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Photos: McLaren present new car with a blast from the past

Last updated on: January 31, 2013 19:43 IST

Photos: McLaren present new car with a blast from the past

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McLaren unveiled their 2013 Formula One car with a literal blast from the past on Thursday as they celebrated 50 years in Grand Prix racing and looked forward to returning to the top this season.

Paying tribute to the company's late founder Bruce McLaren, who died in 1970, a succession of winning cars spanning the decades were driven around an ornamental lake and into the futuristic factory atrium in a wall of sound before the sleek new MP4-28 was revealed.


Image: McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 drivers Jenson Button of Great Britain and Sergio Perez of Mexico unveil the Mercedes McLaren MP4-28 at the McLaren technology centre in Woking, England.
Photographs: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

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'Under the skin, it is so, so different'

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Britain's Jenson Button, the 2009 World champion, will be the effective leader on the track with new Mexican team mate Sergio Perez chasing his first win after two seasons with Sauber.

Perez made clear he was out for more than just the occasional top step of the podium, however, with a team that finished third overall last year.

"I want to win the championship, that's my target," declared Perez, standing alongside a smiling Button after the pair drove into the factory - the Mexican leading the more experienced Briton - in McLaren sportscars.

Button said he was raring to go in a car that looked, on the surface, very similar to the one that won seven races last season.

"It's exactly the same colour scheme so some people might look at this and go 'ah, it looks kind of similar to last year' but I tell you, this is completely different," said Button.

"Under the skin, it is so, so different."


Image: Jenson Button and Sergio Perez unveil the Mercedes McLaren MP4-28
Photographs: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

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Start of a new era for Mercedes-powered team

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The launch marked the start of a new era for the Mercedes-powered team after the departure of 2008 World champion Lewis Hamilton, who made his debut with McLaren in 2007, to rivals Mercedes.

Hamilton was not the only notable absentee, with the team's long-serving technical director Paddy Lowe playing no part in the launch after being linked with a move to Mercedes.

"The certainty is that Paddy will be a part of the team for another year," said McLaren principal Martin Whitmarsh, offering no longer-term assurance.


Image: Jenson Button (L) and Sergio Perez (R) with team principal Martin Whitmarsh at the unveiling
Photographs: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

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