Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Next race: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Island

McLaren unveil their 2013 challenger // The new MP4-28 is set to be launched from the McLaren Technology Centre

Published by Christine Blachford

Pérez and Button pull the covers off the MP4-28
Credit: VMM

The second launch of 2013 is upon us already, with McLaren ready to take the covers off the MP4-28 in a live event and broadcast from the Technology Centre in Woking. Brand new driver Sergio Pérez will be present alongside Jenson Button, the teammates continuing to get to know each other ahead of the first race.

The Lotus launch earlier this week has pointed to a trend that is likely to continue - teams not using the modesty panel that the FIA had hoped would cover those unsightly stepped noses. However, whilst the launch is a good glimpse at what's to come this year, there are still plenty of changes that can occur between now and Australia.

Follow the Factbyte Factbox for updates as we see the MP4-28 for the first time.

As it happened: McLaren 2013 launch

  • 09:55

    Hello there, welcome along, it's time for another launch! Today is all about McLaren, as the MP4-28 is uncovered for the first time.

  • 09:57

    TweetThere's intrigue in the F1 media, from @NobleF1: "We've been told to prepare for something a 'bit special' at the McLaren launch today...... On my way there right now!"

  • 10:01

    All the information about when and where for the launch is here:

  • 10:01

    There's also an odd "sneek peek" video that actually shows more of the cars in McLaren's recent history than it does of anything 2013 style.

  • 10:10

    Front row seats at the MTC for Ron Dennis, Martin Whitmarsh and Jenson Button. Via @TheFifthDriver.

  • 10:25

    Sky get another presenter in on the pre-season action, as Natalie Pinkham is set to compère the launch.

  • 10:29

    Sergio Pérez has shared an image of the covered car. I may be hoping too much but it looks like a flat nose to me.

  • 10:32

    The pre-launch build-up is go!

  • 10:32

    Two chaps in suits are introducing us to the fun that is ahead.

  • 10:33

    They've promoted the hashtag as follows #mclarenmp428 - reads as four hundred and twenty eight to me!

  • 10:34

    Lots of stats flying, it's like an Apple presentation. Number of components in the car, freight being shipped.

  • 10:35

    Next up, the already released video of Sergio Pérez on his first day at McLaren, driving that super duper orange car.

  • 10:36

    There's an F1 Big Picture from that day - Freshly pressed.

  • 10:37

    The chaps are back, talking about Pérez's attitude ahead of the launch - "very relaxed, but up for the challenge."

  • 10:38

    Now they're playing the silly teaser video that is not at all "of what's to come" but very much "what has already been."

  • 10:40

    Along with the launch of the car, McLaren are also launching what sounds like year-long celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the racing team.

  • 10:42

    TweetTweet from @TheFifthDriver: Join in using #McLarenMP428 we’ll be reading out the best Tweets live on air

  • 10:42

    Another short video, mostly showing nature around the McLaren Technology Centre. There's a swan!

  • 10:43

    And a heron!

  • 10:45

    TweetTweet from @F1Kate: McLaren are handing out earplugs at the launch...

  • 10:47

    They've descended into discussing their favourite cars. Oddly, none of them are saying the 2006 Renault.

  • 10:48

    The Director of Brand something something, says the plans for this launch started way back in Australia 2012. "We've got a fantastic team here of 60 people working tirelessly since then." 60 people for twelve months! Yikes!

  • 10:52

    A video of Jonathan Neale discussing the importance of last year, and the arrival of Sergio Pérez. I wonder if anyone will mention Lewis today.

  • 10:53

    TweetTweet from @F1Kate: No sign of a certain P Lowe. We've been joking that his gardening leave is taking place outside the window, where grass is being mowed...

  • 10:54

    "Incredible to hear from Jonathan Neale, he always has such a good insight into what is going on." He's Managing Director, I hope he has a clue!

  • 10:55

    Now they are having a stat-off. That is probably going to be as painful as it sounds. In better news, five minutes till the launch.

  • 10:57

    Thoughts from Sam Michael, again on Sergio having to get to know the team in a short amount of time. Also, that the pit crew turned things around during the second half of 2012.

  • 10:58

    TweetTweet from @byronf1: #McLarenCarReveal happening in corridor of MTC. Rain beating on giant walls of glass behind has subsided. Sun trying to break through #F1

  • 10:59

    Oddly, they are playing the same "teaser" video again as a link between the chaps and Natalie Pinkham.

  • 11:00

    There's some Alonso in that 2013 preview video. Weird.

  • 11:01

    Green flagNatalie Pinkham stands in purple at the podium, reading her introduction to rows and rows of suited and booted team people and media representatives.

  • 11:02

    A new video begins: "Let's start at the beginning..." We could be here a long time, people.

  • 11:03

    QuoteComment from F: "Tune in expecting to see a car. Instead I'm getting a history lesson."

  • 11:04

    Natalie Pinkham, a few moments ago, sparkling in purple.

  • 11:04

    Potentially, this is the most depressing video there has ever been. Odd choice for pre-launch anticipation.

  • 11:05

    The film comes to an end, and an old orange Can-Am car is rolling across the lake.

  • 11:06

    The McLaren M23 is next. Big ol' wheels on the back of that thing.

  • 11:07

    Senna and Prost's car, the MP4-4.

  • 11:08

    The McLaren F1 GTR. All these cars appear to be driven by the Stig.

  • 11:09

    MP4-13 from 1998.

  • 11:10

    2008's MP4-23, and a Hamilton mention to boot.

  • 11:11

    It wasn't the Stig after all, it was Gary Paffett, Oliver Turvey and friends.

  • 11:12

    Sergio Pérez and Jenson Button arrive in McLaren sports cars. One is orange, one looks like it is zebra print.

  • 11:13

    The drivers emerge from their cars and join Natalie in front of the car.

  • 11:13

    Jenson Button speaks: "As always, a Formula One driver wants to get back in the car and feel the speed again. It's been an exciting few weeks seeing the car come together... finally seeing it as one late last night."

  • 11:14

    And Pérez: "It's been a very busy couple of months since my last race. It's hard to believe I'm part of this great family, great history. Very motivated and looking forward to meet the targets we have this year."

  • 11:15

    JB has a word.

  • 11:15

    Finally, the covers are coming off!!

  • 11:16

    It doesn't have a stepped nose!

  • 11:16

    It looks just like the last one, really.

  • 11:17

    Button tries to convince us otherwise: "I tell you, this is completely different to last year. Under the skin, it's so different, I think that's why this is such an exciting season."

  • 11:19

    Button: "We all know the regulations haven't changed much since 2012, but they've changed enough to make a difference. Obviously, the future is very different in terms of 2014, but you go into this season aiming to win the world championship.

    "A lot of hard work from the guys over the winter, and me of course but in different ways. Tuesday is a big day for us when we first get to drive the car, run through the reliability checks. Whether it tells you if the car is fast enough to fight for wins or not, we'll have to see, but I'm looking forward to it."

  • 11:19

    I missed some of what Pérez said there, but he and Button already seem to be getting on quite well.

  • 11:20

    Chequered flagThe launch is over, and it's back to the chaps.

  • 11:20

    We'll wrap up the launch coverage now, but there will be pictures along later, I'm sure of it!

  • 11:26

    TweetTweet from @glenn_autosport: Not much to get excited about at first glance with the McLaren, but at least they've avoided the stepped nose for another year

  • 11:39

    TweetTweet from @f1elvis: So the biggest points from today's MP4-28 launch were pull rod front suspension, like last years' Ferrari, & no Paddy Lowe!

  • 13:24
  • 13:36

    Martin Whitmarsh's launch thoughts: "For 2013, of course, we go racing to win. With Jenson and Checo, and this fantastic-looking new car, I believe we’re extremely well prepared for another competitive season. Jenson is driving better than ever – he’s the most experienced driver in Formula 1, but he makes every ounce of that experience count... Checo joins us after a sensational 2012 season and he’s immediately proved that he’s intelligent, modest, hard-working and, make no mistake; very, very quick."

  • 13:58
  • 13:58

    Pérez's take: "But it’s definitely going to be an exciting few weeks: although I’ve been racing in Formula 1 for the past two seasons, every racing car is different and it always takes a little time to adjust. Firstly, I’ll need to understand the different characteristics of the car; secondly, I’ll learn how to best work with my engineers to make the car suit my personal driving style. It’s going to be an interesting and exciting journey."

  • 21:31

    The launch wrapped up in 60 seconds:

All content in the series 2013 F1 launches

Buy from Amazon - Pocket F1 Handbook: Guide to the 2015 Grand Prix Season

365 F1 stories

Which driver, retired for one year from F1, won Felipe Massa's charity kart race on this day in 2007?

F1 team launches
McLaren HondaOnline29 Jan
Sauber F1 TeamOnline30 Jan
Scuderia FerrariOnline30 Jan
Scuderia Toro RossoJerez, Spain31 Jan
Infiniti Red Bull RacingJerez, Spain1 Feb
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 TeamJerez, Spain1 Feb
Williams Martini RacingJerez, Spain1 Feb
Lotus F1 TeamJerez, Spain2 Feb
Sahara Force India F1 TeamOnline25 Feb
F1 test schedule
Circuito de JerezSpain1 Feb
Circuito de JerezSpain2 Feb
Circuito de JerezSpain3 Feb
Circuito de JerezSpain4 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain19 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain20 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain21 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain22 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain26 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain27 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain28 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain1 Mar

An Aside with Joe