Button and Perez lift the covers off the new McLaren MP4-28

The McLaren MP4-28 after it was unveiled by Sergio Perez and Jenson Button

The McLaren MP4-28 after it was unveiled by Sergio Perez and Jenson Button

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes launched its 2013 Formula One challenger and kicked off a year of 50th anniversary celebrations with a spectacular parade of classic racing cars at the McLaren Technology Centre this morning.

McLaren MP4-28 Launch

McLaren MP4-28 launch

The parade, which 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, our 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 our 2013 race drivers, Jenson Button and Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez – who arrived driving a development model of our new McLaren P1TM sportscar and a 12C Spider, respectively.

Evolution through history

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 we’ve 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 and Checo – a perfect blend

Jenson Button with Sergio Perez

Jenson Button with Sergio Perez

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 F1 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 F1, 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.

Our driver pairing is the perfect blend of youth and experience. We 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.

Powering the market with 50 years of expertise

Sergio Perez and Jenson Button

Sergio Perez and Jenson Button

Our unrivalled experience as a British F1 team has enabled us to develop cutting-edge technologies. We’re proud that the technology and expertise pioneered at the racetrack and developed by McLaren Applied Technologies, working in partnership with Vodafone, were used by British canoeists, rowers, cyclists and sailors, helping to bring home 15 gold medals last summer.

In partnership with Vodafone and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, we have begun a successful pilot utilising F1 data management expertise to improve the monitoring of children in intensive care – a project we hope to continue and expand in 2013.

We will also be supplying motors, transmissions and data systems for teams entering the new Formula E series, which is set to hit city streets in 2014.

The depth of trust and respect we enjoy with our partners has allowed us to extend record-breaking relationships with the likes of Hugo Boss (32 years), TAG Heuer (28 years), Kenwood (23 years), ExxonMobil and Mercedes-Benz (19 years) and SAP (15 years).

In addition, our longstanding partnerships with Johnnie Walker and Hilton (nine years), Vodafone and Santander (seven years) are globally successful. Our recent strategic partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, which has seen GSK scientists develop a successful drinks formula to hydrate the drivers, will see the launch of the McLaren GSK Centre for Applied Performance at the end of the year.

Last year, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes also became the first motorsport company to retain the challenging Carbon Trust Standard in recognition of our continued efforts to reduce the impact we have on the environment.

2013: The most exciting year yet for McLaren Automotive

On the road, McLaren Automotive’s high performance cars have been setting new standards. Last year we launched the 12C Spider, the open-roofed version of the groundbreaking 12C, and also unveiled the McLaren P1TM, which launches this year with the aim of being the best drivers’s car in the world, on both the road and track.

Evolution through history – or history through evolution? In 2013, we are set to do both.

Jenson will begin track testing of the MP4-28 at Spain’s Circuito de Jerez on Tuesday 5 February. (McLaren)

Subbed by AJN.