January 24th, 2014 (F1plus/G. Roche).- It is official, the 2014 Formula 1 season, will be remembered for many things, one of them: nose desing.
Today Team McLaren Mercedes officially unveiled its MP4-29 car to the press and fans around the world, and as somewhat expected it features the now titled ‘anteater’ nose.
All three drivers were present during the event: Jenson Button and rookie Kevin Magnussen, along with newly appointed reserve driver, Stoffel Vandoorne.
The absence of Matt Whitmarsh prompted quick rumors that Eric Boullier who was just released from Lotus will come to take over.
Aside of the nose job, the car looks less colorful but the ‘chrome’ painting remains a ‘cool’ as ever.
The absence of color is due to Vodafone not being the title sponsor anymore, which suggested certain financial limitations, something the teams has denied by saying that they are “stronger than ever”.
As expected, the sidepods are bigger and the rear wing definitely seems small when compare to last year. All this points to less aero efficiency, which in turn will add back relevance to the powertrain.
In the back, the exhaust pipes covers (we think that’s what they are) could be seen protruding slightly out since they would both are redirected to the turbo unit and after that to the single mandatory exhaust.
2014 huge regulation changes mean that reliability will be key and the capacity to adjust while immerse in the season. This was a lesson that McLaren learnt the hard way in 2013.
In this sense, McLaren practical approach was a major factor when design and building the MP4-29.
The team noted that the car "will potentially undergo more technical change throughout a single season than any other car in McLaren's long and illustrious history".
“We know that the need for consistency initially outweighs the need for performance.
Big changes, probably the most dramatic in decades (they will even have implication with commercial vehicles, ask Honda) that in Neale words: “this year, more than ever, it will come down to a development race.” We happen to agree with this line of thought.
“The envelope of performance is likely to be so wide, and so relatively unknown, that the winter – and to some extent the opening races – will be about understanding the operational boundaries of the car as best we can.” Managing director, Jonathan Neale said.
Another very important element of the car design will be impact in all teams Data Analysis department, which would be reinforced for sure.
The new set of information and raw data would need to be analyzed and interpreted to make changes and adjustments, so the team that does this more efficiently will have the upper hand.
“It’ll be critical in the pre-season tests – firstly, to enable the drivers and engineers to learn about and understand the behavior of the new car; but, secondly, to provide us with the mileage and data our designers at the MTC need to further refine and develop the car for the year ahead.” Said Sam Michael, Sporting director of McLaren Racing.