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JANUARY 16, 2009

The new McLaren MP4-24 revealed

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team has launched the MP4-24 with which it will campaign in the 2009 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Unveiled by world champion Lewis Hamilton and his team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, the new car bears little resemblance to its world championship-winning predecessor due to the introduction of new rules that have radically reshaped Formula 1. Now featuring heavily revised bodywork, re-sculpted front and rear wings, slick tyres and a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS), the MP4-24 has been in development since September 2007 in order to successfully accommodate the huge changes that have been made to the technical regulations.

The team aalready has two finished MP4-24 chassis and these will begin testing at the Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal on Monday. Test driver Pedro de la Rosa will conduct the first two days before the race drivers take over.

"The arrival of a new car is always an emotional moment for any racing driver - and the unveiling of MP4-24 is even more special for me, not only because the car looks absolutely stunning but also because it carries the number one. I believe this year‘s World Championship is open, given the new rule changes and that‘s a great prospect for every Formula 1 fan. Personally, I‘m hoping for another successful season and the chance to once again fight for the title - until the final race if necessary, but preferably before!"

Team boss Ron Dennis says that the team is taking nothing for granted.

"If anything, our efforts to fully understand this period of huge regulatory change have been more thorough and concerted than ever before," he said. "And while the scale of the technical changes makes it difficult to accurately assess the true competitive outlook of the year ahead, as a team we can feel proud of our efforts and look forward to another close season of Formula 1 motor racing. As ever, we exist to win and our target remains the successful acquisition of both this year‘s Drivers‘ and Constructors‘ world titles."

The team is optimistic that the work of the Overtaking Working Group will help create a more thrilling and exciting sport that will provide greater entertainment and value to the public.