Friday, January 16, 2009

Ron Dennis steps down as McLaren unveil MP4-24

McLaren-Mercedes team boss Ron Dennis will step down from his role of team principal before the start of the 2009 season and turn the reigns over to the current CEO, Martin Whitmarsh as of March 1st. However, Dennis made it clear that he is not retiring, but will instead focus on other commitments related to the McLaren Group which involve the racing, automotive, marketing and electronics wings of McLaren in addition to McLaren's Applied Technologies. This is not a complete surprise as Dennis hinted that his role within McLaren might change in November.

Nevertheless, amidst this news of transition, McLaren unveiled their new challenger for the 2009 season, designated the MP4-24. Considering the rules package, this car looks very nice; and aesthetics is something McLaren were sure to consider in the design fundamentals of the MP4-24. During the launch, Dennis expressed that "the extensive rule changes require extensive amount of work. That requires the technologists in our organization, they are not just engineers but scientist with high qualifications, to go back to a plain piece of paper and conceptualizing what the fundamental requirement are for the regulations. It is there you can get it wrong because if you get it wrong no amount of development can sort it out. What you see in the MP4-24 is a car correctly conceptualized."

"At the same time you are trying to make a good looking car, that is a value we put high, if it looks good it goes good, so what you see is a tremendous outcome from a lot of people, it is a credit from not just the technologists but the other people, this is a fully running car that can run on a circuit tomorrow."

McLaren have usually been on the forefront of front wing aero development and it appears that the MP4-24 initial design reflects this. The overall design shows an evolution from the MP4-23 even with new the rules. McLaren have fully utilized their technological resources as the car that was unveiled today was the 2nd of the new 2009 cars. The first car is in Portugal ready to hit the track.

photo courtesy of McLaren:

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