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Filed under: Motorsports, Racing

Forget about all the talk, about the contracts and the lawsuits. The real sign of the Formula One season gearing up to start is when each team unveils its new car. As you may already know, unlike most other series, each team in F1 is not really considered a team. They're called "constructors". Each is responsible for designing and crafting the cars they'll be fielding in the championship.

That process got under way last week when Caterham beat all the others to the punch by unveiling its new Renault-powered CT01. And that's all well and fine, but we all know that the Caterham is far more likely to finish last than finish first. What you're bound to see taking checkered flags is the car you see here: the new McLaren MP4-27.

McLaren, you see, is the winningest team on the grid this side of Ferrari. And with Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton - both world champions - performing the driving duties, the British squad is hard at work on closing that gap. The more immediate challenge, however, is overcoming Red Bull, which returns as reigning champion once again and to which McLaren finished second last season.

The MP4-27 you see here is the car with which McLaren hopes to seize the lead. Although the design looks rather similar to the 2011-spec MP4-26 it replaces, McLaren insists it represents a comprehensive redesign. Fortunately that does not include the stepped platypus nose already shown on the Caterham and which is expected to proliferate across a good part of the grid. Power once again comes from Mercedes-Benz, a relationship that McLaren reiterates it is not about to terminate in favor of another supplier or building its own engines in-house.

We'll have to wait and see as the season gets underway to see if the MP4-27 will be a winner for McLaren, but for now you can check out the high-resolution images from the launch in the gallery above, and jump past the break for the full press release and the sound file of the Mercedes-Benz V8 cranking over.Continue reading McLaren unleashes new MP4-27 on 2012 Formula One World Championship [w/audio]

McLaren unleashes new MP4-27 on 2012 Formula One World Championship [w/audio] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Feb 2012 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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