McLaren MP4/25 Mercedes
McLaren's 2010 contender is visually very different from its predecessor. The change was to be expected though as the team struggled badly with the MP4/24, mainly due to a bad weight distribution.
The team is also once more allowed to have numbers 1 and 2 on the car as Jenson Button, the World Champion of 2009 joins the team as he decided to leave Brawn GP. The 30-year old Briton faces his five year younger countrymen who was champion in 2008.
Just as at Ferrari, the new McLaren was designed with a nose lifted up higher and wider than on the MP4/24. While last year's Brawn was highly successful with the low nose to carry ballast, this year's reduction of front tyre width reduces this need to carry weight at the front of the car.
As the nose went up, more space is available under it. McLaren decided to design a snow-plough device, just like Williams used last year to provide better airflow under the nose cone and towards the rear end of the car.
The front wing is a visible evolution of a special version last year that was raced occasionally. The upper deck specifically is mounted to hang over the inner plate of the front wing endplates.
In the centre of the car, the team have added small barge boards just as with Ferrari's F10. These boards are located just ahead of the zone where a minimum radius of bodywork is specified by the regulations.
A very aggressive approach has also been chosen in the sidepod area where more compact solutions were possible due to leaving out - its highly succesful - KERS this year. The sidepod cooling holes are positioned high above the ground and are nearly rectangular in shape, pushing the cooling system further to its limits.
The rear end of the sidepods shows another departure from recent design approaches, as the team have chosen for a steep downward slope, instead of a an undercut. In fact the approach is somewhat similar to the Red Bull RB5, while many thought this design was not going to be seen anymore. It was generally believed that this approach is not optimal for a double deck diffuser car.
Monocoque: McLaren-moulded carbonfibre composite incorporating front and side impact structures
Gearbox: McLaren-moulded carbonfibre composite. Integral rear impact structure
Type: Mercedes-Benz FO 108X
Image by Craig Scarborough
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