McLaren to open busy F1 launch period


McLaren will become the second Formula 1 team to reveal its 2013 car when the MP4-28 is launched tomorrow.

After Lotus's unveiling on Monday, McLaren kicks off a rapid-fire sequence of launches, with Ferrari and Force India holding their events on Friday, Sauber on Saturday, Red Bull on Sunday and Mercedes and Scuderia Toro Rosso on Monday.

The launch will take place at the MTC in Woking on Thursday at 11am, and will be streamed live on McLaren's YouTube channel.

Last year's MP4-27 featured a significantly lower nose than rival designs and proved formidable in the opening rounds, carrying McLaren into an early lead in the constructors' fight.

The design was altered from the Spanish Grand Prix however, with McLaren raising the nose as high as it could without changing its chassis to maximise airflow underneath the chassis.

It could be a logical move for this year's car to adopt the step nose design in order to further increase the airflow available for downforce generation on the underside of the car.

The unveiling of the MP4-28 comes amid speculation about the future of technical director Paddy Lowe, who has held discussions with Mercedes about a potential move to succeed Ross Brawn as team principal, should the ex-Ferrari man step down.

Click here to read Jonathan Noble's analysis of Formula 1's tech boss silly season

It also arrives as McLaren looks to end its longest-ever F1 constructors' championship drought. It has not won the teams' crown since 1998, a run of 14 winless seasons.

"We've had a good competitive car for the last part of this season," said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh at the end of last year. "That means we just have to do that for the beginning of next year.

"We've had a quick car for a lot of this year, but we have to make sure we're really taking the points when they are there to be taken.

"Many have slipped through our fingers [in 2012], which is frustrating, but we've had seven great victories.

"Many teams would be delighted with that. But we're not delighted with it.

"Nonetheless, we've a good foundation for 2013 with relative stability in rules, so we ought to be able to come out with a decent package."

The first test kicks off at Jerez on Tuesday and runs for four days.

2013 pre-season dates

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