F1: Hamilton to test drive new McLaren MP4-26

PUBLISHED: 21:22 09 February 2011 | UPDATED: 21:25 09 February 2011

Former F1 world champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton with Martin Whitmarsh at the McLaren MP4-26 car launch in Berlin [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]

Former F1 world champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton with Martin Whitmarsh at the McLaren MP4-26 car launch in Berlin [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]

HOCH ZWEI

LEWIS Hamilton gets the first chance to test drive his new Formula 1 car – the McLaren MP4-26 – in Spain tomorrow (Thursday).

The new McLaren MP4-26 [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes launched the team’s challenger for the 2011 FIA Formula 1 World Championship in Berlin, Germany, last Friday.

Herts-born Hamilton, 26, is due to climb behind the wheel of the silver machine tomorrow in the first day of track testing at the Circuito de Jerez.

Team-mate Jenson Button will take over the following day, with Hamilton back behind the wheel at the Spanish circuit on Saturday.

Button, the 2009 F1 world champion, said: “I’m really looking forward to getting to drive the new car for the first time.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-26

TECHNICAL SPEC

CHASIS

Monocoque: McLaren-moulded carbon-fibre composite incorporating front and side impact structures.

Bodywork: Carbon-fibre composite. Separate engine cover, sidepods and floor.

Tyres: Pirelli P Zero

Radio: Kenwood

ENGINE

Type: Mercedes-Benz FO 108Y

Capacity: 2.4 litres

Cylinders: 8

Maximum rpm: 18,000

Number of valves: 32

KERS [hybrid]

Type: Mercedes-Benz

e-Motor: Engine-mounted electrical motor/generator

Power: 60 kW

TRANSMISSION

Gearbox: McLaren-moulded carbon-fibre composite. Integral rear impact structure.

Gears: Seven forward and one reverse.

“Our pre-season simulations suggests that the new Pirelli tyres should be well-suited to my particular driving style, so I’m hopeful of being able to derive a good advantage from the tyres during the races.”

Ahead of testing, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “While we’re all hopeful of once more adding to our tremendous record in Formula 1, this sport is so unpredictable and finely pitched at the moment that it’s impossible accurately to forecast the state of play until the season starts next month.

“That’s a tantalising prospect for Formula 1’s many millions of existing fans – and, I hope, something that will attract many millions more by the end of what looks set to be an absolutely fantastic year.”

The opening race of the F1 season is the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, March 13.


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