McLaren will go against the grain of the front-running outfits by opting to delay the McLaren is delaying the launch of its 2011 car until after the first test at Valencia launch of its 2011 championship challenger until after the first pre-season test at Valencia.

The several of the major players in the 2011 title hunt will reveal and run their new cars at the season-opening test session, McLaren will run an interim-spec car until its MP4-26 is unveiled on February 4.

Sources suggest the team will run a hybrid of its current MP4-25 chassis with aerodynamic developments and updates from the MP4-26.

The move give the team more important development time in the team’s wind tunnel in order to fine tune the car. And the use of the 2010 car on the new-for-2011 Pirelli tyres also gives it a clear reference point of what effect the new tyres will have on the handling characteristics of its car.

McLaren joins the likes of Virgin Racing, Hispania Racing and Force India in announcing that each would delay the launch of their 2011 cars and run interim-spec cars during the early pre-season tests.

McLaren also confirmed that the launch would take place at Berlin.

[Original image via LAT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.