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McLaren reveals MP4-26 launch date

It appears McLaren-Mercedes' initial pre-season testing preparations ahead of F1 2011 will be with an updated MP4-25, after the team revealed the launch date of its MP4-26 successor
McLaren-Mercedes looks likely to have to use an updated version of its 2010 car in the first pre-season F1 2011 group test in Valencia at the beginning of next month, after disclosing the launch date for its new MP4-26 challenger.

The Woking-based outfit has revealed that it will unveil its 2011 contender in Berlin on 4 February – the day after the conclusion of the three-day Spanish outing around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, and suggesting the team will still be running with the MP4-25 in the preceding test before debuting its successor at Jerez a week later on 10 February.

That is at odds with the likes of Ferrari, Renault, Sauber and Scuderia Toro Rosso – all of whom will launch pre-Valencia, the latter three at the circuit itself – but follows a trend set by Red Bull Racing in recent seasons, in allowing for the maximum in terms of development time before the car hits the track.

It is an approach that Force India F1 has similarly announced it intends to follow this year [see separate story – click here]. McLaren's two chief rivals Red Bull and Ferrari are both expected to head to Valencia with their new machines.

The current confirmed F1 2011 launches are: Ferrari, final week of January, Italy; Renault and Sauber, 31 January, Valencia; Scuderia Toro Rosso, 1 February, Valencia; McLaren, 4 February, Berlin.

The F1 2011 World Championship campaign will rev into life with the curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir on 13 March.


Tagged as: Mclaren , Jerez , Valencia , 2011 , launch , MP4-25 , F1 2011 , Berlin , MP4-26

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Alan D - Unregistered

January 10, 2011 8:24 PM

And for the smaller teams, the burden must be enormous. Remember that each team has to split its budget between the cost of development and the cost of going racing. The cost of going racing is pretty much the same for all the teams. They all use the same number of tyres, the same amount of fuel, the same number of air fares and hotel rooms, the same costs of fabricating new bits of carbon fibre after a crash. So when you take out those relatively similar costs, the differences between the development budgets of the big teams and small teams must be enormous. Give us stable regulations and we get good racing. Give us mickey mouse regulation changes with trick diffusers and flipping wings and we get months of crap cars and lawyers arguing about the regs.

Alan D - Unregistered

January 11, 2011 11:17 AM

Arcuid, interesting. Why would they want to give up testing time during development of the car? Is it because they can get more work done if they all stay at the factory (which suggests they are running late), or is it because they have some tweak for 2011 that they don't want the opposition to see (or protest about) until the last possible minute? In 2010 they had the F duct which was a best kept secret and didn't appear until the first race weekend, but that was a physically small bit of the car so it was easy to test without it.



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