Vodafone McLaren Mercedes launched its 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.
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, the 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 the 2013 race drivers, Jenson Button and Sergio 'Checo' Perez - who arrived driving a development model of the new McLaren P1 sportscar and a 12C Spider, respectively.
The display of classic McLarens was a timely reminder of the weight of history that constantly hangs over a team with such high expectations each and every season. Following such a winning pedigree is the aim and intention of each and every man and woman who comes to work at McLaren every day.
And, for everyone involved in its inception, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 is the logical culmination of everything McLaren ever done: it's the sum of 50 years' experience, expertise and passion.
The MP4-28 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.
Jenson begins his fourth season at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes as the team's most experienced driver. Indeed, 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. For 2013, he is keenly anticipating the opportunity to maximise all his skill and depth of experience to spearhead the development of the car across the championship season.
By contrast, Checo is starting only his third season in Formula 1, aged 23. Young, eager to learn, and already impressing the team with his ability to absorb information, he is perfectly poised to benefit from the team's professionalism and experience as he develops and gathers pace during his important first season as a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver.
McLaren will once again be targeting both the drivers' and constructors' world championships. The ongoing strength in depth of the organisation, plus the exciting addition of Sergio to the proven package of Jenson gives the whole team strong encouragement and motivation for the year ahead.
Company press release, last updated on January 31, 2013