McLaren show off new car with no principal in sight

Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:35am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - McLaren showed off their new Formula One car on Friday with neither a title sponsor nor a team principal in sight but plenty of determination to banish the gloom of a depressing 2013 season.

Once famed for lavish launches, McLaren opted for an online only presentation of the silver MP4-29 with a series of photographs immediately drawing attention to the car's protruding nose and 'nostrils'.

Other teams had already warned that new safety-led regulations would lead to 'ugly' noses and an "anteater look" and McLaren's offering was certainly a departure from the sleek offerings of the recent past.

"This year will be about developing and growing McLaren to a position where we can once again fight at the front," declared managing director Jonathan Neale in a press release.

"We've made no secret of our disappointment at how the 2013 season turned out," added sporting director Sam Michael, whose team failed to finish on the podium last year for the first time since 1980 and ended up fifth overall.

"The aim now is to get back to winning.

"But there's a certain amount of growth and regrowth that needs to take place before we return to a position where we can challenge for the world championship."

There was no mention of Martin Whitmarsh, still nominally the team principal despite losing the role of group chief executive to his predecessor Ron Dennis last week.   Continued...