McLaren Mercedes MP4-21

McLaren Mercedes MP4-21 image

Active: 2006
Team: McLaren International Ltd

Designer: Peter Prodomou (chief aerodynamics), Tim Goss (chief engineer)Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen (3), Juan Pablo Montoya (4)

As a successor to the fastest car of 2005, McLaren have developed the MP4-21 for 2006 which proved a bit less competitive. The MP4-21 looks very similar to the McLaren MP4-20. In addition to the tighter packaging to the rear of the car, the nose has been lowered and made narrower.
The reduction in required cooling for the V8 engine has allowed to reduce the size of air intakes, this includes apertures in the main chassis, which is beneficial to the overall aerodynamic package. There are a significant number of changes in the cars structure, geometry and aerodynamics as a consequence of 16 months of R&D innovation. The new car consists of 11,500 components, 90% of which have changed from MP4-20.

More about the McLaren MP4-21:


Chassis identification: MP4-21
Construction: McLaren moulded carbon fibre/aluminium honeycomb composite incorporating front and side impact structures. Contains integral safety fuel cell.
Front suspension: Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement.
Rear suspension: Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement Dampers: McLaren
Wheels: Enkei
Electronics: McLaren Electronic Systems control units incorporating electronics for chassis, engine and data acquisition. McLaren Electronic Systems also supplies the electronic dash board, alternator voltage control, sensors, data analysis and telemetry systems.
Tyres: Michelin
Brake discs/pads: Carbon/Carbon
Steering: McLaren power assisted
Battery: GS Yuasa Corporation
Gearbox: Carbon composite maincase: 7-speed unit
Gear selection: Sequential, semi-automatic, hydraulic activation
Engine name: Mercedes-Benz FO 108S
Displacement: 2.4 litres
Configuration: V8, naturally aspirated
Vee angle: 90 degrees
Maximum power: Over 700 ps
Maximum revs: Over 18,500 rpm
Valve train: 4 valves per cylinder; pneumatic valve system

Development timeline

First engine design meeting: August 2004
Engine specification first issue: October 2004
Layout work started on MP4-21: April 2005
First design meeting: April 2005
Gearbox simulation: Mid April 2005
Car specification first issue: May 2005
First scheming of gearbox: May 2005
First dyno test for V8 engine: June 2005
Windtunnel work commences: Early July 2005
First drawing for gearbox: July 2005
Datum sheet Issue, final dimensions: August 2005
First track test for V8 engine: September 2005
Gearbox production begun: September 2005
Chassis manufacturing begun: October 2005
Car mock-up ready: Chassis – November 2005, Final engine – December 2005
First chassis ready for bonding: December 2005
FIA test on first chassis: December 2005
First car build started: December 2005
First car build finished: January 2006
First track test of MP4-21: 23rd January 2006
Cars depart McLaren Technology Centre for first race: Friday 3rd March 2006