McLaren MP4-28 and MP4-27 compared

2013 F1 season

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McLaren’s MP4-28 is outwardly similar to its predecessor but the differences between the two run deeper than might seem immediately apparent.

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale said the team considered starting the new season with a development of last year’s car, which ended the year as the quickest in the field.

But McLaren believe the MP4-28 will give them better scope for development:

“The hard part is looking at the regulations when you’ve got an evolutionary set of changes, relatively small, do you play conservatively and take your old car and just keep going at that development rate? Or do you do something more ambitious and then recognise you’ve got to split the resources somewhere

“On this occasion we’ve chosen to be ambitious. Looking at the car in thirds we couldn’t have done that front end on this year’s car we couldn’t have done this middle piece or the treatment at the rear end so it was going to be a step. And there’s some risk and some effort in that.

“But we believe that rather than run out of gas by the middle of the season that opens up much greater development opportunity to us. That’s what we’ve staked it on and so far the results are very promising. So I’m looking forward to the coming season.”

The MP4-27 was launched with a low, sloping nose but this was replaced with a taller version after four races. McLaren also introduced a new front wing design at the penultimate race of 2012 but the launch car seen today was sporting the previous design.

It is common practice for teams to present their new cars in earlier aerodynamic specifications. Neale said the car will be revised in time for the later tests at the Circuit de Catalunya.

“We know it’s not the fastest car we can make. The car we will take to Barcelona is a good step forwards. There is still plenty of time for us to invent things both in design and in aerodynamics for us to be able to take to Australia. And so it will go on.”

The comparison images will not have been taken from the same angles and so some differences between the cars will appear distorted.

More pictures and video of the McLaren MP4-28:

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Images © McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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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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31 comments on “McLaren MP4-28 and MP4-27 compared”

  1. have there been any shots of the car without the modesty panel yet?

    1. No but i’ve seen a shot of the nose wtihout the panel on F1 technical but its the nose without being atached to the car.

    2. I’ve seen one on Twitter: a nose without modesty panel was lying on a table in the components department, I believe the original source of that photo was Ted Kravitz.

      1. @andae23 Yes Kravitz posted it on his twitter feed, here is the picture. Thank god they put a modesty panel over that monstrosity!

        1. 404 not found :(

          1. Seems he has removed that image. Luckily this guy retweeted it.

        2. There’s actually another pic on Kravitz’s feed a couple of posts down where you can see the seam between the panel and the nose as well:

          McLaren take a risk: Change design concept so car has more potential, but may take time to fully exploit.…— Ted Kravitz (@tedkravitz) January 31, 2013

          1. Forget the modesty panel stuff – the big news is that that is a pull rod front suspension. Take a close look.

    3. we will see that only when it crashes @bendana

      1. Or if it starts flying of by itself.

    4. Here is a video which contains information on McLaren’s modesty panel

  2. The 28’s engine cover looks similar to the 26’s. It looks less chunky than last years

  3. Looks cleaner than the -27. Subtly cleaner. A huge emphasis on subtle.

  4. I wont comment on a new Mclaren until the first test where we can see the race-spec model

  5. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to compare 28 with the 27 at the end of last season?

    1. That would be good, but the teams don’t do shots like these with their final end of season version. So it would be a little difficult to do a mirrored comparison like the one above.

      At least I think that’s the reason!

  6. Anyone notice the TAG logo on the rear wing? I didn’t know they still sponsored McLaren.

    1. @pielighter I believe TAG still part owns McLaren

  7. My favorite part of the pre-season. Nobody does better comparison than Keith! Thanks man :)

  8. If the photos are proportionally correct it may be that the replacement for Lewis was chosen by shoe size!

    1. A second look shows the 28 to distorted to longer and skinnier so disregard above.

  9. Looks like its going to be a quick car!

  10. i hope the car isnt fast. mclaren really messed up last year for hamilton. hope they dont suddenly get things on track after hamilton has left.

    1. Yeah same, I would prefer Seb making it 4 in a row this year then a Lewis v Fernando ’14

  11. “On this occasion we’ve chosen to be ambitious.” Lets hope its not

  12. My prediction: This is the most ambitious design we’ll see this year, including Red Bull. It’s different in many fundamental areas than the car it replaces.

    1. I’m expecting a BRAND NEW Mercedes, can’t predict whether is will perform well or not, but I think they will try hard.

  13. Wonder why the front and rear wheel rims are different.

    1. +1

      I was immediately interested in the wheels when they were uncovered as they look very intricate. In the build up coverage before the launch, Jonathan Neale mentioned that one of Mclarens priorities is to get on top of understanding the tyre performance and wheel design would surely factor into that. Sam Michael’s drive for faster and more consistent pitstops would also have an influence. Even the wheel nuts are different on each axle in the launch pictures.

  14. Mark McDonald
    1st February 2013, 2:52

    Sorry, but to me the car looks no different than any previous Vodafone McLaren. It’s a tired livery. Best of luck to Perez.

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