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McLaren set for January 24 launch

Jan 7, 2014, 10:29 AM EDT

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McLaren didn’t win any races, or even score any podiums, in what was a frustrating 2013 campaign. But, the legendary British team may be the first to launch their 2014 challenger. Mercedes has also announced for Jan. 28.

From the team this morning: “We will reveal our 2014 Formula 1 car, the MP4-29, during an online-only digital launch at 12:00pm midday UK time on Friday January 24.”

Whether that will be the first launch of a 2014 chassis is still yet to be determined. But there’s a few things we need to look out for with this launch:

  • The presence of its new title sponsor, with Vodafone out. The 2014 season could be a “stop-gap” season on the primary sponsor role if the Honda power unit presence in 2015 means it has any say on the livery. Alternatively, a new title sponsor for 2014 could carry the brand forward for a long time to come. The 2006 season saw a “stop-gap” livery in-between the departure of West after 2005, per tightened tobacco regulations, and Vodafone’s introduction ahead of 2007.
  • Kevin Magnussen’s presence. The rookie will be introduced in full McLaren guise, beyond just interviews as one of its junior drivers, on this occasion.
  • The car itself. Renderings have made the 2014 cars look awkward at certain spots, so seeing what a 2014 chassis looks like in the flesh will produce its own round of reactions.

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