The first pictures are emerging from the opening day of the fourth and final pre-season test at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, and McLaren has submitted an early nomination for the greatest eyesore of the 2011 season.

The team’s radical MP4-25 has, so far, struggled to impress on the testing timesheets, with both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button complaining that it lacks downforce.

And the team has come out with an interesting design treatment to the car’s nose section, which you have got to see to believe…

A close-up of the McLaren nose McLaren MP4-25 nose cone design Tension struts connect the nose to the outer edge of the front wing

In a word, UGLY.

It’s not yet known whether McLaren will run the innovation at any race weekends this season.

With the team running Jenson Button today, the former World Champion started testing with a more conventional nose design when testing kicked off this morning, before he switched to this bulbous arrangement later on.

In addition to the increased height of the nose’s main surface, the structure features two pairs of rods which branch from its outer edge to the wider part of the front wing.

Until there’s some official confirmation from the team, it’s widely believed that the ‘bubble nose’ structure contains a series of sensors to measure the amount flex in the front wing.

Does this rank among our top-ten ugliest design concepts ever seen in F1? We’d welcome your thoughts…

[Original images via 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.