The first F1 car for this year’s championship has been unveiled: ladies and gentlemen, this is the 2014 McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 Formula One car. Set to be driven by Jenson Button and his Danish teammate a.k.a. Kevin Magnussen, the 2014 McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 F1 car comes with a new nose stricter, a lower chassis around the driver’s legs and feet and it is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged 90deg V6 engine with a sophisticated and extremely powerful energy recovery system (ERS).
The small V6 engine replaces the 2.4-liter naturally aspirated V8 that generated 750 hp. According to McLaren, the new turbo will spin at up to 125,000 rpm and this will be the first time turbo engines have been permitted in Formula 1 since they were banned at the end of 1988.
The engine will be bolted to an eight-speed transmission for 2014 as F1 cars need to be fuel-efficient too, due to the fact that for the first time, cars will be limited by a maximum fuel-flow rate during races – 100 kg/hour. Cars previously ran with a maximum load of 160 kg/h. The front wing of the car is now narrowed by 150 mm, creating a new issue for the aerodynamicists, who had to re-route important airflow around the front tyres.
At the rear, the traditional lower beam-wing has been outlawed and now and the main-flap made shallower. The single exhaust exist upwards on the car’s centreline, close to the rear light, with no bodywork behind the tailpipe so nothing can aerodynamically influence the exhaust’s gases.
"We've never had such significant new regulations before; reacting to them, and managing those changes, while still pushing the performance limits, has been an extremely tough job.” said Jonathan Neale, Managing Director of McLaren Racing. “We've been relatively pragmatic about it. We know that the need for consistency initially outweighs the need for performance – the winter tests won't be about chasing set-up or refining the car; the envelope of performance is likely to be so wide, and so relatively unknown, that the winter – and to some extent the opening races – will be about understanding the operational boundaries of the car as best we can.“ he added.