. miguelF1O (@)
      4th February 2011, 22:46

      admit it this is even uglyier thatn the last one i love the concept on the radiators it reminds me of the f10 and the 09 bmw but much more aggressive

  2. A longer nose. I like it.

  3. Pretty strange reveal. :p

    Car looks great, but I will miss the shark fin on the McLaren, I’ve always hated the all-chrome top.

    1. I thought I was the only person who really liked the look of the “shark fin”

      1. No, you’re not – I liked it on the McLaren at least.

      2. No, you are not ;)

      3. I liked them all.

        1. I liked them too. Sad they are gone :(

    2. miguelF1O (@)
      5th February 2011, 12:47

      really, how can this look great? impossible last year was ugly this years car is horrendous (maybe because im sick of the paintjob) im not seeing any advance on aerodynamics on this car, they are going to lack downforce like last year.not good enough

      1. so the whole U shape side pods designed to channel the air better to te rear of the car doesnt come under aerodynamics?

        Ok i have always been a McLaren fan and even more so that there are two british divers. Hope the car is as good as it looks long wheel base does take geting used to but overall well done !!!!

  4. Very interesting side pods! car looks amazing got to be the most pretty car!

    1. Very, im sure theres some scienece in there that someone can explain to us!

      1. The side pods are insane, like nothing i’ve ever seen. Well, if thats the brave bit I don’t mind. Yay, hope it goes like the clappers.

        Want to see some other angles now.

        1. The side pods to raises a question, but look interesting.

          1. The ’96 prost and ferrari cars tried out similar sidepod concepts but nothing as extreme as this. Though I am totally clueless about the double airbox

          2. Yeah, Zecks, it’s nothing new.
            The 1996 Ferraris had that concept:
            The Benettons in 1995 as well as Ligiers/Prosts had a similar design for years.

          3. And the airbox is a completely old, rehashed idea. The cars of the 70s and 80s had all sorts of airboxes like that:

          4. Yeah but i unlike the 70s cars which had split air inlets, I don’t think that both feed the engine. vjanik suggests that it might be used to cool their KERS mechanism, but i think (or rather hope) that it is actually some kind of bonkers evolution of the F duct which allows the diffuser to be stalled.

        2. yeah, L Shaped.. crazy!

      2. I imagine they are shaped like that in an effort to channel air to the back of the car better as the better you can control the way the airflow exits the rear then the better you can control downforce and drag.

    2. best looking F1 car ever


        Similar sidepodxs mid nineties. Especially the Ligier

        1. for me the sidepod looks similar to 90s ferrari , not sure with downforce of the car and there will be more turbulence so may be difficult to handle the car at high speed corner,can somebody explain ?

      2. how long you have been fallowing f1?

    3. miguelF1O (@)
      5th February 2011, 12:53

      you are just trying to start an discussion theres no way this is the prettiest car i dont believe in you.

    4. You know, I’ve just realized where I have seen similar sidepods before: the Renault R28!

      Just the other way around really, but similar enough.

  5. Have you seen the side pods yet… They look mad.

    1. Not as mad as the airbox!!!

      1. It doesn’t have the mandatory camera yet, so it probably looks weirder than it actually is.

        But interesting launch certainly.

    2. Sidepods are crazy. They are so high, really give the area around the floor and underneath them a huge amount of space. Look too high, but they are slo very narrow. And the area around the diffuser is so neat, so empty, so clean and clear. Its also pretty interesting to see they dont have a central beam to activate the adjustable rear wing. Exhausts look pretty interesting also…

      Look forward to it going around the track; aside from Renault’s (and Red Bull’s) exhausts, this is definitely the most radical design. Wonder if it makes it faster or slower!

      1. a few of the teams seem to have a wing without a central activator williams/ mercedes. for the life of me i can’t understand out how they it works!

    3. I don’t think the side pods are that special, it looks like a solution that is being used on LMP1 cars and has been for some time now.

  6. No more F-Duct :*(

    1. It’s banned.

      1. I knew someone would say that! :P

        I know it is banned but I still miss it. Great piece of engineering

        1. Yes, but who knows what other piece of dastardly invention they have the car armed with ;)

      2. Not banned per se, more the old way of operating it by having a pipe run to the rear wing slot is banned… but F1 designers are cunning in interperating the rules. ;)

      3. Gosh how would we manage without your insight PM?

    2. I’m glad the F-Duct is banned. It means that we don’t have to look of those stupid shark fins.

  7. woah keith i hope you’re not as fast as this in the bedroom ;)

    love love love this car already. the sidepods are crazy..!!

    1. steady on nemo!

  8. Love it – sidepods are wild, clever shaping. Wonder what the large extra top intake behind the engine intake is for?

    1. Probably either for the oil radiator or to cool KERS…

      1. I just looked at some pics of them putting the thing together. It’s amazing that they did that. I’m sure the rival teams must have liked seeing all the internals.

        In the pics i saw a little radiator quite close to that extra engine intake hole thingy. so probably is for cooling something as you mention.

        1. I bet there were a few internals that were placed as a red herring to confuse and send there rivals on wild goose chases. I find it hard to believe that mcClaren would be so transparent.

          Awesome car, roll on next week, lets see it on the move

          1. My suspicion too.

          2. yes aparently the internals on show were all fakes made of plastic.

          3. Chief Macca Fan
            8th February 2011, 16:07

            i agree,whitmarsh said th sae thing,…macca havent really showed their hand just yet…bt i hope the new lower front nose proves to be ingenious and blows away redbull and the tifosi : ))

    2. The second air intake is to cool the oil and hydraulics systems

  9. The sidepods look awesome lol!

  10. Front wing diffuser as well, I like the look of the sidepods very unique.

    1. nico winning 2011. You are even crazier that the mclaren sidepods.

      1. Nico will win if he gets a title contending car for the first time, just like the other world champions got in their careers.

        Keep jabbing at me if you want, your guess is as good as mine for this season so don’t start tacking the mick just yet.

        1. I actually think this is Nico’s year. Mercedes have spent the longest developing this years car out of the top teams.

          1. Proof?

            Each of the top teams throughout the year are working with their current model as well as also looking at the new model. That just how it is. So, I would not say Mercedes was working the longest, but rather was more concentrated on creating new than improving previous, which I hope will let them to make top 3 teams into top 4 teams.

        1. @Typeblank, I think what djdave is on about, is that Mercedes stopped developing the 2010 car earlier then the rest and focused for 2011 more so, around about july-august i read up i think?

          Didn’t you schumi fans/Rosberg haters say that last year? Oh yer lol…

  11. I wonder how well the view to the sides is, sitting in the cockpit trying to see if Vettel is trying to run into your sidepod ….

    1. Maybe the shape gives more bounce to deflect flying Vettels?

    2. The high sides will probably be reinforced just for the opportunity to bash him off.

      I was looking at the live feed from Berlin just now. Button had a nice answer to questions about the buttons in the car making it complicated. He said, there is a lot of Buttons in the car, even more in his one!

  12. Very tight rear of the car slight curvature on the back wing beveled edge havent seen that before on a car this year, has the same ridge on the engine plate as the ferrari.

  13. Those sidepods are really irritating me, they dont look nice to my eyes. same with the airbox. But it does look fast and most importantly, different.

    the board behind the front wing is interesting as is the sidepods HEAVY undercut and floating look.

    I am a bit tired of the livery. Not a very attractive car but it does look fast.

    1. Its seems like a make or break design. They definitely have come up with the most innovative and intricate chassis design. The airbox, sidepods and front wing look seriously radical. I have a gut feeling that this car is going to be really quick.

      1. Looks very radical indeed. Don’t really like the looks of it, but well, if its fast its good for them.

      2. The sweeping body work between the pods and main chassis looks like it’ll improve their rear downforce a lot, something Lewis has complained about for years now. I kind of suspect the car has some clever (sneaky) hidden stuff too. But the main thing is it looks adaptable over the season, which was their sticking point last year. If you’ve got McLaren’s resources, you’ve got to be able to adapt.

  14. Some big gap between the sidepods to the flooring…

    1. And the overhang runs all the way to the back. What you want to bet they have the exhausts set up to flow into that channel.

      1. Yes and if you look, there is a line where the floor and sidepods seem joined together, you can also see a spot that is likely where a front exhaust would be. I’m willing to bet that is a dummy panel and when removed there will be a deeply undercut channel to funnel the air from the front exhausts. I hope it is so because it would be genius, I’ve got a strong feeling McLaren is going to cause the other big teams some real pain this year.

  15. Cheers Keith! Any signs of a blown diffuser arrangement?

    1. When they were building the car it appeared to have regular exhaust exits, but i have no doubt they have the renault exhausts in development

      1. ‘Hope they’ll understand it ;-)

      2. I agree Silverkeg. The exhausts looked fake. They are too far away from the diffuser and they were a strange matt grey colour.

        McLaren had me woried for a moment that they may have went conservative with their blown diffuser. Although how much time is there in the BD’s now that it’s single?

        1. I’ve just read that the engine and exhaust headers shown here are, in fact, plastic. Amazing, really. Think of all the time and money that had to go into the manufacturing of these stage props.

          1. Thats how they prototype anyway. I think James Allen had an article on his blog where his visited the Team Lotus (Lotus Racing at the time) new garage and they had all the components mocked up in plastic, engine and all! Really interesting read.

  16. waiting to see more pics.. looks like a beauty so far !!!

  17. Is it just me, or does this car seem totally disproportionate? It’s very skinny and very long. The sidepods are very high, and the airbox very low. Everything about the car seems to contradict everything else ever-so-slightly. It’s like one of those cheap 3D-puzzles you find in a two-dollar shop. There’s so much going on that you don’t really know where to look first; everything keeps drawing your eye all at once. I really don’t know where to begin with it. It looks industrial, it looks aggressive, and it looks a little unfinished.

    Still, I like it.

    1. Looks pretty proportionate & finished in my subjective opinion PM.

    2. I’m not sure what you mean by unfinished… ? I think it mostly looks deceptively simple. By far the cleanest lines of the cars we’ve seen. We’ll see if it’s quick, but it’s my favourite 2011 car – by far.

    3. It’s certainly a fun car huh, not sure if I’m convinced but you never know with radical till it starts going fast.

      The one thing thats worrying me is, where are the exhausts? Let them have figured out how to feed the diffuser properly this time, just… please.

      1. If it goes fast.

    4. Unfinished? With the amount of in-season development that goes on, are F1 ever really “finished”? Anyway, those sidepods are certainly one of the most distinctive features of any of this year’s cars. I’m also pleased that the shark fin has gone.

    5. Not so much unfinished as ready to be finished. Looks like they’ve got some good design concepts to work from in testing and over the season. The crucial factor I think is KERS. McLaren know they’re way ahead in developing the system for F1 and have probably moved on a ‘generation’ in their own development. If so it will be very difficult for other teams to catch up.

    6. I rather think it’s a bit of a stunner. Love the the low-rise pods, hope it pans out for them. Love em or hate em McLaren seem push the envelope a lot harder than most and THAT is was F1 has always been about for me.

      Oh and much kudos to Martin Whitmarsh and the team for the fun launch as well, we might all be living in testing times (pun intended), but a little theatre in the most theatrical of sports is very welcome in my book.

  18. Looks like the complete lower rear wing is missing. Probalby will be connected to a much more complicated diffusor than the simple tray shown in the presentation today.

    1. @ BasCB

      The complete lower rear wing is not missing. It is clearly visible in this photograph

      And might i remind you that double decker diffusers are banned this year. So your idea of a complicated diffusor doesn’t arise at all. None whatsoever.

      1. MagillaGorilla
        5th February 2011, 2:10

        You’re wrong the lower part of the wing is missing, and also you’re wrong again because it is exhaust blown diffusers that are banned this year it was last year that the double decker diffuser first implimented by Brawn was ban.

        1. MagillaGorilla
          5th February 2011, 2:29

          actually rob is right it’s the wing being lowered and looking more flush than anything.

    2. I think it looks like the lower element of the rear wing is missing because the adjustable top plane is angled downwards so it practically meets the one underneath.

    3. Very likley Bas, although, the rear crash structure seems more aerodynamically shaped than I’ve seen others. Quite likley the diffuser will see further development as well.

      Seems the teams have all decided that the diffuser must be fed above and below. Some are using the starter whole, as Ferrari’s fire showed. Redbull has found a loop whole, an Renaults gone all radical.

      But it does seem like people have revealed their hands quite early, so it’ll be interesting to see whats changed by Barcelona, an indeed by Bahrain.

  19. The strangest launch I’ve ever seen. It makes me wonder how much of the real MP4-26 we have seen.

  20. 3D model is up at

    Looks awesome.

    1. Looks like McLaren liked the limo-look from last year and went for a high, long stretched back of the airbox again.

      that 3D model is pretty good, shame you can’t pause it. And they must be hiding something for the diffusor, why else not show it at all.

      1. you can drive it about too which is fun :)

      2. You can choose manual orbit to pause it.

      3. @ BasCB

        You are wrong to think that McLaren like the limo-look. Its because of the aerodynamic philosophy that the have adopted that the car looks a tad lengthier, not because they wanted it that way.

        You are again wrong to think that they are hiding something about the diffuser. may I remind you that the double decker diffusers are banned this year.

        1. Can you give it a rest with constantly responding to BasCB’s posts with overly aggressive and/or patronising comments?

          Nobody is impressed with your obvious ‘expert’ knowledge, refusal to think before you flame someone (you honestly didn’t get the reference to the ‘Buttons’ joke someone mentioned?), and inability to produce a reasonable argument when you disagree with someone.

          Wait, are you Luca DiM in disguise?! Keith, I claim your ‘Troll of the Day’ prize.

        2. Dear god mate whats your problem? Attacking everything he says. I suppose you work for McLaren your Lordship, you seem to be well in there! Just because people say things that are a bit ill-judged doesn’t mean you need to go biting their heads off and playing mr smart ar*e about it- dont take yourself so seriously. And how can you shoot his idea of a more complex rear diffuser down with such conviction? McLaren could quite easily have exploited yet another loophole that allows them to be bit more creative- we see stuff like this happening every year

          1. Maybe it’s Ron! ;¬)

        3. Unipart sounds like my ex girlfriend…. Nag nag nag..

        4. Unipart I think you’ll find that BasCB’s contributions are always welcomed and respected as the man does have a certain degree of knowledge.

          You on the other hand – you appear to always have something to say, very little to contribute however.

  21. Is it a double air-box?

    1. The rear opening will be for cooling the gearbox, along with some other accessories. Previous teams who have adopted this cooling arrangement have used a smaller opening.

      1. Renaults got one, they used their F-Duct feeding solution. McLaren have gone a different dirction clearly.

  22. Not a fan. Last years car looked great but this looks almost like they’ve tried to be a bit too radical, almost for the sake of being different.

    I’m thinking (and hoping :P) for a Ferrari F92 style flop.

    1. Eh? I don’t understand that, the sidepods are radical, but the nose, diffuser treatment, pretty much everything else isn’t.

      TO me it looks where they’ve found an area where they can improve airflow a lot. It’s only radical in that it looks a bit different, Ferrari had a less extreme version last year.

      I just want to now what they’ve done with the exhausts, that was the biggest thing last year, an I think it’s gonna be the most important thing again this season.

      1. From the side view the airbox and the nose looked more ‘radical’ than it actually is; and that was the only view I’d really seen when I posted that. My bad.

        I still dont like it, but it will be interesting to see how the other teams react over the course of the season. The sidepods seem like the kind of thing that would be obvious to designers. Would the extra surface area create more drag?

        1. The extra surface area will cause more induced drag but not much in the grand scheme of things especially if the function of the shape is to channel air to the back more effectively and helps to either cut drag (by smoothing the transition of upper and lower air) or increase downforce by channeling the upper air onto the rear wing arrangement.

      2. from the photos i think it looks like the exhaust comes out centrally from the rear- there’s a close up photo of it somewhere. But i suppose you don’t really know if they’re real or not from the launch- we’ll have to wait i guess…

    2. i agree. Was not that ferrari, the one capelli drove? Even the sidepods were vertical like this one.
      Not the most beautiful mclaren, “that’s for sure”.
      I read the comments of some fans, and i think they are trying to be positive, but it doesn’t give me a good feeling.

      1. It was the Ferrari that Ivan Capelli drove in 1992, without much success. That was configured around a bizarre double floor concept which Ferrari were never able to make work.

    3. I doubt they would spend millions on being radical ‘just for the sake of it’, if they don’t think it’ll be quicker

  23. Scarbs is gonna have a field day! :)

    1. Yes he is! I can’t wait to see what he says.

      1. suspense is killing me atm!!!… c’mon Scarbs :)

  24. I can sort of see why they only ran the new tyres on an old car during the test – three day swould have been plenty of time for the other teams’ spies to get plenty of pictures of the car to take away.

    Whether that is smoke and mirrors (a la Red Bull getting people to stand behind the car blocking the rear diffuser from view) to wrongfoot the other teams and distract them from more subtle and effective design features remains to be seen…

  25. If you look below the F on the Vodafone branding on the side pod there is a inlet? this is interesting it very subtle!

    1. I think it is very suspicious looking OLI. Maybe a dummy panel to hide a channel they will route the flow from the forward exhausts they are so rumored of having? If it is, it looks like it would flow back and perfectly feed the diffuser and beam wing area.

  26. NUTS! I love it! Yes reguler exhaust :/

    1. Where? Out the back? Just that one? I shouldn’t think so and I bleedin hope not. Seems unlikley apart from anything else.

      1. Has anyone seen the exhausts?

        1. They’ve been found. Possible fakes, but normally placed above the diffuser to feed the starter hole

  27. You can adjust all the settings and camera angles on the McLaren 3D model

  28. A very interesting solution for the sidepods, but I don’t understand why they opted for such aerbox design.

  29. here you go guys..

    last years lauch car compared to this.
    tried to scale it as best i can. this years wheelbase looks much longer..?

    1. also looks very ‘fat’ at the back. but i guess theres more to pack in this year right..?

      1. But in contrast, Williams have managed to reduce the back of their car to next to nothing, presumably packing in the same stuff.

    2. The wheelbase is probably the same, The 2010 car is squished in that comparison. The wheels are slightly ovals.

      1. i think its more the angle of the shot. if you look at the front wheel you can see more of the slick surface at 9 o’clock where as you cant see any at 3 o’clock.. if that makes sence :)

        1. No, it is. If that was true the 2011’s wheel should be more oval as there is more 9 o clock on that tyre than on the 2010 pic but it appears less oval. The rear tyre is pretty much straight on and the same in both pics and the 2010 is clearly more oval. This tiny amount of compresion over the lenth of the whole car adds up to a much shorter image.

      2. The wheelbase is indeed longer. The car as a whole is longer and probably has the longest nose of any car launched so far.

    3. Yeah I did the same. It doesn’t look any different from the side at all now does it?

      Apart from the F-duct of course.

    4. That has got to be one of the best optical illusions I’ve ever seen! The new sidepods look completely normal from the side on view!

    5. nice 1 nemo

  30. Second most extreme car of 2011? This thing is ugly as heck though, the sidepods are the worst I’ve ever seen on an F1 car. That double airbox looks kinda cool, but the front wing with the swooping element looks very strange, fragile, like it’ll break off at any minute. And where is their version of the FEE as everyone was suggesting they had?

    Trying hard not to say anything about F1 fans in a certain country and their tendency to over exaggerate the success of their drivers and cars…. Oops.

    1. I don’t seem to remember seeing anyone (British or otherwise) talking about the ‘success’ of a car which hasn’t even turned a wheel in public yet. Maybe you could come up with some more original digs at the ‘British bias’ of people who comment on this blog by Bahrain…

    2. Well, you can spot something of an opening prepared below the sidepod (look at the incredibly sharp picture Keith has of the sidepod), that migh be used for getting the exhaust opeing to the front.

      But I think they will rather do something at the backside of the car, maybe a bit like RBR. That diffusor looks pretty simle to me, so it might get some changes before Bahrain. And don’t worry about the front wing, it’s last years wing used in the last couple of races (the adjustable flap is a giveaway)

      1. I think the top element will stay though, figuring out how to split airflow round the front tyre took them ages. Only sorted it by Abu Dhabi.


        1. When they were wheeling the unclothed car along you could see the exhaust pipes routing backwards in a pretty standard way, I think they may come out of the open end of the sidepods close in to the body.

          I doubt McLaren are looking (yet) at copying Renault’s exhaust design. I doubt anyone is, until they see how quick the Renault can be.

          1. Apparently all of the internals in the car were “fake” plastic. i.e dummy internals are the rear or the car apparently. According to autosport.

            I must admit I did raise an eyebrow when i saw it coming along the concourse without an engine cover etc.

        2. Although they just said it doesn’t have the final exhaust configuration on it today, so who knows!

      2. @ BasCB

        There is nothing remotely to suggest what you have written here. I guess you are talking about these two photographs.

        is just looks like flash reflection to us. maybe you are imagining things about the front exhaust blow floor.

        You are again wrong when you say those were last years front wings. Maybe you didn’t watch the live feed, I did & I can say with conviction that those new front wings had something like blades underneath them, something like a mini-diffusor in itself.

        1. Dude,
          1, the wings are very simular to last years, especially the adustable front flap which is last years.

          2 you can’t have a diffuser on a wing. Diffusers expand air, Wings redirect it.

          3 There is an inlet beneath the side pod. Look at the car… from the side.

          4 Blades under the wings is fairly common. It’s to straighten airflow being directed towards the floor.

          1. My thinking is that he meant wing fences, but used the term diffusers because almost everyone has an idea what that looks like.

        2. I’m calling troll alert on Uni-tard over here…

  31. When the side pods were off you could see the exhausts ended short. There appears to be no room for them to exit at the rear? I think there are some things missing from the car.

    1. Maybe they have decided to have exhausts exiting the bottom of the sidepods rather than in front or behind? Not sure how practical it would be…

    2. But then again it does look possible that they are coming out in front of the back wing, otherwise what is that hole for?

      1. You can see the exhausts in this picture – the slot in front of the rear wing is for something else.

        1. boy my eyesight must be bad

        2. Oh yeah, there they are, righteo looks fairly basic. Imagine the starter hole solutions being used and the air will be fed below the diffuser as well as above.

          Looks like Redbull have the most advanced method of feeding the diffusers normally. Wonder if that’ll be copied. Cars may change between launch and testing we all know, an Renaults tme most radical.

          1. No you can’t see where the exhaust exit, they have not given away that secret. The engine and exhaust were plastic

  32. If F1 were a poker game: Redbull what is your bet? “High nose!” Ferrari? “We see your nose and raise it!” Mercedes? “We see their nose and raise it!” McLaren? “Ahahahaha, call ;)

    1. Also the nose appears to have a ramp leading from the front wing. Either that or it is something else in the picture making it look like that.

      1. yeah that tongue was something Williams brought in a few years back, from memory a few teams tried it, Not sure if Williams still use it but I’m pretty sure McLaren have had it for a while.

        1. Yep, williams had it in 2009, McLaren had it last year. I think it is angled a bit more down this year, but maybe that is only because the nose is lower too.

  33. If F1 were a poker game: Redbull what is your bet? “High nose!” Ferrari? “We see your nose and raise it!” Mercedes? “We see their nose and raise it!” McLaren? “Ahahaha, call ;)”

    Have to love McLaren for being gutsy enough to go so against the grain!

    1. Ooops, sorry for the double post everybody!

      1. the nose doesnt look any lower than last years car imo. by far the most radical looking car this season..

        lets hope the virgin and HRT dont overshadow ;)

        1. The tip of the nose may not be lower, but the whole nose forward from the cockpit is straighter and slopes down lower at the front wheel than last year.

        2. possibly HRT’s livery, but Virgin could be a different story.

          If you look at what Wirth accomplished in the Le Mans Series with his CFD approach, it is entirely possible that someday Virgin will be a racewinner.

          And maybe someday is near!

          1. You can’t compare Le Mans and F1. It is much easier to reduce drag on cars with enclosed wheels than it is on open wheelers.
            Even without using a wind tunnel or CFD, any of the new teams can make progress this year by visually copying the design elements of last years successful cars.
            If CFD is going to save the world as he claims, then Virgin should be very fast this year and we can forgive any reliability issues or mis-calibrated fuel tanks.

            Wirth is someone who just enjoys his data and forgets the cause.

  34. Oops, there is a screw missing on the exhaust shot just below were the top suspension arm exits the gearbox casing.

  35. Are the exhaust pipes centralized in that airplane looking thing in the middle in the back, right before the moving back wing ?

    1. That exit could be for the air cooling the kers and gearbox etc.

  36. Out of interest why does a British team lauch their car in Berlin? Mercedes influence?

    1. It was a request by vodafone to have it launched there.

      1. For those who watched the live feed, it was all to obvious this was a VF event. Lewis put the name in virtually every sentence and Kai Ebel (I think it was him doing the presenters job, correct me if I am wrong) used quite a bit of it as well.

        1. No, Kai is the guy who always dresses funny ! :)

        2. @ BasCB

          You are completely presumptive to think that it was a vodafone event. And I am sure Lewis didn’t put in Vodafone’s name in every sentence he spoke. In fact He & Jenson were very happy to be at Berlin.

          1. Maybe you are slightly presumptive to know how Jenson and Lewis felt, considering you are not: a) Lewis or Jenson b) psychic

          2. This has to be humor, or by now it is really sad. You had too really stretch to find anything to complain and seem at least half factually wrong.

            The Vodafone guy said it himself! Button and Hamilton looked like they were determined to enjoy it, I can’t know how they actually felt.

          3. Actually it was, McLaren stated that it was a launch with their sponsor Vodafone and all the people taking in parts of the car were Vodafone competition winners and customers.

            On a side note, this is getting immensely tiring and ruining an otherwise great comments thread. Any chance of a ban for Unipartretarded?

        3. @BasCB

          Is Unipart your ex wife or something? Or a spurned girlfriend? :-)

          Or is it actually you, and you are winding us up? :-)

          I agree, it was definitely at VFs request.

          1. i’m thinking Keith is in on this joke, otherwise he would’ve been banned by now… have to admit, i am no scouring the comments pages to find BasCB posts!

    2. it was to coincide with a promo event vodafone are doing over in Germany

      1. Cheers all!

  37. That looks horrible

  38. Wow, I haven’t really liked the look of Mclarens in recent years but this is sleek as hell. The sidepod shapes don’t look like they’re that way for no reason, put it that way.

    1. In fact I wonder if the recess in the shape of the sidepods allows air over the top of the sidepods and into the rear of the car.

      1. I suppose that’s the intention of them, leaving the openings to scoop up the dirty air from the front wheels.

        1. That almost has to be it. I find it refreshing to see a car that has actual sidepods this year, other than SRT. Everyone else seems to be copying RedBull’s idea of packaging the rear end so tight that the sidepods almost disappear!

        2. @ BasCB

          Unless you have done Computational Fluid Dynamic simulations yourself, you can’t be so sure that the openings are to scoop up the dirty air from the front wheels.

          The study of airflow is a very abstract & complex field for you to be speculating.

          1. Wow, you really are obsessed with stalking the same poster.

          2. Unipart- if you’re doing this for some private joke which i hope you are then fair enough its quite amusing. If you’re not then someone might suggest that you are a truly sad and probably very lonely individual. Im still deciding whether or not i like you…

          3. dyslexicbunny
            4th February 2011, 16:19

            He can suppose whatever the hell he wants. There’s a definition for suppose: “Assume that something is the case on the basis of evidence or probability but without proof or certain knowledge.” Fancy that.

            So unless you’ve got data to prove him wrong, you’d be better off keeping your mouth shut about idle speculation. This Bas stalking has gotten irritating. What, did Bas pee in your cornflakes for the past month?

          4. Well i’ll you what, have a go at me, not BasCB if you wanna go on about the openings. I raised the point in the first place, so if the point was wrong, correct me.

            Anyhow, I’m not sure what it is, but looking at the car something tells me they’ve nailed it. Somehow.

  39. wondered how long it was goin before someone couldn’t brought up the ‘british bias’ digs.

  40. im sure that car has something illegal that they will call clever design.

    1. Why, what did they have that was illegal last year?

    2. Bigbadderboom
      4th February 2011, 12:43

      Sounds like a contradicting statement to me! How is it clever if it is illegal? You can push the boundaries of the regs by innovation, perhaps that’s what you poorly veiled, bias statement was meaning to say!!

    3. Well because trinacria, as an Italian, or at least someone who references Sicily in their name, knows that all non-Italian teams and drivers cheat, while Ferrari are The True Way.

      Remember Luca’s comments about how Brawn and Red Bull had previously ‘doped’ their titles by coming up with things Ferrari didn’t? Sorry, I mean coming up with ‘illegal’ things. *rolls eyes*

  41. I’m very suspicion of the whole launch concept and how they appeared with the skeleton of the car and build it. I think there is a whole lot more science going into this design. The concentric air box seems to channel air and direct it to the lower rear wing. I’m really looking forward to seeing what this can do. As for the look of the car can we remind ourselves this is racing car designed for speed? not a road car designed for the looks.

    1. And it’s not lacking in the looks department. Very sleek.

  42. If I interpret this close-up right it looks rather interesting. Is that the exhaust? Very unusual position if so. Would they be trying to use it to affect the airflow around the rear wing?

    1. i dont think that is the exhaust exit. looks more to do with the split airbox to me..!?

      1. @nemo and leftie: thanks guys. Probably right.
        It had me me wondering whether it was in some way an attempt to use some internal mechanism (engine or something else) to direct airflow in an f-duct-ish way, but the location is all wrong. Undoubtedly it will have been scrupulously carefully placed for some other arcane reason. The whole rear looks very small and with the sidepods the way they are I imagine the air is going to flow round this area in a quite different way to other cars. Of course, I haven’t a clue what I’m on about, I just look forward to seeing it on the track!

    2. I think its rather a cooling system outlet than the exhaust pipe.

  43. That looks different…not sure about beautiful, though. Some interesting solutions, for sure, but i’m sure presented car is far off its true from. We’ll have to wait till Barcelona\Bahrain test for that.

  44. Man, I love this sport!

    It’s so cool to watch these new cars and the different solutions chosen by the teams.

    Also, despite all the copying going on, you can still see the DNA of the different teams. I mean imagine this car in Ferrari livery and vice versa. Or add a Red Bull or Mercedes in the mix.

    I would’ve been surprised had McLaren built a clean, smooth car. You just know that they will live up to their name and bring some extra features, shapes or whatever. Now let’s hope it all works – for all the teams, so we can have another close season!

    1. Well said Verstappen!!

  45. if anyone has missed it
    here you go guys..

    last years lauch car compared to this years.
    tried to scale it as best i can. this years wheelbase looks slighty longer..?

    1. Yeah, slightly longer. Perhaps to try and gain as much from the Adjustable Rear Wing (are we calling that ARW yet?) and from KERS?

      Id love to see a similar shot of the RB7, F150 and MP4/26 together. Then we can start picking at them ;) (not saying you should do it nemo, just thinking aloud)

      1. haha if i can find decent/similar shots it will be done..!

      2. A longer wheelbase has been confirmed. That will help with counteracting the oversteer induced by the new Pirreli tyres.

        1. The wheelbase is the same. I resized this version so the wheels are the same size, and the wheelbase is now exactly the same. The car as a whole is a touch longer.

  46. …ahh sounds like I have the wrong end of the stick. Intriguing bit, anyway. Overall a shape that looks like it embodies myriad clever ideas. Slinky!

  47. Because I have been busy at work I haven’t really been following testing or had a chance to have a good look at the other 2011 cars. First impressions are that I like the MP4-26

    The front wing looks rather complex. I thought they may have put a more basic one on for the launch.

    Also they McLaren still don’t have a sponsor on the back of the rear wing, which I find a bit surprising as it is one of the main areas for sponsors.

    1. Yeah I couldn’t understand last year why they didn’t have any sponsor logo there. That area features so heavily in the incar camera view of a car close behind, you would think Mclaren would want to make use of that especialy if cars will now be able to get closer behind others.

  48. The airbox-in-an-airbox remins me of the xenomorph from Alien and the way it had a mouth in its mouth.

  49. I’m Ferrari fan, but… this is beautiful!! Go McLaren! I think this is a winner.

  50. That is last years front and rear wings.

    Why use your new front wings and give the competition stuff to think about. Keep them guessing.

    This is a base aero package and is likely to be different at the first race. Even ferrari, williams, renault and mercedes used last years front wings at valencia.

  51. that is one crazy looking car. Hope all these radical designs pay off.

  52. Shape of the sidepods strikes me as being inspired by the streamliners they used to use on the high-speed circuits back in the pre-war days and the 50’s.

    At the time the bodywork would cover the wheels which gave them bulges on either side of the car. The effect these sidepods have with the channels formed by the side bulges and raised centre section reminds me a bit of that shape.

    1. Exactly what I have been thinking. Reminds me of some old Auto union race cars of way back. The only difference being that the wheels would have been directly mounted on what we now call the sidepod.

  53. It looks very well developed and innovative in all the areas except from the nose that is in countertrend from the others teams.
    Maybe just the renault’s front exhaust exit seems to be the much radical innovation at the moment.
    Anyway it looks better than Ferrari which has lost any sign of innovation

    1. To be fair, we have no idea where the Mclaren exhaust is going to end/come out. Heres a pic of it from earlier

      Its just ‘there’ but with no showing where it blows to.

      1. it looks like it will be in a similar position as the RB7, but I don’t think it will be at the front as renault (which still has to prove the efficiency of the solution).

      2. look at pic 12 & 19 on official f1 site

          1. That plastic engine is so small, it must be a 2stroke concept.

  54. I love that its so different. Either gonna be awesome or an epic fail.

    Can’t wait for scarbs to cast his eye over it and tell me what its all for:

  55. I love this car. I like that they don’t use the gimmicky front nose like everybody else. I love the sidepod idea. Idk if the nose is narrower than last years, but if not the way it’s painted makes it look that way and it’s great.

  56. WhooHoo, ahm… STRANGE :)

  57. This car will win the championship!! period.

  58. heres a quick pic of the Mclaren comapred to the Ferrari. Again ive tried to scale it as best i can (according to rim size)

    the ferrari nose is a heck of a lot longer..

    1. also the Ferrari is alot slimmer at the back

      1. Gotta be careful saying it’s slimmer. Don’t forget the McLaren is missing a considerable chunk of volume in that sidepod.

        And remember the Toyota’s nose from last season? It was virtually non existent!

        1. thats true.. looking and the mclarenf rom a different angle it seems quite tall at the back but also quite narrow i width

          1. Revolution vs evolution…

    2. Cool. Interestingly the tip of the Mclaren nose isn’t much lower than the Ferrari one, but it slopes all the way along whereas the Ferrari is pretty much horizontal all the way. I guess the “horizon” for the Mclaren driver will be lower as a result – a good thing for visibility I presume.

      1. also noticed the mclaren hasnt got the camera/T bar up top.. probably just a launch thing right..?

      2. Yes I would think so too, should be easier to see apexes. The ferrari nose does look laughably high next to the Mclaren, especialy at the front wheel.

    3. I don’t know if it is the colour scheme of the maclarens – but they (for the last two years) seem to have much more bulk (bulge) down the inside of the sidepod (from where the driver sits, along the inside of the sidepod to the rear) when copared to the other cars, especially the ferrari. Again I dont know if this is due to light reflecting differently and an optical illusion but it always looks bulkier here

    4. Misleading image. The camera that took the Ferrari was positioned slightly to the right while that of the Mclaren was slightly to the left, you can tell that by the off set of the front wheels. This makes the Mclaren nose cone look much shorter than it really is.

  59. heres an updated picture of the MP4-26 compared to last seasons lauch car..

    seems i was mistaken before.. this years car appears to be shorter in wheelbase..!?

    1. Wow, are you sure you got the sizes right here. I get the impression the tyres look smaller on this years car, but it might just be the different shape confusing me there.

      Would that also mean a slightly different comparison with the Ferrari?

      1. no they are the same. i think the shiny tyres make them look bigger too.

        I water-marked the images and plaed them ontop of eachother to get the scales as close as possible :)

      2. @ BasCB

        You clearly must know that the camera capturing those two photographs were not in the same focal length range.

        Would that also mean a slightly different comparison with the Ferrari?

        It would be completely different.

    2. I think BasCB is right.
      From the look of it, the scaling in your first comparison between old and new were correct.

      1. yeah i see what you mean. but looking at the water-marked scales i did the rear wheels are the same atleast haha

    3. I think I would agree with BasCB. Now the 26 looks 2 or 3% too small.

    4. The MP4-26 is at slightly more of an angle. That makes it look shorter

      1. Thats true, slightly from behind.

    5. nemo, using a bit of paper and the wheels as reference your scaling seems a tad out

      but that said…good work

    6. nemo … Thanks for taking the time to do the photo comparisons. It would appear that the different camera positions and the resulting perspectives may be at issue. In the 2010 launch the camera position appears to be in line with the cockpit, while in the 2011 launch the camera is a little aft of the cockpit. This allows you to see more of the left front wheel and in turn makes the nose appear shorter than it actually is. In the Ferrari shot, the camera appears to be slightly forward of the cockpit – note that you can see significantly more of the left rear wheel – which makes the nose look longer.

  60. There are a lot of interesting parts on that car! I very much doubt what looks like the exhaust is where the actual exhaust will be.

    You’d assume the extra inlet behind the airbox is for cooling but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out it isn’t!

    They haven’t put their new wings on yet and the diffuser is just a basic diffuser to complete the car for the launch.

    Can’t wait to see what it looks like come Bahrain!

    1. I assume you mean the outlet behind the airbox? That is not the exhaust outlet it seems to be for exiting air from the cooling system. The exhausts currently exit directly on to the diffuser but they are plastic mock-ups so who knows where they will end up on the real thing.

      I also assume the extra air box is for cooling the KERS instead of having larger side pod inlets. The double airbox most likely results in less drag.

  61. Is that Mark Hughes in the first picture?

  62. Doesn’t seem to me a mechanism to move the rear wing???

    1. I was also wondering where they put it. But this certainly is not the wing that will be used for the races.

      1. @ BasCB

        This certainly will be the wing used for races,but with an addon in the form of the mechanism to move the rear wing plates.

        1. The real MP4-26 rear wing is likly to be completely different than this old MP4-25 wing.

          1. Once all the testing is done and everyone rocks up at Bahrain with their cars there is a good chance most of them will have some modified aero parts from what we have seen this week.

  63. I like the way the air box looks… rather sinister, like something Darth Vader would drive.

    1. Man wears Mclaren airbox on his head.

      lol From a front on view it really does look simalar to a cylon helmet.

  64. It reminds me the Ferrari F92A

    1. Every time someone has mentioned the F92A, I’ve gone back to look at it – and in my opinion it just does not remind me of the Ferrari. The angles, proportions and contours just aren’t there in my view.

  65. I hope that this car has something the last one lacked- good basic levels of mechanical grip. The Redbull had this in abundance last year as I’m sure this years RB will have too. The aero devices are great and state of the art, however without a basic solid handling chasis to bolt them on it will fail.

    1. gotta agree there, mclarens used to rule the wet but last years was more like a tub in the wet

      1. Well, this year the front suspension seems to be less angled, and connected lower, maybe that is to do with their doing something to make those tyres last more than 10 laps. Could also help basic levels of grip.

  66. I think it would have been cool if Pirelli let each team choose which colour tyre they used for their car launches.
    The Mclaren is going to look even better when using the red texted super-softs.

  67. it looks very good. the sidepods’ concept is interesting and the nose cone seems a slenderer version of the late 90s-early 00s ones.

  68. Love the new car, deffinatley the best looking car on the track, i love how every year McLaren have a new concept or way of racing, im sure this can et Lewis to 2011 WDC and be a winning car

  69. looks like it has normal exhausts so far. You can see them in this picture just beneath the copper coloured horizontal suspension arm (or whatever it is), one either side of the safety light

    1. You’re right, good eye! The copper colored bars are the drive shafts, by the way.

    2. Might as well stop looking for the exhaust outlet, they have openly said it not revealed, you won’t find out until they test it.

      1. Thanks for that, I’ve not read that anywhere.

        Gets ones mind racing as to what exhaust set up they will use!

  70. Wow, this car looks AMAZING! The most unique car so far!

  71. Is anyone else just doing doughnuts with the 3D car on the website? Wow, I’m easily entertained!

    I love the looks of the car–very aggressive design. The sidepod channels look to be directing airflow to the rear of the car over the beam wing and diffuser. Perhaps the channels accelerate the air to an extent.

    1. lol, yep, turn off the TC and play…

  72. kenneth Ntulume
    4th February 2011, 14:41

    My hope & prayer is that, substance will surpass Form

  73. Wow, well McLaren certainly haven’t disappointed, in my view. I love the nose, the ethos of aggression and I can live with those sidepods. Let’s just hope it’s FAST!

  74. Cars I’ve seen so far:

    Ferrari = ugly beyond belief, looking unsymmetrical from many angles and fragile (lame, tame, shame)
    Sauber = just like Ferrari
    Mercedes = not bad, they get away with it
    Williams = not bad at all
    Lotus Renault = the livery can’t save it (no Lotus feeling whatsoever)
    Team Lotus = lame & tame. Not aggressive enough
    McLaren = a stunner, just put the sharkfin on
    HRT = Quite goodlooking from what I can see

    1. i think thats a little unfair nakos…the ferrari’s just…well…simple, conservative & un-imaginative. not sure they’ve done enough to realise their hopes but what the hell do i know?

      1. I just find it hard to see it as an aggressive F1 challenger from most angles. Not a fan of the high nose concept I guess. Very few cars with this looks good.

    2. the-muffin-man
      4th February 2011, 15:06

      HRT is last years car. Doubt we’ll see the new one before the first race (if at all!).

    3. HRT? I think that must be a joke that I’m not getting?

  75. dyslexicbunny
    4th February 2011, 15:02

    Mind. Blown. (probably not long enough)

  76. Looks like they swung for the fence this time. Lots of interesting details and some dramatic departures from convention. It seems they are not relying on a super-high, flattened nose to get air to the diffuser, which seems the current style. Since they have gone their own way this year it seems they will either be competitive or we will see the cars soaked in flow-vis every race Friday.

    1. You nailed it I agree.

  77. The chrome livery looks cheaper every year.

    1. Soon it will have rust showing through.

      1. And the Ferrari red that they have every year? I dont get how people can say crap about McLaren for having the same livery for the last couple of years when Ferrari do the exact same.

        1. I still like the proper Ferrari red, not the marlboro one they swapped to. It’s too orange IMHO

  78. Being a fan of Mclaren…or Vodafone Mclaren Mercedes (as Lewis would put it) I wish Him & Jenson all the best for the double

    The MP4 26 certainly looks well developed…but so did the 25

    I’m pretty sure the boys at Mclaren wouldn’t have missed a trick with the exhausts second time round but as for beating the soft drinks manufacturing team…well were not going to know that until Bahrain

  79. that nose is fugly
    and looks slow

    i hope ^^

  80. k i know im being a kid but does anyone know what you click to drive the car on the mclaren website. I can get the rotating 3D video up but dont know what to do to “take it for a spin”

    1. the arrow key of course…what else would such a technically advanced company like Mclaren use?

  81. McLaren is always revolutionary and innovative.
    I hope it’ll be a very good car XD

  82. wow, looks lovely and really confident with the design. i think it’s clever enough to work, hopefully it will do the job on the track!

    for me the mercedes is still the nicest looking of the new cars. if i had to rank them (which, of course i do) i’d go for a top 3 of…


  83. What happend to McLarens Hilton decals? And the Polish Stockbroker company?

    I usually love the Chrome-Rocket Red livery but it does look a little plain this year, a flash of red on the engine cover would do wonders. Also I already know I’m a noob… but is it push-rod or pull-rod? And finally is that their wing for 2011 or is it just the 2010 one because they certainly developed it a lot so it might still be up to date.

  84. What happend to McLaren’s Hilton decals? And the Polish Stockbroker company?

    I usually love the Chrome-Rocket Red livery but it does look a little plain this year, a flash of red on the engine cover would do wonders. Also I already know I’m a noob… but is it push-rod or pull-rod? And finally is that their wing for 2011 or is it just the 2010 one because they certainly developed it a lot so it might still be up to date.

  85. I am no expert on car design but, at the rear of the engine cover, is that not a single exhaust outlet?? If so what is the impact of having a single outlet blowing out of the rear of the car towards the rear wing. I for one was dissapointed not to see the Renault style side pod option on the car.

    Overall looks are ok, but I am pleased to see the car has pushed the design a bit further than an evolution of the MP4-25. I was in Valencia and was dissapointed to see very little difference in the F150 and RB7 from the 2010 cars.

    It has spured me on to buy a pass for Jerez with both my wife and the circuit to go and see this thing on the track. A bold step from McLaren I think.

    1. A guy already said that they have said the exhaust layout won’t be revealed till later. Maybe read before you post?

    2. I mean read on here.

    3. all the tech specs are on Mclarens web site

    4. “I am no expert on car design but, at the rear of the engine cover, is that not a single exhaust outlet?? If so what is the impact of having a single outlet blowing out of the rear of the car towards the rear wing”

      A new F-duct?

  86. I am no maclaren fan but this machine looks like a race winner!

  87. well if they used similar sidepod concept in the past and dropped it… maybe it’s not such a great solution… also i think that it will be banned for next season…:)

    …car looks great and the chrome livery is smashing, but my favorite is the Mercedes’s nose’job ;d it’s so eccentric :)

    1. They tried EBD before last season and dropped it! That wasn’t exactly a bad idea was it!?

    2. Regulations change and therefore optimal solutions within those regulations will change.

  88. everyone’s commenting on the sidepods and stuff etc

    but WOW is that a complex front wing!!

    1. Well, we already commented on that in Brazil last year and in Abu Dhabi were exactly the same wing was raced.

      1. my bad for not remembering.

    2. McLaren gives you wings

  89. Popular car! Nearly 300 hits in one afternoon! Can’t think why. LOL

    Most of the innards are fake, and some of the outside bits aren’t all that they appear to be either. Looks like it could be another good car. But the 2009 car showed just how wrong a good looking car can be.

    1. Popular car! Nearly 300 hits in one afternoon! Can’t think why

      Because its Friday and there is not other launches or testing going on + Mclaren are one of the top three teams?

      1. Ah! So that’s why. ;)

        Didn’t Ferrari launch……..oh, perhaps not.

        1. Because Ferrari might as well have launched last year’s car again, which was quite boring.

          1. I think they did, and took it to the first test :-)

  90. Isn’t the front wing the 2010 spec wing because they look VERY similar? Or maybe i can’t see the difference?

    1. I thought the same. The rear wing is the 2010 spec, there’s no movable read element.

  91. Younger Hamilton
    4th February 2011, 17:07

    Love everything about the MP4-26,just stuns and amazes me.The Major and Interesting Innovations like the Sidepods,feeding airflow towards the Rear Wing thus producing more downforce,the two air intake system and the engine cover innovation,looks pretty similar to Mercedes’ last season when they first brought it up in Spain.Front wing is definetely the same as the last year’s updated Front Wing,what else we’ve got the new steering wheel,looks pretty good as well if you guys wanna see the new steering wheel,go to i really really do hope McLaren win both Drivers and Constructors Titles this year,i really think this is their year for the win.


  92. Look at all that aero on the front wing! Reminds me of the 2007 / 2008 car.

    1. That because its old and is, its not the front wing for 2011

  93. MP4-26 will get in trouble or it will atleast create a stir.. looks like they are feeding the air through that duct for aero effeciency

  94. Fantastic the Mclaren MP4-26!

  95. From the technical specifications,the rear suspension is pullrod.

    1. It’s pretty evident from the pictures though …

  96. Looks great, looks sleek and fast, but will it BE faster and quicker then the Red Bulls???

    Side pods are absolutely stunning!

  97. From a visual engineering standpoint, we all have to admit that mclaren exceeds all competition. They had the balls and took the chances to go with different design and utility elements. That shows they are poised to win this year. I can’t wait to time the car in the circuits and see if all this creativity can translate to real performance. Mclaren forever!

  98. Looking at how that U-radiator feeds air into the diffuser looks like this could create some crazy levels of downforce. Everything looks to flow nicely.

  99. Absolutely gorgeous car !
    However, future rules should make these cars at least half a meter shorter, that way there would be more passing – these things are long as a train

  100. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    4th February 2011, 19:15

    That is a beautiful piece of machinery.

  101. If this years strategy is to follow the lead car closely, then overtake on the final lap, cooling in turbulent air will be vital.

  102. I’ve got to admit that it does make cars like the Ferrari look a bit ‘frumpy’. But there’s a few weeks left to the start of the season, so it’s still game on with regards to development.

  103. hi all, have a look at the front shot of the side pods, look at the nosecone (just above the frame of the picture…F-duct type holes/plates??

    I know they some times have those access plates to adjust components in the front end yet I havent noticed them on other cars yet this season

  104. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    4th February 2011, 21:54

    Most interesting looking cars so far are the McLaren, Lotus and Williams. The Renault’s front exhausts are also interesting but they don’t have much effect on the overall look of the car.

    Can’t wait for the season to start!!

  105. Lewis hamiltons input to the car: make it stronger so I can bump wheels and not DNF

    1. Well he did get rammed by Webber twice. Button got rammed by Vettel so it’s not like he wouldn’t benefit from a sturdier car.

  106. I bet the chrome wheels were Lewis’ idea.

  107. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    4th February 2011, 23:27

    The high nose could be compared with the Jordan of 2000. That car was competitive. But it’s probably a way to avoid a car could push another in the air, which happened a lot with low noses going under the tyres.

  108. So most comments ever on an article Keith?

    1. Stuck in Silent Hill
      5th February 2011, 3:58

      No it ain’t.This article had over 600 comments. Thanks to Mad Max

  109. Another 2011 car with rear pull rod suspension

  110. Aright that rear wing has got me absolutely confuzzled. Its not 2010’s wing, but theres no mechanism to move it. Unless the two things on either sides are it, but I think those are just supports.
    Another thing, I think I may have found their FEE. Where the Sidepod cuts away on the bottom, there is a long strip of what looks to be fireproof material. And there seems to be a hole. The back might be so tight because they want to channel all the air to the diffuser by sucking it their using that super sharp angled back end. Still, it looks like they’re doing it wrong…

  111. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    5th February 2011, 7:44

    This car instantly makes everything look out-of-date. Like a, “how are you others going to be fast if it doesn’t look like this?” kinda feeling.

    If it blows everyone away, they’ll all look like this next year, of course.

    I’m hoping for Melbourne ’98 levels of domination.

    1. My biggest fear is that this will be a total bust like the McLaren a few years back that they actually binned in season because it was such a dog. Can’t recall the year or car model,but it generated the same kind of initial excitement.

      With cutting edge changes you either soar to the top or plummet to the bottom.

  112. This car instantly makes everything look out-of-date.

    Got to agree with ya on the way it looks. It’s stunning to look at. When I first saw the profile pictures and looked at the rear I instantly thought of Lemans Prototype influences.

    I’m curious to see how fast it will be right out of the box. Macca has already mentioned that the Pirellis aren’t good for more than ten laps (Lewis vs Button on tyre care) and we don’t yet know how well the Mercedes drive train and brakes will handle the extra stress from the KERS and movable rear wing.

    I’s gonna be great season!

  113. I’m going to double-post. Hopefully Keith doesn’t mind. I have an attention deficit disorder and, being a hermit, you guys are the only family I’ve got: :p

    The front of that car looks so looong!

    I think putting the car together in front of the public is an excellent idea. I hope they release a fast-motion video of it happening. That would be cool to watch. If anyone has already found a link to something like that, please post it.

    Anyway, as I posted in a previous article, If the Pirellis are degrading as badly as everyone says, surely Jenson’s already got the 2011 championship in the bag! His smooth driving skill is going to murder Hamilton this year, isn’t it? Especially if he’s bettered his qualifying performances, as he stated he must.

    Finally, I hope all of you who can afford it send off your £5 donation to F1Fanatic soon, if you haven’t done so already. This will help Keith cover his costs for covering the Valencia tests and eating all that paella. F1 Magazine is £65 a year and this site is miles better. So, come on!


    1. Funny you should mention tyres. Look for Massa, Button, and in particular, Schumacher making better use of the Pirelli’s than they were able to do with Bridgestone’s overly conservative ‘hard-as-nails’ tyres, last season.

      Of course, it will all come down to how each car is better able to use the tyres, rather than anything the driver is able to do with them.

    2. i think with the tyres being so quickly to wear out, that hamilton will be better off, because if they last for ten laps with him, jenson may be able to make them last 12 but thats going to save him a pit stop. Unless my logic that the shorter the tyre can go, the smaller the extra time jenson can get out of them? Correct me if im wrong.

      1. No, I think it will go the other way. Button’s more conservative with tyres, so the quicker they degrade, the greater the advantage his smooth driving style will give him over Ham’s aggressive style. That’s my guess.

        Anyone else?

        1. I don’t expect it to make that much of a difference – Jenson didn’t dominate Lewis with his more conservative style in 2010, so I don’t expect him to in 2011. Even if the tyres degrade more in 2011, everyone is in the same basket, so even if Jenson can make the new tyres last longer, you could argue that it will be by proportionally the same degree that he did last year, ie no change.

          1. Two amendments:

            Firstly, what the hell was I on when I wrote “in the same basket”, as far as I’m aware that’s not an expression; I think I meant “in the same boat”.

            Secondly, I agree with VXR that it will be far more car dependent than driver dependent. I think this year could throw up more surprises than 2009 if some teams get it very right or very wrong with how the tyre reacts to the car and vice versa…

          2. Yeah its more of a myth that Hamilton cant preserve his tires. Both drivers have said that their styles are not actually that different. Ok Button is notably better at making his last, but Hamilton has proved his ability on more than one occasion- doing nearly the whole race on one set of tires in Brazil 2009 to finish 3rd from 17th springs to mind. Hamilton is on a par with the world’s best drivers, i think he has the skill to adapt sufficiently.

  114. I dont know how, but it’s incredible the progress in the engine cooling sistem. With this “U” sidepods, how is the form of the radiator???

    Anyway, i thing the renault have the cleanest rear part to flow the air to the rear wing. We will see, but the ferrari seems to be conservative, but they have the advantage with the pirelli tires.

  115. Why does Ferrari have an advantage with Pirelli tyres?

  116. interesting design. i like the look of the rear, very sculptural. but an F1 is not supposed to be just good looking.
    about those side pods, i understand that the idea is to improve the clean air flow over them rather than around (like all the other teams). I am sure mclarens knows what they are doing, but for a non specialist like me, the solution seems quite unsure.

    I mean, the volume behind the driver head is pretty fat and wide, plus the extremity of the pods is quite high compare to competition, the air flow will have to go around them, with surely a bit of turbulence, then there is still the mirror in the way of the flow, and in top view, those pods are really long, much longer than last year.
    and the cooling might be less effective because the inlets are right behind the turbulent air the wheels,

    if you look at the ferrari or redbull configuration, in the end, the pods aren’t much higher. and they are much tighter leaving a clear view on the rear suspension from front 3/4.

    i think the idea is clever but it implies a lot of compromise (the radiators are more outboard, the wider body etc) and with this year new tyres and wings, it might be risky to add mo complication.

  117. Someone on F1modeling forum just discovered where Mclaren took their inspiration from:)))
    Here is the link: (the pictures are towards the bottom of page three of the thread).

    1. Sorry – I just don’t see the resemblance. The side pods on the F92A are very box-like with rectangular openings – which were similar to a lot of side pods in the early ’90’s.

  118. I so see it fail this season. It looks horrid.

    1. Not red enough?

    1. Yes!
      I don’t see why people are making this comparison, because that Ferrari has I shaped openings rather then L shaped ones, not to mention that the Ferrari’s top of the sidepods are level and from front projection has one line, where as the McLaren ones have a step in them, a sort of lower inner channel, which is the whole point of this arrengment (as far as we know).

  119. Still can’t stop looking at this page! Mmmmmmmmmm.

  120. WOW that’s one amazing car i hope lewis all the best this year i no he can do it not long till f1 starts again then the real competition will start i so cant wait im so in love with lewis hamilton id kiss him all night (i am a boy) he is so nice looking and so cute mmmm lovely he is my babe ooooo i cant wait he makes me so hard when he is goin around on the track i feel i need to ejaculate eerytime he revs his engine up mmmmmm swo fittt

  121. i dont like maclaren but ithink that it has a good car this year

  122. After barcelona testing, it looks more a shar pei than a grayhound….

Comments are closed.