The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team today revealed its brand new MP4-25 chassis - the car in which reigning world champion Jenson Button
and 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton will contest the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Unveiled at Vodafone UK's stunning headquarters
in Newbury, the 2010 car looks noticeably different from last year's race-winning MP4-24. MP4-25 features a radical aerodynamic overhaul and a significantly larger fuel tank to take full advantage of this year's new regulations, and its design team is confident it has explored every possible avenue to maximise the car's performance.
Horsepower once again comes from our friends in Stuttgart. Mercedes-Benz's FO 108X V8 subtly improves upon an engine that has become the benchmark in Formula 1, winning the last two drivers' world championships.
The team kicks off its 2010 campaign with a stunning driver pairing: 2009 world champion Jenson Button
and 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton. It is the first time since 1989 - when it ran Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna - that the team has fielded a joint-world champion driver line-up, and marks the first time in Formula 1 history that the sport's two most recent world champions have been partnered together.
However, the driver line-up represents only a fraction of the team's remarkable strength in depth. Members of the design team who contributed to the development of MP4-25 can also trace their involvement back through an incredible seven of the team's 12 drivers' world championships, five of the team's eight constructors' world championships and 112 of the team's 164 grand prix victories.
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team begins pre-season testing with MP4-25 at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo on Monday.
"I'm incredibly proud to be standing here today knowing I'll be carrying the number one for the whole season: that's a great responsibility but also a great honour. It's something I'm relishing.
"From the very first day of testing, I'll be working with the team to learn about the car and to develop it ahead of the first race. I've said it before: the pace of development in those opening tests could well determine the outcome of the championship.
"I've got a great team around me, and I already feel very at home here. I just can't wait to get in the car and start driving again. It really can't come soon enough!"
"I've seen just how much effort and attention has gone into making this car what it is. We've been pushing like crazy to find the performance and the result is something that looks very special and very uncompromising.
"Both Jenson and I are world champions, and we both want to add to the team's incredible winning legacy. I think a strong driver line-up will be very important this year as there are a lot of very competitive teams and drivers - and the stronger we can be, the better chance we'll have of winning races. We all understand that.
"Obviously, I want to win the drivers' world championship, that's clear. But, just as important, I want to help the team win the constructors' world championship. I think it's set to be a great year for Formula 1 - it should be brilliant."
Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
"At Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, we've demonstrated that strength in depth is the best approach to take in Formula 1. The group of engineers, designers and strategists we've assembled demonstrates how much can be achieved by a very focused team operating at the very limit of their abilities.
"In Jenson, we saw a champion driver hungry for more success. We've already seen those qualities in Lewis, too. I'm convinced that we have one of the very strongest driver line-ups in Formula 1, and that both Jenson and Lewis are committed to working together to enhance the team's prospects in what promises to be a fiercely competitive season."
Vodafone Global brand director & CEO of VIML
"As we enter into the fourth season of this partnership, we will continue to create real engagement with our customers, utilising the unique opportunities the team partnership delivers, through a powerful integrated marketing platform. With the 2010 season starting, we welcome newly crowned world champion Jenson Button
and wish all the team a successful 2010 season."