In February McLaren became only the second team to reveal its Formula One Championship challenger, throwing the covers off the MP4-27 at its Woking headquarters in a spectacle that has become typical of such introductions. Eight months on, as it vies for supremacy with the RB8 and F2012 in the real world, its biggest test on the Simraceway tracks is fast-approaching.
While resembling the MP4-26 it has replaced, the MP4-27 sports a substantially-revised chassis and a host of completely-updated systems. Its rear-end has been redesigned to improve airflow, its cooling system has been re-engineered, with its predecessor’s L-shaped sidepods removed, and its exhaust layout has been changed in order to conform with regulations introduced to oversee the demise of blown diffusers.
Perhaps its most notable development, however, is a feature that hasn’t been added. Ever the aesthetes, the engineers at McLaren spared their new creation the controversial “stepped nose” adopted by its 2012 competitors–a design decision warmly welcomed by Jenson Button!
So far in this topsy-turvy Formula One season, the MP4-27 has picked up 284 points for Button and Hamilton–a haul that includes five wins and eleven podiums. But with the championship race entering its final stages, will it do enough to lift the pair from their current positions of sixth and fourth respectively? If so, then it’s going to require a dominant showing in the forthcoming US Grand Prix at the newly-created Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
While we wait for that exciting real-world contest though, the MP4-27 has a much more pressing date with CotA–this time on Simraceway.
Our Circuit of the Americas Tournament, which has been running since the start of the month, is reaching a decisive phase as we whittle the field down to the fifteen drivers who will contest the final race on Sunday–all aiming to carry off a VIP trip to the US GP.
As you would expect, the competition has been fierce and, while there have been a whole host of ways to qualify, the core tournament, which uses both the MP4-27 and Circuit of the Americas track, has produced some intense action with drivers handing out a few pointers to the McLaren boys about how to handle the counter-clockwise course.
Tune in tomorrow for a look ahead to the Circuit of the Americas Tournament finals weekend. And if you fancy tackling CotA with McLaren’s latest piece of technological wizardry, why not buy the stunning MP4-27 and join the free-to-play CotA Tournament Heat Practice.