McLaren today unveiled its 2014 Formula 1 car, with which it hopes to leave
the troubled 2013 season behind and again fight at the front of the pack.
There have been major personnel changes recently at McLaren with Ron Dennis returning to the helm of the Formula 1 team. In addition to that, Eric Boullier, the former Lotus team principal, is expected to switch to the British team.
2014 marks a technical sea-change for Formula 1 cars. Gone are normally aspirated engines - a Formula 1 mainstay for a quarter of a century; in their place come 1.6-liter V6 power-units, which sophisticatedly integrate turbo-charging and turbo-compounding, fuel-flow restrictions, and a powerful energy recovery system.
These new regulations will enable teams to harness both traditional internal combustion and electrical energies. They further underline Formula 1's relevance as a pioneer of future roadcar technologies, represent the biggest and most dynamic change to the sport since its inception in 1950, and are duly destined to re-shape grand prix racing.
McLaren, too, faces a period of dynamic change: the organization has not only embraced the extreme technical and strategic challenges posed by the new regulations, it has simultaneously been growing and developing ahead of even bigger and more exciting future partnerships.
MP4-29: Intense Development
McLaren has responded to the disappointment of their 2013 season by pragmatically framing their approach to the technical challenge. The new MP4-29 is a calculated response to the new regulations.
But it is very much a frozen snapshot of the design team's steep development curve, and, as such, a machine that will potentially undergo more technical change throughout a single season than any other car in McLaren's long and illustrious history.
The challenge for 2014 is to build-in both performance and reliability - something that can no longer be taken for granted given the steep technical challenge ahead.
It is also a time of transition. 2014 will be McLaren's final season with Mercedes-Benz, their 20th together, before they begin an exciting new journey with Honda from 2015.
Drivers: Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen
Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula 1 World Champion, remains for his fifth season at McLaren.
Kevin Magnussen arrives in Formula 1 from Renault Word Series 3.5, grand prix racing's feeder series. Having already devoted hundreds of hours to refining and developing the 2014 car in the McLaren simulator, it is expected his eagerness and commitment will sync perfectly with Jenson's experience.