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  McLaren MP4-26 Mercedes
 

  Article Image gallery (11) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:2011
Engine type:KERS Hybrid
Predecessor:McLaren MP4-25 Mercedes
Successor:McLaren MP4-27 Mercedes
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:April 18, 2011
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Click here to download printer friendly versionWith the two most recent world champions in their ranks, McLaren were understandably optimistic going into the 2010 season. The new-for-the-year MP4-25 also featured a trick aerodynamic system that allowed the driver to 'stall' the rear wing on the straights, giving the McLaren a top-speed advantage. Unfortunately Red Bull Racing lined up with an aerodynamically even more advanced machine. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button nevertheless managed to win five Grands Prix between them and McLaren finished the year second in the constructor's table.

Subtle changes to the regulations encouraged the British team to develop a drastically different car for 2011. The most signification revision was the ban of the 'double diffuser', which generated a significant amount of downforce on the 2010 car. Additional changes included the return of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) hybrid drive and a switch to Pirelli rubber from long-time exclusive supplier Bridgestone. All new for 2011 was the Drag Reduction System (DRS) that allows drivers to open part of the rear wing when chasing another car on certain parts of the track to make passes a little easier.

Efficiency was the key word in McLaren's design brief for 2011, which resulted in a very distinct L-shaped sidepods. Somewhat reminiscent of the design used on the 1995 Benetton, this solution allows air to flow more efficiently to the rear end of the car. For that same reason, the Neil Oatley led design team followed Red Bull Racing and switched to a pull-rod rear suspension from the more conventional push-rod layout. Another significant change to the mechanical package was the addition of the components needed to make the KERS work. Charged by the rear axle, the system consists of a battery pack to store the energy and a 60 kW electric motor bolted to the gearbox.

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  Article Image gallery (11) Specifications