McLaren's 2009 MP4-24 launched

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    McLaren's 2009 MP4-24 launched

    Post by Ross on 16th January 2009, 10:56

    Source: ITV Sport

    McLaren has launched the car Lewis Hamilton will defend his world championship title with during the 2009 season.

    The all-new MP4-24 was unveiled to the gathered worldwide media at the team’s Technology Centre in Woking on Friday morning, the third car for the new season to break cover so far.

    Like both Ferrari and Toyota’s interpretation of the new rules, the MP4-24 incorpates the new-style front and rear wings, clean bodywork surfaces and slick tyres while it continues the trend for tight sculpting around the rear of the car.

    However, McLaren appears to have opted for a longer, thinner nose than either of its two rivals with the wide front wing like the one it tested in Portugal on its interim car before Christmas.

    McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa will shake down the car for the first time at the Algarve Motor Park in Portugal on Saturday ahead of a first full test at the new venue next week.

    Speaking as he and team-mate Heikki Kovalainen pulled the wraps off the MP4-24, world champion Hamilton said: "It is actually the first time I have seen car and think it looks beautiful.

    "The team always manages to put together a stunning car."

    Hamilton, who turned 24 earlier this month, starts his third F1 season looking to maintain the unparalleled success he has enjoyed during his first two years.

    After missing out on the title by a single point in his rookie 2007 season, the Briton became the sport’s youngest champion last year by the skin of his teeth following a nail-biting finale in Brazil.

    Hamilton insists his title success will not mean he changes his attacking approach to driving in 2009 and instead said McLaren was aiming to cut out both individual and team errors to give it the best chance of claiming its first double drivers' and constructors' success for 11 years.

    "I don’t think it particularly changes too much," Lewis said of racing as world champion.

    "Going into this third season I've had to rest my targets back to where I started in 2007.

    "We want to win both titles and obviously we can improve on the mistakes we made last year, both individually and as a team

    "We want to win, that’s what we are here for and we’re do the best job we can."

    The Briton is again joined in the team’s line-up by Kovalainen, who starts his second season at McLaren aiming on improve on the form which saw him score just three podium finishes in 2008.

    Kovalainen believes he is in a better position to enjoy a stronger year two on the back of his experiences last campaign and a productive winter schedule.

    "Overall I learnt a lot last year, there are lot of positives which can take into this year," he said.

    "As soon as year was finished I started to work towards this season to prepare better.

    "I know everybody here now it and it is a much more stable place to start the season

    "I am looking forward to the season and hopefully we can have better year and myself as well."

    Team stalwarts de la Rosa and Gary Paffett remain as McLaren's test drivers for another year.

    The MP4-24 was on display at McLaren's base in Woking, Surrey

    An aerial view of the 2009 car shows the modifications made, particularly to the rear of the car

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