McLaren MP4-24 Mercedes
While still retaining the distinctive family look established with both the MP4-22 and MP4-23, the 2009 car is visually very different from its predecessors as a result of the heavily changed regulations.
The 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 has been raised and made smaller to increase the wake behind it. Other factors affecting aerodynamics include the banning of ancillary appendages, the addition of driver-adjustable front-wing flaps and a heavily revised diffuser. Because of these changes, the car lacks cooling gills or other openings in the sidepods in favour of larger cooling openings ahead of the diffuser.
Less visible is the introduction of KERS which on the MP4-24 has been developed in collaboration with McLaren and Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines. 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. Despite having worked on the system for more than two years - Mercedes was developing it before Formula One allowed it - the system did not make it to the first Grand Prix of the season.
Chassis: McLaren moulded carbon fibre/aluminium honeycomb composite incorporating front and side impact structures. Contains integral safety fuel cell
Type: Mercedes-Benz FO 108W
Gearbox: Semi-automatic, 7 forward and one reverse
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