The excitement is in full effect now. Earlier today McLaren held a press conference to reveal the 2012 MP4-27. If the piggish looks of the Caterham CT01 weren’t your thing, rest assured because the MP4-27 is a thing of beauty.
Lately the trend has been for a higher nose height on Formula 1 cars. This allows for maximum airflow under the chassis but it does pose a few safety concerns. There’s the increased potential of the car flipping over at high speeds as well as becoming a risk in a collision; the nose could impale the opposing car or it’s driver. The FIA were keen to regulate the nose heights of all F1 cars and in 2011, the regulation height was 625mm. With a new season comes even more changes and the 2012 regulation is a maximum height of 550mm.
This will certainly have an effect on the looks of this year’s cars. Caterham have already revealed their solution on the CT01 which came in the form of a step up nose. Many, myself included, weren’t fond of the car’s looks.
McLaren have worked around this and created a sloping design, that inclines towards the cockpit.
To the untrained eye, this new design wouldn’t appear any different from the MP4-26.
One of the other major, physical changes to the car is a sport-wide ban on exhaust blown diffusers. McLaren have made several changes to the car’s shape to combat the new regulations. A narrower rear has been adopted to improve airflow. Also gone are the car’s signature U-shaped side pods.
I think the engineers at McLaren have done a brilliant job of integrating the new regulations, without sacrificing on style.
Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Team Principal, Martin Whitmarsh posing with the car earlier today.
The MP4-27 is the first of the major contenders to be revealed this year. Ferrari are set to launch their new car later this week and Red Bull to follow shortly. Things are starting to pick up momentum and before long, the 2012 season will be underway in Melbourne, just under 7 weeks.
Photos courtesy of McLaren.