England: McLaren have unveiled their new MP4-29 car for the coming Formula One season with the hope of improving on the team's worst performance for nearly a decade. With its narrower front wing, lower nose and smaller rear wing, McLaren are counting on the new car to deliver after finishing fifth in the constructors' championship last season. (Also read: Button hopeful McLaren will be back on track in 2014)
"We have responded to the disappointment of our 2013 season by pragmatically framing our approach to the (new) technical challenge," McLaren said in a statement on Friday. "The new MP4-29 ... is a sensible and calculated response to the new regulations."
Among the changes in regulations for this season is the replacement of the 2.4-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine with a 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged motor. McLaren's lead driver, Jenson Button, achieved the team's highest finish last season when he came fourth in the Brazilian GP.
"Obviously, we want to get back to the front," Button said. "We want to have a better season than we did in 2013, too.
"But it's really difficult to accurately predict anything right now - these are such huge changes that they'll have a massive impact on the competitive order, so we need to wait and just see how things shake out."
Button has a new teammate after Sergio Perez was replaced by Danish driver Kevin Magnussen, who impressed during his title-winning Formula Renault 3.5 season last year. "We'll be working very closely together to share data and gather as much information as we can about what the car's doing, and how we can improve it," Button said.
"Our aim must be to have a smooth and productive winter; I'm very keen to learn all about the new formula and our new car, and I want us to be in a position where we head to the opening flyaways feeling comfortable with our package, yet still ready to absorb and learn more as we go."
Magnussen has meanwhile been preparing for the step up to Formula One. "I've spent every available day working - either with my engineers, with the team management, or with the trainers... building those relationships, getting to grips with the car, the style of driving, the cockpit and control systems, and improving my fitness," he said.
"It's a constant learning curve, but it's fun and satisfying to be able to do it with a group of people who work so closely with you."
McLaren also finished fifth in 2004, having previously been consistently in the top four since 1983.
Story first published on: Saturday, 25 January 2014 13:10 IST