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Button excited by 'beautiful' new McLaren

Jenson Button admits he cannot wait to get out on track at Jerez and discover the true potential of the new McLaren MP4-27.
Jenson Button was clearly delighted to see that McLaren had not followed the design direction expected to be adopted by many of its rivals ahead of the 2012 F1 campaign - although he also hopes that its treatment of the MP4-27 proves to be a winning one.

After Caterham's initial offering, the CT01, received mixed reviews for its 'stepped nose' look, experts warned that the majority of the field could end up revealing similar concepts as the reworking of the rulebook left designers with little leeway if they were to balance legality and ultimate aerodynamic efficiency. McLaren, however, unveiled a more conventional front end when the covers came off its 2012 contender on Wednesday (1 February).

"This is a beautiful car - many of them that you see will not be!" Button noted, "There are some good rule changes that I think are giving the engineers and aerodynamicists something to really think about this year, but also there's a change in the front, to the nose of the car, of the height of the nose of the car. [Beauty] is something that we definitely have and, for me, that's important."

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton agreed, calling the MP4-27 'probably the most refined-looking car we've had for some time', before the pair got stuck into discussing the nitty-gritty of what the technical rule changes - notably the resiting of exhaust exits and resulting loss of 'blown diffusers' - would mean to them and their respective driving styles.

"There's a lot more basic aerodynamics on the car compared to probably what there was in 2011," Button acknowledged, "It's a lot of downforce [to lose] obviously, and you would say it's more at one end than the other, but you would always try and balance that so the feeling that you have in the car is good. It's just a different way of working with the aerodynamics."

"I think Jenson answered it really well," Hamilton added, "It is about finding the balance. Last year, we obviously had a lot of weight and a lot of downforce coming from the rear of the car, and we were always trying to balance it - and struggling to balance it - by trying to get enough front in. But I think, this year, it will be the other way round, we'll probably have too much front and trying to find more rear.

"I think, in terms of driving, we have yet to really put it to the test how much we have to change our driving style for the tyres, but I'm sure it's going to be a real challenge. We'll lose a lot of downforce without the blown diffuser. When we were on power last year, and when we were off power, we had an incredible amount of downforce just coming from the back floor with the exhaust blowing and we don't have that this year. That's really the biggest loss for us, [but] we are trying to regain it in all other ways."

Although, to the naked eye, the MP4-27 appears to be an evolution of the car that took Button and Hamilton to three wins apiece in 2011, the pair were quick to pick up differences between them

"Obviously, we've changed the sidepods, as we had the L-shaped sidepods last year," Hamilton pointed out, "The front of the car is generally the same, [although] obviously the nose dips down a little bit different to last year. We've also changed our wing mirrors a little bit, so hopefully we'll be able to see a lot better, which is something that I was pushing hard for - and I'm sure [Ferrari's] Felipe [Massa] will be very happy with that.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes - Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 launch, McLaren Technology Centre
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, with Martin Whitmarsh and Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes - Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 launch, McLaren Technology Centre
The new MP4-27 - Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 launch, McLaren Technology Centre
The new MP4-27 - Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 launch, McLaren Technology Centre
The new MP4-27 - Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 launch, McLaren Technology Centre
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes and Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes - Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 launch, McLaren Technology Centre
The new MP4-27 - Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 launch, McLaren Technology Centre
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
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JJ - Unregistered

February 02, 2012 5:01 PM

I believe MB and DC said it best "The most beautiful car is the one that finishes first." I hope JB can bring this car home first.



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