Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Launched in SpainFernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, who form one of the youngest driver line-ups in the history of the sport, unveiled the new MP4-22 at the Valencia circuit in Spain.
Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett join Fernando and Lewis to complete the driver line-up. Pedro and Gary, who are starting their fifth and second years wîth the team respectively, will continue to support the ongoing technical development of the MP4-22 package during the course of the year alongside Fernando and Lewis.
'This is a fantastic day for me - I am really proud to be introducing myself as a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver in my home country, and of course to help present my new team to the Spanish fans,' said double World Champion Fernando. 'Although this is my first public event wîth Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, I have already spent a lot of time wîth the team and my fellow drivers Lewis, Pedro and Gary, at the McLaren Technology Centre. It is a great team and I am excited about this new beginning. My fans are such an inspiration and it is great to bring the team so close to them. I hope they enjoy watching Lewis and myself drive the cars in their new livery around the streets of Valencia.'
For Lewis, today sees the realization of a childhood ambition, 'Growing up, I saw so many Formula 1 launches in the media, and to be here in Valencia to unveil the new Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team really brings home to me the distance I have traveled to achieve my dream of becoming a grand prix driver,' said Lewis. 'There is still a long way for me to go, as I am at the early stages of my career and have a lot to learn, but the passion I have for the sport and this team is immense, I cannot wait to take to the grid in Australia in March. This year will be about firsts for me, starting wîth today and my first Formula 1 presentation and my first demonstration run. It will be great to take the cars onto the streets and I hope the fans like the new livery as much as I do!'
Ron Dennis, Team Principal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Chairman and CEO of the McLaren Group added: 'This is a very special moment as we officially unveil the team in Valencia today. Vodafone represents only the second title sponsor change in 30 years for the team – something which we as an organization are very proud of.'
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|Engine : 2.4 L., 8-cylinder|
Power: 700 hp
'McLaren and Mercedes-Benz have enjoyed a very strong relationship for the past 12 years and we are now lòòking forward to a successful future as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes,' continued Ron. 'We all want to win but how we win has always been very important to us and this value will remain the driving force behind our new partnership. In parallel we have developed a brand strategy which we hope will capture and project the youthful and dynamic spirit of the new team. In Fernando and Lewis we have two of the most exciting and talented drivers in Formula 1. They both have great potential to inspire others to push hard to achieve their dreams.'