• Feb 6th 2011 at 9:48AM
  • 18
2011 McLaren MP4-26 – Click above for high-res image gallery

While rival Formula 1 teams unveiled their new 2011 challengers at or before the recently test session at Valencia, McLaren opted to run its 2010 F1 car instead. The reason? Ostensibly to focus on the varied effects the new Pirelli tires. This week in Berlin, however, the British Formula 1 outfit joined the field and took the wraps off its new racer, the MP4-26, revealing a number of innovative and radical design elements.

In the German capital, the team rolled out the car in pieces and put it together in front of the gathered crowd (not unlike the funny Vodafone video starring Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton). McLaren used a plastic engine and exhaust system so as not to reveal all their secrets, but what we do know is that MP4-26 F1 car features a longer-than-usual wheelbase, an even higher nosecone than its rivals, and odd U-shaped sidepods. That last feature is designed to channel cleaner air to the new rear wing in an effort to regain downforce lost from the regulatory elimination of the double diffuser.

The MP4-26 is also the first McLaren Formula 1 car designed to accomodate Jenson Button's taller frame, since last year's racer was largely finalized before his release from Brawn GP. McLaren remains secretive on the rest of the design, releasing only the handful of images you can see in the gallery below. Has McLaren got enough tricks up its sleeve to drive Button or Hamilton to another title? We'll just have to wait and see.

[Source: McLaren]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      What's Autoblog talking about, the nose cone actually looks lower than the competition. Re-compare those pics AB, the Mclaren nose is longer and finishes lower.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree. And I also had a question abou them designing the car for Jenson's taller frame. Does that mean there are two different cars now, or does it mean that Lewis had to make due with the "taller" design?
      • 4 Years Ago
      wow its wonderful.. REDBULL is incredible
      • 4 Years Ago
      A British team, with two British drivers launching a car in Berlin?

      It makes one wonder how strong the position of Mercedes is in the team. Because they have their own works team....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Vodafone wanted them to launch in Berlin, not Mercedes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Me likey, hope its fast.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I love your site, but sometimes you guys are SOOOO late on the news.

      This car was launched more than 2-days before you posted an article about it.

      And in terms of Motorsport news, it's actually really BIG news because McLaren is one of the top teams in Formula 1. (The "Pinnacle" of motorsport)

      And to top it all off, the author says that the car has a "higher nose than it's rivals" when it actually has a LOWER nose than all it's rivals. Everyone went to higher noses this year and McLaren opted to keep their nose at about the same height as last year.

      If you guys did even a LITTLE research on this car, you would've found pictures that show a lot more views of the car including the radiator layout and technical drawings about this car's secrets on various websites.

      C'mon guys, timely and accurate news please! You guys can do better than this!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Elmo - I don't think Autoblog needs someone to send in a "tip" that one of the world's largest Formula 1 Teams is launching a new car. If they need someone to send them that tip, they probably won't stay in business much longer.

        Also, in case you didn't read what I (or other people) wrote, the blurb written contained many erroneous statements.

        Judging by your comments, I can tell that you don't read many other blogs which are almost ALWAYS the first to break the news. I often find auto news on there days before I find it on here and this blog is supposed to SPECIALIZE in automobiles!

        I'm sure Autoblog can take some constructive criticism. If they do, it only makes them a better blog.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I would also like to add that the sidepods do not, in fact, channel air to the rear wing but to the floor of the car. Also, I couldn't help but notice that you left out the fact that McLaren are running KERS and the stalling rear wing for 2011...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm not too concerned about AB posting news a little later than other sites, provided they take that time to verify their facts...

        This nose is definitely lower than others, and while the intakes do look unusual, this isn't the only "radical" car to be launched. I don't remember a post about Renault's exhausts that actually exit ahead of the engine, the driver, and the air intakes...
        • 4 Years Ago
        +1 Sometimes you guys are so late I wonder why even post it. Lmao
        • 4 Years Ago
        Do you work for an automotive blog that recieves 10s of thousands tips each day and have to sift through these tips to find the best one while keeping this website moving? Didn't think so.

        Who the hell cares if it's 2 days old or not? The first time I read this article was the first time I saw this car. I'm pretty sure there's other people just like me.

        Go away, troll.
      • 4 Years Ago
      With all honesty, I must say that it looks more beautiful than the Ferrari...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I struggle to see where you guys find beauty but hey... there ya go.

      All F1 cars are ugly, they had a few moments when they actually looked like cars but now they're four wheels and a bunch of wings fitted round a driver.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually you are saying that...twice now. F1 cars have NEVER resembled road cars except for the cars back in the sport's birth.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Can't argue with the ugly part with you, but when have you got the idea that F1 has, or should have anything to do with a road going car? :D
        • 4 Years Ago
        Brummie got it, the rest got caught up in the names...
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