McLaren MP4-26

McLaren has become the latest outfit to unveil its 2011 title contender, taking the wraps off a radical-looking MP4-26 at the Kaisersaal media centre in Berlin.

Drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were present to do the honours of revealing their new chariot, which both are hoping will lead them to title glory in the upcoming season.

It was nothing if not a theatrical launch, with McLaren mechanics wheeling a semi-complete car into the auditorium at midday. Fans in attendance had been given parts of the car that went on to assemble Note the unusualk sidepod entry points the bodywork of the chrome-painted machine.

The new car shows off some interesting design concepts, with the most evident being a higher, flatter nose section and an interesting airbox intake concept. The singularly most obvious change is in the car’s sidepod inlet design, which assumes a radical L-shaped profile

The team has also elected to use a conventional rearward exhaust layout for the moment, although the evident cut-out along the sidepod would indicate that the team will hastily research and develop the front-facing concept featured on the Renault R31 for its own use.

The new car will have its first outing at next week’s pre-season test at Jerez, which runs from February 10-13.

[Original images via AUTOSPORT, LAT and Sutton Images]

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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.