McLaren racing cars herald launch of 2013 challenger

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 31, 2013 12:21 hrs

Woking (England), Jan 31 (IANS) McLaren Mercedes launched their 2013 Formula 1 challenger and kicked off a year of 50th anniversary celebrations with a spectacular parade of classic racing cars at the McLaren Technology Centre here Thursday.

The parade brought to life a string of race- and championship-winning McLarens from across the decades, included 1970's M8D CanAm sportscar, Emerson Fittipaldi's iconic 1974 M23, Ayrton Senna's dominant 1988 MP4/4, our 1995 Le Mans-winning F1 GTR, Mika Hakkinen's MP4-13 car from 1998 and Lewis Hamilton's 2008 MP4-23.

The display culminated in the arrival of team's 2013 drivers, Jenson Button and Sergio 'Checo' Perez.

"The MP4-28 (new car) isn't merely a refinement of last year's seven-race-winning car, it's a deep and sweeping re-design of an already successful chassis in several key areas - most notably around the nose and front suspension, the sidepod profiles and the rear bodywork," said McLaren in a release.

Jenson begins his fourth season at McLaren as the team's most experienced driver. During his time here, he has won more races (eight) and scored more points (672) than during the rest of his 10-year Formula 1 career.

By contrast, Checo is starting only his third season in F1. Young, eager to learn, and already impressing the team with his ability to absorb information, the 23-year-old is perfectly poised to benefit from the team's experience as he develops and gathers pace during his important first season here.

Jenson will begin track testing of the MP4-28 at Spain's Circuito de Jerez Feb 5.

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