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  Article Image gallery (12) MP4-25A-01 Specifications User Comments (1)  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:2010
Predecessor:McLaren MP4-24 Mercedes
Successor:McLaren MP4-26 Mercedes
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:July 01, 2021
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAfter a difficult start of the season with the MP4-24, McLaren managed to score a pair of victories during the second half of the 2009 season. The British team attempted to carry on this momentum into the next year with the new MP4-25. Leaving little to chance, McLaren managed to obtain the services of the 2009 World Champion Jenson Button, who joined the 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton to form what was arguably the strongest driver line-up in the field.

What let the MP4-24 down early in its career was its poor aerodynamics. Those issues were not only sorted but McLaren also managed to introduce a revolutionary new aerodynamics device. Named the 'F-duct' after the location the intake scoop was placed in reference to a letter on the 'Vodafone' sponsor decal, it was a duct that fed air from the top of the nose to the rear wing. It was designed to 'stall' the air ahead of the wing, which improved the top speed on the straights by nearly 10 km/h. It was actuated by the driver, who could close a hole in the cockpit to actuate the system. As it was driver operated, the system did not fall foul of the ban on moveable aerodynamics devices.

Although McLaren once again used the Mercedes-Benz engine, there was a profound shift in the balance as the German manufacturer had acquired a controlling stake in the rival Brawn GP team. There were no immediate changes as McLaren remained fully works supported and received the latest specification of the 2.4-litre V8. Dubbed the FO 108X, it was limited at 18,000 rpm. It was mated to a seven-speed gearbox with seamless shifts operated by paddles behind the steering wheel. The suspension was through double wishbones at all four corners, with push-rod actuated in-board springs and dampers.

The rival teams were not particularly happy with the 'F-Duct' but after a further check during the season opener in Bahrain, the MP4-25 was cleared to race. Hamilton was immediately competitive and finished third. For the subsequent Australian Grand Prix Button qualified fourth and managed to claim the first win for the MP4-25 in only his second appearance for the team. Button would win again in China and Hamilton scored a further three victories in a very closely disputed season. Hamilton still had a mathematical chance of the World Championship but despite finishing second, ended the year fourth in the points. McLaren was second in the Constructors' Championship.

For the 2011 season, the controversial 'F-Duct' was banned and instead the similar DRS or Drag Reduction System was introduced to aid overtaking. Although different in execution, the DRS was clearly inspired by the MP4-25's infamous 'F-Duct'. With five wins in a hugely competitive season, the MP4-25 was one of the last successful McLarens before the team lost its way during the second half of the 2010s.

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  Article Image gallery (12) MP4-25A-01 Specifications User Comments (1)