We beloofden u eerder al nieuws over de McLaren bolide, toen we de Ferrari F60 voorstelden, wel, bij deze komen we die belofte na.
De looks zijn niet bepaald ingrijpend veranderd, maar toch is de MP4-24 naar het schijnt een stuk aerodynamischer geworden dan zijn voorgangers. De voorvleugel werd breder gemaakt, de achterspoiler is wat smaller geworden en de diffuser is volledig herbekeken.
De nieuwe regelgeving zorgt ervoor dat de kinetische energie moet gerecupereerd worden, zoals dat bij BMW’s EfficientDynamics gebeurt. De energie wordt gedurende een ronde opgeslagen en daarna kan de bestuurder de energie aanwenden door op een knop te duwen. Hoe dat precies gebeurt, zou ik wel eens willen weten, want zou het dan zo worden dat men in de F1 net zoals in vele computerspelletjes zou beschikken over een soort van ‘boost’? Ik zou dat alvast een mooie wending vinden!
Het KERS-systeem (Kinetic Energy Recuperation System) levert 400 kJ, wat zo’n 80 extra pk’s levert gedurende 6,7 seconden per ronde. Dit moet de rondetijd zo’n 0,3 tot 0,5 seconden verlagen, toch zo’n 35 seconden op 70 ronden. Mercedes McLaren laat nu al weten dat het verderwerkt aan de optimalisatie van dit systeem.
De eerste chauffeur zal Lewis Hamilton worden, die er vorig jaar in slaagde de wereldtitel binnen te rijven. De tweede chauffeur wordt Heikki Kovaleinen, die vorig jaar zevende werd in de strijd voor de wereldtitel. Pedro de la Rosa en Gary Paffett zijn testrijders, Ron Dennis stopt per 1 maart als teambaas en laat zich vervangen door Martin Whitmarsh. Voor een volledig overzicht van de gezaghebbenden binnen Vodafone-McLaren-Mercedes kan je terecht in het persbericht onder de foto’s.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 16TH 2009
With an unprecedented series of rule changes introduced ahead of the 2009 season, the
new Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 represents a significant departure from its world
Incorporating new bodywork regulations and the much-heralded return of slick tyres, the team’s
new challenger not only looks radical but also incorporates a host of new innovative features
under the skin, such as a sophisticated kinetic energy recovery system (KERS).
While still retaining the distinctive family look established with both the MP4-22 and MP4-23, this
year’s car is visually very different from its predecessors as a result of two main factors:
This year’s aerodynamic regulations were framed by the FIA and the Overtaking Working Group
(helmed by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes engineering director Paddy Lowe, Ferrari’s Rory Byrne
and Renault’s Pat Symonds) which met throughout 2007 in order to address the issues affecting
passing in Formula 1.
The OWG’s influence can be most clearly seen around the front wing, which has been widened,
and the rear wing – which is now more compact. Other factors affecting aerodynamics include the
banning of ancillary appendages, the addition of driver-adjustable front-wing flaps and a heavily
The MP4-24’s KERS device has been developed in collaboration with McLaren and Mercedes-
Benz HighPerformanceEngines, which has been developing and refining the system for almost
two years. The device enables the car to recover energy under braking, store the energy for a lap
and release it when the driver presses a button on the steering wheel.
With a fully optimised KERS device’s output capped at 400kJ (discharging 80bhp boost for 6.7s
per lap), the development team’s primary focus has already shifted to further improving the
unit’s integration within the chassis in order to minimise performance loss elsewhere within the
package. An optimised KERS package can be expected to deliver a 0.3-0.5s gain per lap.
WINTER TEST PROGRAMME
With in-season track testing now prohibited, the MP4-24 will undergo an intensive winter
programme at the following venues prior to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on
Jan 19-22 Portimao Group test one
Feb 10-13 Jerez Group test two
Mar 1-4 Jerez Group test three
Mar 9-12 Barcelona Group test four
Week 12 Private test ahead of transportation to Melbourne
MP4-24 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
Chassis McLaren moulded carbon fibre/aluminium honeycomb composite
incorporating front and side impact structures. Contains integral safety
Front suspension Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank
with a double wishbone arrangement
Rear suspension Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank
with a double wishbone arrangement
Suspension dampers Koni
Electronics McLaren Electronic Systems control units incorporating electronics for
chassis, engine and data acquisition. McLaren Electronic Systems also
supplies the electronic dashboard, alternator voltage control, sensors,
data analysis and telemetry systems
Bodywork One-piece engine cover and sidepod covers. Separate floor section,
structural nose with integral front wing.
Tyres Bridgestone Potenza
Race wheels Enkei
Brake calipers Akebono
Brake master cylinders Akebono
Batteries GS Yuasa Corporation
Steering McLaren power-assisted
Instruments McLaren Electronic Systems
Type Mercedes-Benz FO 108W
Capacity 2.4 litres
Maximum rpm 18,000 (FIA regulatory limit for 2009)
Bank angle 90°
Piston bore maximum 98mm (FIA regulation)
Number of valves 32
Fuel Mobil High Performance Unleaded (5.75% bio fuel)
Lubricants Mobil 1 – for higher performance, lower friction and better wear resistance
Weight 95kg (minimum FIA regulation weight)
Gearbox Seven forward and one reverse
LEWIS HAMILTON CAR NO 1
Born January 7 1985; place of birth Stevenage, UK; website www.lewishamilton.com
2008 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes (world champion, 98pts, five wins); 2007 Vodafone McLaren
Mercedes (2nd, 109pts, four wins)
2006 GP2 (champion, five wins); 2005 F3 Euroseries (champion, 15 wins); 2004 F3 Euroseries
(5th, one win); 2003 British Formula Renault (champion, 10 wins); 2002 British Formula Renault
(3rd, three wins); 2000 Formula A (European champion, World Cup champion); 1999
Intercontinental A Italian champion (ICA); 1998 Junior ICA (Champions of the Future, 2nd); 1997
Junior Yamaha British champion; 1996 Cadets British champion; 1995 Cadets British champion
Has winning the world championship changed you?
“The whole experience has definitely made me feel more rounded. The whole experience of 2008 has helped me to grow
as an individual – and not just at the races; how I’ve dealt with my surroundings, my family and my life. I know I have a
huge responsibility and I have to set a good example – and it takes maturity to manage those things and so I’m still learning
and doing the best I can.”
How have you spent the winter?
“The winter months have been all about recharging my batteries. Last season was very tough both mentally and physically
and the test and race schedule never gives you enough time to get back to peak fitness. Over the winter, I’ve taken
a break from the car and really focused on my preparations for 2009 and getting myself back to the peak of physical fitness.
In both respects, I feel really well prepared ahead of the winter test programme and the year ahead.”
What do you think of the new car?
“Well, obviously, I haven’t driven it yet. But there’s an old saying in motor racing that says a beautiful car often turns out
to be a quick car. And all I can say is that I hope that’s right, because I reckon the MP4-24 looks simply sensational.
Really beautiful, in fact.”
What aspects of the 2009 season are you particularly looking forward to?
“The huge rule changes are really exciting for a driver.The winter months are already quite busy because you’re very
heavily involved in developing the new car, but this year it will be even more intense.And the whole experience will also
feel quite fresh because so much is new. I hope the racing is as close and as exciting as has been predicted because
that’s always more fun for a driver and fantastic for Formula 1’s fans.”
HEIKKI KOVALAINEN CAR NO 2
Born October 19 1981; place of birth Suomussalmi, Finland; website www.heikkikovalainen.net
2008 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes (7th, one win); 2007 Renault (7th, 30pts); 2006 Renault
2005 GP2 (2nd, 105pts, five wins); 2004 World Series by Nissan (champion, 184pts, six wins),
Race of Champions (winner); 2003 World Series by Nissan (2nd, 131pts, one win); 2002 British
F3 (3rd, 256pts, five wins); 2001 British Formula Renault (4th, 243pts, two wins)
With a season at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes already under your belt, do you feel better prepared than you
did a year ago?
“For sure. It’s easy to forget, but I only joined Vodafone McLaren Mercedes in December 2007 so my preparations for
the ’08 season happened very quickly. Of course, I felt comfortable straight away but it still takes time to understand
exactly how each member of the team is able to help you. For this year, I feel much more integrated into the whole
operation and know we can really hit the ground running when we start testing next week.”
When did you start your preparations for 2009?
“After Brazil, I took a short break but was soon back at the McLaren Technology Centre preparing with my engineers for
the new season. I tested a hybrid car in Jerez before Christmas and that was very helpful actually – although it wasn’t a
precise replica of the MP4-24, it gave you a good idea of what to expect with the new aero levels, KERS device
and slick tyres. I think the new breed of cars will suit me very well. I’ve also been training in the snow of northern Finland
– it’s the best place in the world for me to relax and prepare for the year ahead.”
What are your targets for the season ahead?
“I feel much better prepared ahead of the new season. I think you can extract a lot of performance simply from good
mental preparation, and I really want to look at the positives ahead of me this year rather than becoming too focused on
any difficulties. Racing alongside Lewis is the ultimate benchmark and I’d like to think we’ll both be challenging for the
drivers’ championship and helping the team to win the constructors’ championship.”
MEET THE TEAM: DRIVERS
PEDRO DE LA ROSA
Born February 24 1971; place of birth Barcelona, Spain; website www.pedrodelarosa.com
2008 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes test driver; 2007 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes test driver;
2006 Team McLaren Mercedes (eight races, one podium, 11th, 19pts); 2005 Team McLaren
Mercedes test driver (one race, fastest lap, 20th, 4pts); 2004-2003 Team McLaren Mercedes test
driver; 2002 Jaguar Racing (19th, 0pts); 2001 Jaguar Racing (16th, 3pts); 2000 Arrows (17th,
2pts); 1999 Arrows (17th, 1pt); 1998 Jordan test driver
1997 Japanese F3000 (champion, 82pts, six wins), Super GTs (champion, 67pts, two wins);
1995 Japanese F3 (champion, eight wins), Macau F3 (third); 1992 British Formula Renault
(champion), European Formula Renault (champion); 1990 Spanish Formula Ford (champion);
1989 Spanish Formula FIAT (champion).
With greater restrictions on testing, will your role change significantly this year?
“Of course, the new regulations will significantly affect the way the team is able to test, effectively ending in-season track
testing. But it is important to remember that the role of a test driver isn’t solely confined to the test track – I regularly
visit the McLaren Technology Centre, meet with the engineers and try new developments on the simulator. None of
that will change.”
Will you be less busy than in 2008?
“I will still be heavily involved with the winter test programme until the end of March. And you mustn’t forget that I still
retain my role as the team’s reserve driver, which means I will travel to every race and am ready to jump into the car in
an instant if either Lewis or Heikki is unable to compete.That role will still take up an enormous amount of my time.”
How will you assist with the development of MP4-24?
“Away from the cockpit, the team will still rely on all the drivers’ feedback to develop the car. My role, as always,will be
to use my experience to provide the engineers with consistent feedback.The absence of in-season testing simply means
that the test drivers will be integrated even further into the simulation development team and will be an invaluable asset
to the whole team.”
Born March 24 1981; place of birth Bromley, UK; website www.garypaffett.com
2008-2007 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes test driver; 2006 Team McLaren Mercedes test driver
2008-2007 DTM with Mercedes-Benz; 2005 DTM (champion, 84pts, five wins); 2002 German F3
(champion, seven wins); 2001 German F3 (6th, one win); 2000 British F3 Scholarship class
(champion, 13 class wins); 1999 Formula Vauxhall Junior (champion, 129pts, four wins), McLaren
Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year
How will your role develop with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes during 2009?
“The regulations restricting in-season testing will have a knock-on effect on every test driver within the sport – and
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is no exception.My contribution to the team will be smaller than it has been in recent years
– but this gives me the opportunity to focus on my racing commitments with Mercedes-Benz in the DTM.”
What are your aims for the year ahead?
“Like any racing driver, I want to prove myself in a competitive environment.At the moment, I am very optimistic that I will
be able to race at the front in the DTM with Mercedes-Benz but it’s still important that I keep my options open in Formula
1. Given the present financial situation within the sport, who knows what could happen around the corner?”
Are you keen to remain part of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team?
“Absolutely. Both McLaren and Mercedes-Benz have played instrumental roles in my career and have supported me for
a very long time – both organisations are like family to me. Even though I will be racing in DTM, I will be heavily involved
in the engineering development programme throughout the year.”
MEET THE TEAM: TEST DRIVERS
CHAIRMAN & CEO, McLAREN GROUP, TEAM PRINCIPAL, VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES
Assuming a shareholding in the McLaren team in 1980, Ron Dennis (61) ushered in an era of
unparalleled success for the legendary Formula 1 marque, overseeing 10 drivers’ world
championships and seven constructors’ titles. His vision also allowed McLaren to develop from a
specialist racing operation into a group of high-technology businesses. He has nurtured the talents
of global superstars such as Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen and Lewis Hamilton.
“Last year was immensely satisfying for everybody at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes,but our intense
focus ahead of ’09 gave us little time for celebration.The regulatory changes have only increased
our ambition to remain at the competitive vanguard and, for this year, our target is clear: to win both
world championships if possible. Lofty aims, I grant you, but we exist to win.”
COO, McLAREN GROUP, CEO FORMULA 1, VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES
Joining McLaren from BAE Systems in 1989 first as head of operations and latterly as managing
director of McLaren Racing, Martin Whitmarsh (50) has been instrumental in assisting McLaren’s
growth and diversification as a company as well as overseeing the race team’s engineering and
manufacturing functions. Appointed COO in 2005, he now oversees the operation of all of the
McLaren Group companies.
“The new regulations for 2009 are the biggest changes to Formula 1 for many,many years and are
expected to significantly affect every team’s competitive parameters. As such, this year’s world
championship could well be won through strength in depth, resourcefulness and sheer ingenuity.
And the reality is that we feel very well-equipped to fight in every single one of those areas.”
VICE-PRESIDENT, MERCEDES-BENZ MOTORSPORT
A dyed-in-the-wool enthusiast with a true passion for automobile racing, Norbert Haug (56) has overseen
the Motorsport division of legendary German manufacturer Mercedes-Benz since 1990. In partnership
since 1995, McLaren-Mercedes has achieved 58 grand prix victories, three drivers’ world titles and
firmly established the Mercedes-Benz name as one of motorsport’s most illustrious brands.
“The 2009 season will probably pose the most difficult range of technical challenges in contemporary
Formula 1 history. These include new aerodynamic rules, the reintroduction of slick tyres, the
implementation of KERS combined with the stringent testing restrictions. In addition, the recently
introduced and very important cost-saving ideas will make the ’09 world championship campaign a
singularly demanding affair.
“The overriding focus of the 2009 technical regulations has been cost reduction. Not only have we
been striving to achieve this together with the other teams but at the same time have also been
developing our own individual cost-efficient systems. Having said that, I am also of the belief that
these rule changes will significantly improve the Formula 1 show – and that’s great for the fans.
“And, of course, this process of continuously reducing costs does not imply that we will expend
any less effort and energy in achieving the same result as in the 2008 drivers’ championship and one
better in the constructors’ rankings than last year.”
MANAGING DIRECTOR, MERCEDES-BENZ HIGHPERFORMANCEENGINES
Stints with both Mercedes-Benz and McLaren Automotive provided the perfect preparation for
Sweden’s Ola Källenius (39) to oversee Mercedes-Benz’s HighPerformanceEngines unit in
Brixworth, Northampton. As well as continuing to develop Formula 1 V8 engines within an ever
tightening efficiency formula, HPE has also finalised the development of MP4-24’s brand new
kinetic energy recovery system (KERS).
“The preparations for the 2009 season are both exciting and challenging for Mercedes-Benz
HighPerformanceEngines. Eight engines per driver are now available for 17 races. On the other
hand with the introduction of KERS we will see a complete new technology enter Formula 1.”
MEET THE TEAM: MANAGEMENT & TECHNICAL
MANAGING DIRECTOR, McLAREN RACING
After spending 10 years working on the technical and operational side of aerospace firm BAE Systems,
Jonathan Neale (46) joined McLaren Racing as operations director. In 2004, he became the
company’s managing director – a key role in defining the team’s technical and operational strategy.
“The real challenge for any business is in using its resources and funding in the most efficient
way. While we pride ourselves on our resourcefulness at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, the
current economic climate has ensured that absolutely nothing must be taken for granted. We
continue to refine many processes throughout the team to make sure we operate more efficiently
than ever before.”
ENGINEERING DIRECTOR, McLAREN RACING
Paddy Lowe (46) joined McLaren from Williams in 1993 as the team’s head of research and
development. Instrumental in introducing a number of key technical innovations to the cars, his remit
consistently broadened and he was appointed engineering director in May 2005 – a role that gives
him responsibility over all the engineering departments within McLaren Racing.
“This year’s changes to the bodywork rules are probably the biggest in Formula 1’s history; and
such a comprehensive change is both daunting and thrilling in equal measure. While the new
regulations mean it’s difficult to predict which teams will be out at the front, we feel confident that
we’ve approached the task wisely and produced a car of which everybody here can feel very proud.”
CHIEF ENGINEER MP4-24, McLAREN RACING
Pat Fry (44) entered Formula 1 with Benetton in 1987 before joining McLaren in 1993 to head up the
development of its active suspension system. He subsequently graduated to chief engineer status and
now occupies a two-pronged role with Tim Goss, overseeing the specification, development and build of
the cars in alternate years. Pat began the MP4-24 programme in September 2007.
“Development of MP4-24 has been long and exacting – but it has also been a fascinating journey.That
we are still bringing so much performance to the car, and the fact that the car you see before you
today will bear little resemblance to the one that races in Melbourne, is a testament to the whole team’s
relentless quest for additional performance.We are only at the start of a very steep learning curve.”
GLOBAL BRAND DIRECTOR, VODAFONE GROUP
Beginning his marketing career at Saatchi & Saatchi in the 1980s, David moved on to become
managing director of London’s Lowe Howard-Spink and vice-president and global head of
advertising for the Coca-Cola brand. Returning to the agency world in 1996, he was appointed chief
executive of Team Vodafone in 2003 and the telecommunications giant’s global brand director
the following year.
“Every Vodafone employee has shared in the excitement around the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
team’s performance during the 2008 season and in particular Lewis’s phenomenal drivers’
championship victory in Brazil last year.We wish the team all the best for 2009 and look forward to
another thrilling season of Formula 1 racing.”