Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Launches MP4-27 February 1, 2012

Woking, UK, Wednesday 1st February 2012: The continuation of our double world-champion driver line-up, further consolidation of our championship-winning engineering team and a subtle, yet deep-reaching technical update of our car all underpin the world-class strength, experience and ambition that exists at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ahead of the 2012 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

This morning’s technical presentation of the MP4-27 at the McLaren Technology Centre showcased a natural evolution of last year’s six-race-winning car and underlined the message that the new season is very much one of growth through strength and continuity.

After finishing second in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships in 2011, our aim for the new season is to fight for both world titles from the very start of this year’s campaign.

Evolutionary design of MP4-27 masks overhaul of all major systems

While the all-new Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 closely resembles last year’s multiple race-winning car, the 2012 chassis has been substantially revised from the ground-up, with all major systems updated or re-designed for the new season.

The most evident visual differences include more tightly waisted rear bodywork, developed to improve flow to the rear of the car, and a revised cooling system, which re-directs the gearbox oil-cooler. Last year’s U-shaped sidepods have also been re-designed – a legacy of the FIA’s new exhaust regulations that redefine the shape of the rear bodywork.

Best driver line-up in Formula 1 retained for third successive season

Maintaining the belief in the validity of strengthened continuity, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is the only team in Formula 1 whose driver line-up consists of two world champions: Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

Between them, they have scored 22 grand prix victories for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and are the strongest and most consistent driver line-up in the sport.

Maintaining the partnership into a third successive season was merely a formality.

Strength drawn from consolidation of engineering and race teams

On the technical front, our exemplary engineering trio Tim Goss (director of engineering), Paddy Lowe (technical director) and Neil Oatley (director of design and development programmes) once more remain at the forefront of the drawing office. For 2012, they will be joined by sporting director Sam Michael, whose arrival coincides with the re-organisation of our trackside personnel roster to ensure both growth and development within the group.

Off-track: the most complete team in Formula 1

Away from the track, the team continues to develop, too: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes last year became the world’s first carbon-neutral Formula 1 team, efficiently managing its carbon footprint and purchasing carbon credits to completely offset its emissions.

As well as continuing relationships of record-breaking length with partners such as Hugo Boss (31 years), TAG Heuer (27 years), Kenwood (22 years), ExxonMobil (18 years), Mercedes-Benz (18 years), Hilton (eight years) and Vodafone (six years), our new strategic partnership with GlaxoSmithKline continues to gather pace. Development and planning continue on the McLaren GSK Centre for Applied Performance, while GSK’s Lucozade scientists are busy developing a groundbreaking cockpit drinks formula to hydrate our drivers during grands prix in 2012.

Finally, in a year when the world’s spotlight will shine on London and the 2012 Olympics, we’re proud that equipment and technology pioneered at the racetrack by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and developed by McLaren Applied Technologies will be used by Team GB’s athletes in their quest for Gold this summer.

“With the regulations remaining relatively stable, we’ve really been able to focus on the detail with this year’s car,” he said. “I still think we had a very fast package last year – it was very strong in certain areas – and our race pace was almost always fantastic, but we’re hoping for a further step forwards in 2012. With Mercedes-Benz, I think we also had the best overall engine and KERS Hybrid package in the pitlane.
“We were also able to continuously develop throughout the year to match Red Bull – and that shows that we have the knowledge, effort and resources to sustain our efforts across the course of a whole season, which can be crucial.
“I know that the whole team is extremely proud of the MP4-27. It may look like a direct evolution of last year’s car, but we’ve analysed every area of performance over the winter and the whole car has benefited from lots of fresh thinking and new ideas in every area. I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel in Spain next week.
“I know that everyone will be watching us very closely to see what progress we make during the pre-season tests, but I genuinely believe we have every reason to feel optimistic about the progress we’ve made and our competitiveness this year.”

“The winter has been a great opportunity to recharge,” said Lewis. “I got away into the mountains, spent a lot of time hiking and running, improving my fitness and starting to prepare for the new year.
“It’s always great to get away from everything; change the scenery. And what’s great about Formula 1 is that you start each season with the baseline completely reset – everybody starts again from zero – and that always makes me so hungry.
“I’ve been keenly following the development of MP4-27 over the winter and I’ve been really encouraged by the results and the data that the engineers have been showing me. I think we already had a very strong base to build upon: Jenson and I won six races with MP4-26 last year and I think we’ve been able to retain all the strengths and the reliability of that design while also incorporating lots of improvements and new ideas into the new car.
“Of course, the biggest changes for 2012 are the modifications to the exhaust regulations – that will reduce the downforce and grip that we had last year, but it just puts the emphasis on the designers to try and claw some of that back in other areas.
“I get the feeling the MP4-27 is going to feel very new and exciting when we get to drive it for the first time.”

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“The 2012 season will be an important one for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: having finished second in the constructors’ championship for the past two seasons, we’re determined to mount a sustained, hard challenge for both world titles.
“Our engineering team continues to develop and grow: while the key names who head the department are well known – Tim Goss, Paddy Lowe and Neil Oatley – it’s the strength in depth within the department that continually impresses. I’m extremely proud of our efforts to invest in and recruit young graduate engineers and to develop and school them in the ways of Formula 1.
“We have a fantastically committed team of individuals, and MP4-27 is the fruit of their labours – it’s a beautiful car, and one we feel is the perfect platform from which to launch our assault on the world championship. While there are clear visual changes to this year’s car, there’s greater change beneath the skin, with lots of fresh thinking applied to every major system. The car is pleasingly complete.
“I don’t think we want for anything from our drivers, either: in Jenson and Lewis, I believe we have the very best line-up in Formula 1 – the perfect blend of experience, speed and aggression. They complement each other perfectly.
“For 2012, we are well aware that Red Bull remains a very powerful and capable operation, and that both Ferrari and Mercedes AMG are ramping up their operational capacity. We have no room to be complacent – what you see today only scratches the surface of what we’re planning to deliver to the track both from an engineering and operational point of view throughout 2012.
“I’m pleased and confident that we’ve left no stone unturned in our quest for performance. Now, our focus invariably turns to the track as we evaluate MP4-27 ahead of the start of the 2012 season in Melbourne on March 18. These will be a fascinating three weeks.”


Pedro de la Rosa rejoins Vodafone McLaren Mercedes March 9, 2011

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is pleased to welcome Pedro de la Rosa back as its official test and reserve driver.

The Spaniard originally joined McLaren-Mercedes in 2003.

Working closely with our race and test teams for seven seasons, he helped develop cars that won 29 grands prix and, most memorably, the 2008 drivers’ world championship with Lewis Hamilton.

As a Formula 1 racing driver, Pedro has driven 84 grands prix for Arrows, Jaguar, McLaren-Mercedes and BMW-Sauber.

But it is as a Formula 1 test driver that his experience, expertise, discipline and communications skills have been most notably brought to bear - qualities that have always been very highly prized by his McLaren Mercedes team-mates.

Indeed, motor racing statisticians may be interested to learn that Pedro has driven a mammoth 361 Formula 1 test days in his long career (fourth on the all-time list behind only Luca Badoer [469], Alex Wurz [382] and Jarno Trulli [381]), encompassing 22,763 laps and 104,248 kilometres.

We will benefit significantly from being able to draw on his enormous experience once again.

Furthermore, we are equally delighted that we will also be retaining the services of 2005 German Touring Car (DTM) champion and 2002 German Formula 3 champion Gary Paffett.

Gary will dovetail his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes test and development commitments in 2011 with a full racing campaign for Mercedes-Benz in the DTM series.

Although he will therefore no longer attend grands prix during what promises to be the most intense Formula 1 season in the history of the sport, encompassing races on five continents, he will work for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes away from the world's racetracks to ensure that we maintain our high standards of race simulation and vehicle engineering – increasingly important areas of development given the lack of in-season track running.

“Of all the teams I’ve driven for in Formula 1, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is the one that really feels like home.
“So I’m very excited about returning to the team to help push the development of the MP4-26.
“Lewis and Jenson already have an extremely positive and productive working relationship - so, building on and adding to their existing rapport, I'm aiming to do everything I can to help them get even more from our car, our engineers and our technical resources back at the McLaren Technology Centre.”

“I know I speak for all my colleagues when I say that I'm delighted that Pedro has chosen to return to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.
“He rejoins us with even greater experience, and his motivation and attention to detail remain as sharp as ever.
“His recruitment adds considerable strength in depth to our driver line-up.
"With two world champion race drivers in Lewis and Jenson, and two of the world's most experienced and capable development drivers in Pedro and Gary, we feel we have a quartet of talent that is absolutely second-to-none.
“Our partners - Vodafone, ExxonMobil, Santander, Johnnie Walker, Hugo Boss and all the others - are also delighted that, once again, they'll be able to draw on Pedro's readiness to involve himself with marketing programmes during grand prix weekends, which he has always performed with enthusiasm and skill.
“Meanwhile, we wish Gary a very successful season in the DTM series with Mercedes-Benz - and are delighted that, away from the world's racetracks, he'll continue to give us the benefit of his considerable technical and developmental abilities.”


Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Launches MP4-26 February 4, 2011

Berlin, Germany, Friday 4th February 2011: In a unique event attended by hundreds of fans, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes this morning brought together members of the public to construct and reveal its new MP4-26 chassis, the team's challenger for the 2011 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Revealed at Berlin's Potsdamer Platz, the famous public space that sits on the fringe of the old Berlin Wall, the car was built up by dozens of Vodafone competition-winners, fans and customers carrying components into the arena, where the new chassis was gradually pieced together in front of a huge crowd.

This culminated in our race drivers - 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton and 2009 world champion Jenson Button - assembling the very final pieces to reveal the completed racecar.

Looking radically different from last year's race-winning chassis, MP4-26 features a range of aerodynamic features designed to take advantage of new rules significantly limiting the amount of downforce that can be derived from the car's underbody.

These most notably include distinctive U-shaped sidepods - to feed air more efficiently to the car's rear-end - and a drag reduction system [active rear-wing], introduced for 2011 to increase the potential for overtaking.

Beneath the skin, the car houses an all-new electric KERS [hybrid] system. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, along with our engine partners Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines, became the first-ever Formula 1 team to win a grand prix using a hybrid device in 2009, and this new system is expected to further refine that race-winning package.

The team continues for 2011 with the proven driver pairing of world champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Between them, they helped Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to five grands prix victories, three one-two results and second overall in the 2010 constructors' championship.

"It’s strange to think that this is only the start of my second season at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, because I’ve felt so comfortable since joining the team last January.
"Even so, I’d still consider 2010 something of a building year, albeit, with two victories, a pretty solid one! For the new season, I’ve not only got a year’s Vodafone McLaren Mercedes experience under my belt, but I’ve also been able to offer input into the design and development of the new car – something that I was naturally unable to do last year."
"I’m really looking forward to getting to drive the new car for the first time. 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.
"Today really marks the beginning of our 2011 season after what seems a very long time away from the track. It’s been a really exciting event for all the fans who attended, and now I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of MP4-26 for the first time next week."

"It’s great to see how many fans braved the Berlin weather to come to today’s event. I hope it’s been an exciting day for everyone: I think people saw a unique way of revealing our 2010 car, something that’s never been done before. I hope the car proves just as innovative once we take to the track next week.
"This will be my fifth season in Formula 1. I’m an experienced driver now, and I’ve won the world championship, scored lots of pole positions and taken many race wins. So my aim for this year is to ensure that everything comes together in the best possible way and that, like last year, I’m able to fight for the title right down to the final race.
"Of course, Jenson and I will be racing alongside three fellow world champions in 2011, and that’s a testament to the strength of Formula 1 right now. It’s incredibly hard to say who’ll be up at the front, but I’m an absolute racer and I’m looking forward to some fantastic, close racing and another thrilling conclusion to the season – hopefully with a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver on top!"

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
"I think today’s innovative launch demonstrates the enthusiasm within Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to engage the general public; to show them that our sport is intense and exciting, and that we’re very keen to showcase Formula 1 to the wider world.
"With Lewis and Jenson, we have two of the most exciting, charismatic and high-profile personalities in the sport, and the whole team feels a powerful sense of responsibility to provide them with the very best machinery with which to showcase their very evident talents to the world.
"The MP4-26 is the result of an incredible amount of hard work, innovative thinking and dynamic teamwork. 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."

Engineering Director, McLaren Racing
“I think there are some novel features on the car. The long wheelbase and U-shaped sidepods are probably the most obvious examples. The thinking behind that is to feed as much good-quality air as possible to the rear-lower mainplane and the floor of the car.
"We want to get the rear-end working as well as possible following the loss of performance caused by the banning of the double-diffuser. Once again, we’ve really pushed the car’s cooling configuration: we’ve got a second air intake on the engine cover for gearbox and hydraulic cooling.”


Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Launches MP4-25 January 29, 2010

Newbury, UK, Friday 29th January 2010: The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team today revealed its brand new MP4-25 chassis - the car in which reigning world champion Jenson Button and 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton will contest the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Unveiled at Vodafone UK's stunning headquarters in Newbury, the 2010 car looks noticeably different from last year's race-winning MP4-24. MP4-25 features a radical aerodynamic overhaul and a significantly larger fuel tank to take full advantage of this year's new regulations, and its design team is confident it has explored every possible avenue to maximise the car's performance.

Horsepower once again comes from our friends in Stuttgart. Mercedes-Benz's FO 108X V8 subtly improves upon an engine that has become the benchmark in Formula 1, winning the last two drivers' world championships.

The team kicks off its 2010 campaign with a stunning driver pairing: 2009 world champion Jenson Button and 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton. It is the first time since 1989 - when it ran Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna - that the team has fielded a joint-world champion driver line-up, and marks the first time in Formula 1 history that the sport's two most recent world champions have been partnered together.

However, the driver line-up represents only a fraction of the team's remarkable strength in depth. Members of the design team who contributed to the development of MP4-25 can also trace their involvement back through an incredible seven of the team's 12 drivers' world championships, five of the team's eight constructors' world championships and 112 of the team's 164 grand prix victories.

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team begins pre-season testing with MP4-25 at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo on Monday.

"I'm incredibly proud to be standing here today knowing I'll be carrying the number one for the whole season: that's a great responsibility but also a great honour. It's something I'm relishing.
"From the very first day of testing, I'll be working with the team to learn about the car and to develop it ahead of the first race. I've said it before: the pace of development in those opening tests could well determine the outcome of the championship.
"I've got a great team around me, and I already feel very at home here. I just can't wait to get in the car and start driving again. It really can't come soon enough!"

"I've seen just how much effort and attention has gone into making this car what it is. We've been pushing like crazy to find the performance and the result is something that looks very special and very uncompromising.
"Both Jenson and I are world champions, and we both want to add to the team's incredible winning legacy. I think a strong driver line-up will be very important this year as there are a lot of very competitive teams and drivers - and the stronger we can be, the better chance we'll have of winning races. We all understand that.
"Obviously, I want to win the drivers' world championship, that's clear. But, just as important, I want to help the team win the constructors' world championship. I think it's set to be a great year for Formula 1 - it should be brilliant."

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
"At Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, we've demonstrated that strength in depth is the best approach to take in Formula 1. The group of engineers, designers and strategists we've assembled demonstrates how much can be achieved by a very focused team operating at the very limit of their abilities.
"In Jenson, we saw a champion driver hungry for more success. We've already seen those qualities in Lewis, too. I'm convinced that we have one of the very strongest driver line-ups in Formula 1, and that both Jenson and Lewis are committed to working together to enhance the team's prospects in what promises to be a fiercely competitive season."

Vodafone Global brand director & CEO of VIML
"As we enter into the fourth season of this partnership, we will continue to create real engagement with our customers, utilising the unique opportunities the team partnership delivers, through a powerful integrated marketing platform. With the 2010 season starting, we welcome newly crowned world champion Jenson Button and wish all the team a successful 2010 season."











Type Mercedes-Benz FO 108Y
Capacity 2.4 litres
No. of cylinders 8
Max. RPM 18,000
Bank angle 90˚
Piston bore maximum 98mm
Number of valves 32
Fuel ExxonMobil High Performance Unleaded (5.75% bio fuel)
Spark Plugs
NGK racing spark plugs specially designed for Mercedes-Benz F1 engine
Mobil 1 – combining greater performance, protection and cooling with increased economy and lower emissions
Engine Weight 95kg (minimum FIA regulation weight)

KERS [hybrid]
Type Mercedes-Benz
e-Motor Engine-mounted electrical motor/generator
ESS Integrated energy storage cells and power electronics
Power 60 kW

McLaren-moulded carbonfibre composite. Integral rear impact structure
Gears Seven forward and one reverse
Gear selection McLaren seamless shift, hand-operated
Clutch Carbon/carbon, hand-operated
Lubricants Mobil

McLaren-moulded carbonfibre composite incorporating front and side impact structures
Front suspension
Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement
Rear suspension
Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pullrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement

McLaren Electronic Systems. Including chassis control, engine control, data acquisition, dashboard, alternator, sensors, data analysis and telemetry

Carbon-fibre composite. Separate engine cover, sidepods and floor. Structural nose with intergral front wing Driver-operated drag reduction system
Tyres Pirelli P Zero
Radio Kenwood
Race Wheels Enkei
Brake calipers Akebono
Master cylinders Akebono
Batteries GS Yuasa Corporation
Steering McLaren power-assisted
Instruments McLaren Electronic Systems
Paint solutions AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings using Sikkens Products


Team Drivers

Jenson Button 
Car No. 4
Nationality British
Date of Birth 19 January 1980
Place of Birth Frome, Somerset, UK
Marital Status Single
Height 1.82m
Weight 70.5kg
Resident Monaco
Favourite Music Dance, British alternative
Hobbies Cycling, cars, music
Website www.jensonbutton.com

Formula One
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: Driver
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: fifth in the drivers' championship (270 points, 3 wins Canada, Hungary, Japan), 12 podiums, 3 fastest laps.
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: fifth in the drivers' championship (214 points, two wins Australia, China), 7 podiums, 1 fastest lap.
Brawn GP F1 Team: Champion (95 points, 6 wins Australia, Malaysia, Bahrain, Spain, Monaco, Turkey), 9 podiums, 4 pole positions, 2 fastest laps.
Honda Racing F1 Team: World Championship position: 18th, 3 points; best result: 6th, Spanish Grand Prix
Honda Racing F1 Team: World Championship position: 15th, 6 points; best result: 6th, Chinese Grand Prix
Lucky Strike Honda Racing F1 Team: World Championship position: 6th, 56 points; best result: 1st, Hungarian Grand Prix
Lucky Strike BAR Honda: World Championship position: 9th, 37 points; best result: 3rd, German and Belgian Grands Prix
Lucky Strike BAR Honda: World Championship position: 3rd, 85 points; best result: 2nd, San Marino, Monaco
Lucky Strike BAR Honda: World Championship position: 9th, 17 points; best result: 4th, Austrian and Japanese Grands Prix
Mild Seven Renault F1 Team: World Championship position: 7th, 14 points; best result: 4th, Malaysian and Brazilian Grands Prix
Mild Seven Benetton Renault: World Championship position:17th, 2 points
BMW WilliamsF1 Team: World Championship position: 8th, 12 points; best result: 4th, German Grand Prix

Competition History

Formula 3: 3rd in the British Formula 3 Championship, 3 wins; 2nd in the Macau Grand Prix; 2nd in the Korean Grand Prix.
Formula Ford: 1st in the British Formula Ford Championship, 7 wins.


Lewis Hamilton 
Car No. 3
Nationality British
Date of Birth 7 January 1985
Place of Birth Stevenage, UK
Marital Status Single
Height 1.74m
Weight 68kg
Resident UK
Favourite Music R & B, Reggae, Hip-Hop, and funky house
Hobbies Playing the guitar, music, training
Website www.lewishamilton.com

Formula One
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: Driver
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: fourth in the drivers' championship (227 points, 3 wins China, Germany, Abu Dhabi), 6 podiums, 1 pole position, 3 fastest laps.
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: fourth in the drivers' championship (240 points, 3 wins Turkey, Canada, Belgium), 9 podiums, 1 pole position, 5 fastest laps.
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: fifth in the drivers' championship (49 points, two wins - in Hungary, and Singapore). Lewis is limited by his car's performance in the opening half of the season, but, once his engineers have unlocked the car's pace, he invariably fights at the front in the closing half, setting four pole positions and three additional podium finishes.
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: Champion (98 points, 5 wins Australia, Monaco, Britain, Germany, China), 10 podiums, 7 pole positions, 1 fastest lap. At just 23 years old, he is formula 1's youngest ever world champion.
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: 109 Points; second in the Drivers' World Championship narrowly missing out on the title with two points; the most successful rookie season in the history of the Formula 1 World Championship with consecutive podiums in his first nine races; winner in Canada, the US, Hungary and Japan; second in Malaysia, Bahrain, Spain, Monaco and Italy and third in Australia, France and Britain. Runner-up in BBC Sports Personality of the Year; voted GQ magazine Man of the Year in Germany and Sportsman of the Year in the UK; awarded the prestigious Golden Steering Wheel by Bild am Sonntag; presented with the BRDC Gold Star; received five F1 Racing awards including Man and Driver of the Year; winner of three Autosport awards.

Competition History

GP2 Series: Champion with ART Grand Prix; five wins; six fastest laps; first double win at the Nürburgring; pole position and winner of Monaco GP2 race; second double win at Silverstone in home race; seven 2 nd place and two 3 rd place podiums
F3 Euroseries: Champion with ASM F3 Dallara-Mercedes; 15 wins; 10 fastest laps; 13 pole positions; secured championship with four races remaining; winner of F3 Masters at Zandvoort including pole position and lap record; winner of the Monaco F3 Grand Prix including two pole positions and two race wins and one fastest lap; winner of Pau F3 Grand Prix in France; two pole positions, two race wins and two fastest laps
F3 Euroseries: fifth; one win and third place at the Norisring and the Nürburgring; winner of Bahrain F3 Superprix
British Formula Renault: Champion; 10 wins; nine fastest laps and 11 pole positions; Champion before final two rounds
British Formula Renault: third; three wins; three fastest laps; three pole positions; Formula Renault EuroCup Championship fifth; one win three podiums; competed in four out of nine rounds
British Formula Renault Winter Series; fifth overall.
Formula A: European Champion; winner of all four rounds; World Cup Champion; awarded Karting World Number 1; winner of Masters at Bercy; Founder member of BRDC ‘Rising Star' membership
Intercontinental A (ICA): Italian "Industrials" Champion, Junior ICA (JICA): Vice European Champion; winner Trophy de Pomposa, 4th Italian Open Championship
Junior ICA (JICA): second in McLaren Mercedes Champions of the Future series; fourth in Italian Open Championship; signed by McLaren and Mercedes-Benz to Young Driver Support Programme
Junior Yamaha: Super One British Champion; winner of McLaren Mercedes Champions of the Future series
Cadet Class: winner of McLaren Mercedes Champions of the Future series; Sky TV Kart Masters Champion; Five Nations Champion
Cadet Class: Super One British Champion; STP Champion



Test Driver

Gary Paffett 
Nationality British
Date of Birth 24 March 1981
Place of Birth Bromley, England
Marital Status Married to Lisa, two sons
Height 1.75m
Weight 76kg
Resident UK
Favourite Music Gorillaz, Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5, Robbie Williams
Hobbies Karting, football, golf, computers and games
Website www.garypaffett.com

Formula One
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: test driver
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: test driver
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: test driver
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: test driver
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: test driver
Team McLaren Mercedes: test driver.

Competition History

DTM driver with Mercedes-Benz
DTM: 2010 AMG Mercedes C-Class, HWA team; finished second overall with three wins, two pole positions.
DTM: 2009 AMG Mercedes C-Class, HWA team; finished second overall with four wins.
DTM: 2007 AMG Mercedes C-Class, Persson Motorsport; finished ninth overall.
DTM: 2006 AMG Mercedes C-Class, Persson Motorsport; finished ninth overall with one win at Oschersleben.
Champion in the DTM (German Touring Car Masters) with AMG-Mercedes C-Class and the HWA team: five wins, four pole positions. Announced as Team McLaren Mercedes Test driver in December.
DTM runner-up Series with AMG-Mercedes C-Class and the HWA team: four wins, one pole position.
Gary competed in one F3000 race before signing for DTM with Rosberg's Mercedes AMG team. He finished 11th overall.
Winner of the German F3 Championship never losing the lead throughout the championship.
German F3 Championship racing with Keke Rosberg's race team; finished 6th overall.
BRDC Silver Award Winner, The youngest driver ever to be awarded a BRDC silver award. BRDC Formula 3 Scholarship Class Champion, 13 wins, 13 fastest laps, 13 pole positions.
Formula Vauxhall Junior Champion; two track records, four wins, five fastest laps, three pole positions; Awarded McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year.
Formula Vauxhall Junior Class B Champion; 13 fastest laps, 13 poles, 13 races. Won every race of the year; the only class ‘B’ car to set a track record.
Winner of the Formula Vauxhall Junior Winter Series; Best newcomer.
McLaren Mercedes Karting Champion of the Future. MSA-RAC second in the British Junior ICA Championship.
British Junior TKM Champion. Second in the Junior ICA European Championship.
Second in the British Junior TKM Championship.
Third in the British Cadet Championships.



Management Team

Martin Whitmarsh
Team Principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Martin Whitmarsh graduated with a degree in engineering before joining the aerospace industry, holding a variety of positions in research and development before running an aerospace structures business. In 1989, he moved to McLaren to lead design operations, becoming managing director of McLaren Racing in 1997.

He has been instrumental in assisting McLaren’s growth and diversification as a group as well as overseeing the F1 operation. In 2004, Martin was appointed chief operating officer of McLaren Group, and at the beginning of the 2009 Formula 1 season he took over as team principal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and became chief executive officer of McLaren Group.

Under his stewardship the team has continued to grow and prosper, attracting the services of two of the best drivers in Formula 1, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, winning six grands prix during the 2011 season and finishing second in the constructors’ championship.

Martin Whitmarsh


Jonathan Neale
Managing Director

Graduating from Nottingham University in 1984 with an honours degree in physics, Jonathan Neale began a lengthy career in the commercial and defence aerospace industry. Beginning at Philips Defence Systems, he became a chartered electrical and electronic engineer and went on to lead the advanced development group within the electronic warfare division. He moved to BAE systems in 1991, working as a project design engineer leading major systems projects for commercial aircraft.

Promoted through the company, he became director of operations and support operations at the Manchester and Prestwick Sites and was responsible for aircraft production, customer support and training. He returned to defence systems and aircraft, taking charge of the Hawk Fast Jet Programme as managing director 1999. He gained his MBA during the 1990s and participated in the government cabinet office’s prestigious Top Management Programme working with public and private sector colleagues.

Jonathan joined McLaren Racing as operations director in 2001 to oversee the race team’s operations and engineering processes. He was appointed the company’s managing director in 2004. Jonathan is currently a fellow of the Institute of Directors and occupies a principal role within the organisation, managing overall technical and operational strategy for the whole team.


Sam Michael
Sporting Director

Graduating from the University of New South Wales in 1993 with a degree in mechanical engineering, Sam Michael travelled to Europe and immediately began his Formula 1 career with Lotus.

Over the following 17 seasons, he benefited from the tutelage and experience of Gary Anderson at Jordan Grand Prix and Patrick Head at WilliamsF1. Promoted through both teams, he has worked in and led design, R&D, vehicle dynamics and race engineering departments, as well as achieving company director and board-member level at Williams. He became the team’s technical director in the spring of 2004.

He joined Vodafone McLaren Mercedes in November 2011, officially taking on the role of sporting director at the start of this year. He forms part of our senior technical management team, primarily responsible for trackside operations.


Simon Roberts
Operations Director

A rich background in mechanical and automotive engineering – including roles at BMW’s powertrain division – perfectly prepared Simon Roberts for McLaren Racing. Joining the team in 2003 as general manager, he became operations director the following year.

For 2009, he was seconded to the Force India F1 team as chief operating officer but returned to McLaren Racing ahead of the 2010 season.


John Cooper
Commercial & Financial Director

John Cooper qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young in 1994 before joining Avis Europe as group financial accountant. He quickly progressing through the organisation to hold a number of key financial roles within Avis UK. He soon began working at board level within a newly acquired subsidiary in Greece and held two further overseas roles in Italy and Spain. John was also a member of the team who purchased the Budget Car Rental companies from administration and subsequently became their finance director in 2003.

John joined McLaren Racing as finance director in January 2005 and has subsequently taken on more responsibility, becoming commercial & finance director in 2010.


David Redding
Team Manager

David Redding took on his first motorsport role in 1988, working in the Benetton Formula 1 team’s gearbox department. In 1995, he became number one mechanic at McLaren, before leaving at the end of 1996 to help set up the fledgling Stewart Grand Prix team.

When he rejoined McLaren in 2000, he moved to the team’s engineering department, working as a systems engineer before becoming assistant race engineer alongside Philip Prew.

After engineering the third car at races, he became more involved in the team’s operational side, and was appointed head of race operations in 2009. He became team manager in 2009 and is also Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ sporting representative within FOTA and on the FIA’s sporting board.




Technical Team

Paddy Lowe
Technical Director

Paddy Lowe graduated from Cambridge University in 1984, joining Williams in 1987 where he took charge of the active suspension project, which directly contributed to Nigel Mansell’s 1992 world championship. He joined McLaren in 1993 as the team’s head of research and development: through this role, he was instrumental in introducing a number of key technical innovations to McLaren’s cars and organisation, including power steering, brake-steer and the F1 simulator. His remit continually broadened and he was appointed engineering director in May 2005 – a role that gave him responsibility over all the engineering departments within McLaren Racing.

In January 2011 he was appointed to the position of technical director, from which he continues to manage all of the engineering functions in McLaren Racing, defines the technical strategy for the team’s development and racing activities as well as representing Vodafone McLaren Mercedes on the FOTA and FIA technical boards.


Neil Oatley
Design and Development Director

Neil Oatley arrived in Formula 1 during an era in which designers also had to turn their hands to practical race engineering. He joined Williams as a draughtsman in 1977, moving on to race-engineer Clay Regazzoni and Carlos Reutemann, and working alongside world champions Keke Rosberg and Nigel Mansell.

He returned to the drawing office as chief designer for the short-lived Haas Lola team before moving to McLaren in 1986, where he played a key role in the creation of a succession of legendary championship-winning cars.

Recently celebrating 25 years at McLaren, Neil’s brief as director of design and development programmes enables him to deploy the experience gleaned through over three decades at the cutting edge of motorsport into the specification, design and build of each new Vodafone McLaren Mercedes car.


Tim Goss
Director of Engineering

Tim Goss entered Formula 1 with Cosworth in 1986 before joining McLaren as a design engineer in 1990. He has held many roles within the team, including stints as chief test team engineer, head of vehicle dynamics and chief engineer powertrain – a role in which he oversaw the introduction of the sport’s first-ever seamless-shift gearbox in 2005.

Outgrowing his role as chief engineer, he was appointed director of engineering in January 2011. He oversees all aspects of car specification, top-level target-setting and priority engineering projects.


Andrew Bailey
Head of Vehicle Design

Andrew Bailey began his career designing fast maritime craft in Australia. After a series of senior design and development roles he joined McLaren from QinetiQ in 2008. Overseeing the latter half of the design development of the championship-winning MP4-23, he currently has charge over McLaren Racing's vehicle design, wind tunnel delivery and model design teams.


John Iley
Head of Aerodynamics

Joining Vodafone McLaren Mercedes at the start of 2010, John Iley heads up the team’s aerodynamics department, overseeing the efficient operation and day-to-day running of the group. He previously occupied the same role at Ferrari from 2003 until the middle of last year, and has also worked for Renault F1 and Jordan. He began his motorsport career in 1990, and has worked in sports cars, and also for the Newman Haas Indycar team.


Doug McKiernan
Chief Aerodynamicist

After gaining his PhD in Aeronautical Engineering at Manchester University Doug McKiernan joined BAE Systems, specialising in wing design. His expertise in CFD made him a natural asset in BAE Systems’ technical partnership with McLaren-Mercedes, and in 1999 he came to Woking to develop CFD models. After three months he decided to make the move permanent. Since joining the team he has worked as a CFD, wind tunnel and trackside aerodynamicist. Since 2006 Doug has acted as principal aerodynamicist and then chief aerodynamicist, responsible for the aerodynamic design and performance of every car since the MP4-22.


Mark Williams
Head of Vehicle Engineering

After graduating from Imperial College, London, with a degree in mechanical engineering, Mark devoted himself to motorsport, working at the Ensign Formula 1 team, engineering firm Ricardo and as a designer at Lola. After a stint working in the North American IndyCar series, he returned to Europe, firstly to look after the engineering side of McLaren’s sports car racing programme before joining the Formula 1 team in 1997. As head of vehicle engineering, he is responsible for integrating all aspects of the team’s vehicle development.


Philip Prew
Principal Race Engineer

Philip Prew started his McLaren career in vehicle dynamics and modelling in 1997. The following year he joined the race team, working as an assistant race engineer to Mika Hakkinen. In 2001, he was promoted to race engineer, a role he oversaw until the end of last season, working with David Coulthard, Juan Pablo Montoya, Pedro de la Rosa and Lewis Hamilton. For 2010, he becomes the team’s principal race engineer.


Jakob Andreasen
Jenson Button's Race Engineer

Danish-born Jakob Andreasen initially worked at McLaren in the mid 1990s, engineering the Group’s GT and Le Mans sports car programmes. He returned in 2001 as a test engineer and joined the race team in 2005, where he most recently worked as assistant race engineer on Lewis’s car. He has also worked in the BTCC and Champ Car and has been a race engineer in Formula 3000 and DTM.


Andy Latham
Lewis Hamilton's Race Engineer

Andy Latham joined McLaren in 2000, and has taken on a range of technically challenging positions within the company, including roles developing software and the team simulator. With more than six years of trackside experience, including stints working with Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso, he is perfectly placed to become Lewis's new race engineer.




Title Partner

The world’s leading mobile telecommunications company, providing a wide range of services including voice and data communication

Vodafone is title sponsor and 'official mobile partner' of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team. This partnership is Vodafone's major global sponsorship and is part of an ongoing commitment to the Formula 1 World Championship, a sport which continues to deliver massive global television coverage and which has significant appeal for Vodafone's consumer and business customers and racing fans around the world.

The title sponsorship, including the team name 'Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' and 'official mobile partner' of the team, continues to give Vodafone dominant title sponsorship branding on the new 2010 cars, drivers' and pit crews' overalls and helmets. As we enter into the fourth season of this partnership the associative rights acquired provide unique opportunities that will continue to raise brand awareness through the team name and branding.

The team partnership delivers a powerful integrated marketing platform through advertising, hospitality, mobile content, handset offers and promotions, as well as exclusive benefits and access for Vodafone customers through innovative activation programmes. There are clear synergies between the attitudes and values of Vodafoneand the McLaren Mercedes team and this will result in an ongoing successful partnership.

Vodafone is the world's leading international mobile communications group with approximately 323 million proportionate customers as of 30 September 2009.Vodafone currently has equity interests in 31 countries across five continents and more than 40 partner networks worldwide.


Engine Partner

Leading producer of premium passenger cars and the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in the world.

Mercedes-Benz is the best-known premium automotive brand in the world. It can trace its history to the dawn of the motor car. The three-pointed star, the logo of the company which invented the motor car, has come to symbolise the highest standards of quality, safety and performance. Its Formula 1 partnership with McLaren began in 1995, and since then Mercedes-Benz engines have powered four Drivers’ World Championship titles. In 2010, the 16th consecutive year of the partnership, it is entering F1 as a constructor in its own right while maintaining a strategic alliance with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.


Technology Partners

World Leaders in technology for fuel and synthetic lubricants

ExxonMobil – through its Mobil 1 brand – has been a Technology Partner of McLaren since 1995.

ExxonMobil is the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, with roots extending back 125 years to the US Standard Oil Company of John D Rockefeller. It now operates across the globe, pioneering and leading the way in the exploration, production, manufacture and transportation of crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products.

Mobil 1 is the world’s first fully synthetic motor oil, first introduced to the consumer market in 1973. By working with teams in the technically demanding world of motorsport – particularly supplying fuels and Mobil 1 lubricants, and working with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team in Formula 1 – ExxonMobil has used motorsport as a high-performance test bed to improve its consumer products, taking what it has learned in the extremes of motorsport to consumers, through better protection, reduced friction and improved fuel economy.

The official tyre supplier for the Formula One World Championship

Pirelli is officially back in F1 as the only new supplier for the world championship and for a three-year period starting from 2011. The legendary PZero Formula One will be back on the single-seater F1s after 20 years, thereby taking the Italian brand to the Olympus of international automobiles.

Pirelli is already at work to ensure peak performance and top entertainment in Formula 1.

A team of specialists is developing PZero Formula One tyres to meet the demands of teams, organisers and FIA rules. High-performing PZero Formula One will therefore star in the great Circus spectacle thanks to Pirelli’s capacity to develop tyres through technically-advanced solutions.

The new PZero Formula One tyres have been successfully tested on circuits in Mugello and Monza (Italy), Le Castellet (France) and Jerez (Spain). Over the next few months, before the start of the 2011 Championship, test sessions are already scheduled on other circuits.

The world’s largest business software company

SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software, and plays a vital role in optimising the efficiency and performance of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team in the demanding, time-pressured world of Formula 1.

Founded in 1972 by five former IBM employees in Mannheim, Germany, SAP has grown to become one of the world’s top four independent software vendors, with sales and development locations in 50 countries around the world.

SAP’s comprehensive range of advanced business software solutions help companies to reduce costs, and optimise their performance. With around 92,000 customers in over 120 countries, SAP’s products are now used by 12 million people every day.

In Formula 1, SAP’s advanced software has been used to hone the design, build, development and on-track running of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-25, helping the team to decide on the best solutions, fast.


Corporate Partners


The world’s bestselling Scotch whisky brand


The leading international fashion and lifestyle group


Global banking group offering corporate and consumer financial services


The world’s best known hotel brand

Leading manufacturer of high-quality Swiss watches, timing devices, sun and optical glasses. Official timekeeper of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes


Leaders in portable audio and video players


Specialising in foreign exchange, commodity and stock market investments


The leading global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human capital consulting


Largest global paints and coatings company focused on developing sustainable solutions


Associate Partners


Creators of the world’s finest diamonds


Official Suppliers

Leaders in home audio, car audio and communications equipment. Supplier of radio communications equipment to the team


The leading specialist in car care products


Global leader in optical and camera technology


Leading supplier of advanced battery power technology


World leader in street and race wheels


Leaders in advanced brake and friction material development and production


Leaders in personalising live events for sports fans


World’s leading supplier of computer-controlled machine tools and machining systems


Sikkens is part of AkzoNobel, one of the world's leaders in the car refinishes market


Independent specialist in global sports marketing research


World leaders in desktop and notebook personal computers


World Leaders in shock absorber technology


Leaders in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions


World leaders in spark plugs


Develops and markets computer-aided coordinate measurement and scanning devices and software



Click here to go to WWW.MCLAREN.COM, the official website of McLaren.

Click here to return to the professional sports teams page.

Click here to return to the main page.


Copyright © 1997-2012 SABRERAIDER.COM
Last revised: March 03, 2012 .