Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

McLaren tick the launch box // A closer look at the innovative reveal from the Woking squad

Published by Simon Crowley

F1 fans are the stars at the MP4-26 launch
Credit: Bongarts

For the last few years, F1 fans have been screaming at F1 to use the internet and other new technologies to involve the fans more in the sport, to give more information in more interesting ways and make the sport more accessible. I think McLaren achieved this beautifully on Friday morning, and I'm prepared to stick my neck on the line to suggest that this years' McLaren launch is the best F1 car launch ever.

I say this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the live streaming on the their website seemed to work flawlessly, and I know that this has been a problem for many online launches in the past. The launch itself was, I thought, a very interesting idea. Having the mechanics (and assorted others) bring the car out in pieces and build it in front of the crowd was (as far as I'm aware) a unique plan. It loses out on the big moment of reveal, which is a bit of a shame, but it was a worthwhile experiment nonetheless and deserves a lot of credit.

Then once the launch event ended I went to http://mclaren.com/2011revealed/ and what I found there is, to me, very impressive. Exactly what I've always wanted from a car launch. The 3D presentation of the car allows us to view every angle of the new car in a beautiful and well presented way.

This launch ticks all the boxes that we want from a launch. Interesting, accessible, innovative and fun.

Then came the thing which made me feel excited enough to write this; you can drive the new car around in the 3D environment. I instantly felt 12 years old again. With full control of camera angles (and driver helmets) you can fling the MP4-26 around to your heart’s content - and even crash into and knock over the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes sign (nice touch).

So for me this launch ticks all the boxes that we want from a launch. Interesting, accessible, innovative and fun. I have been unable to find fault with it in anyway. I am sure that someone in the comments will point out a glaring error in these thoughts, but still - and I think that this is the most important point - it made me happy.

Final thought - If the car is as fast as it pretty, I think it could be a very good season for McLaren.