14 Jan 2011

McLaren say nothing suspicious in late launch

12:10 pm on 14 January 2011

McLaren have played down suspicions that the comparatively late launch of their 2011 Formula One car could be because they had something special to hide.

The Mercedes-powered team won five races last year with former champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

The launch date is February 4 in Berlin, after the first pre-season test in Valencia nearly a week after Ferrari unveils their car at Maranello on January 28.

McLaren says the team always planned to launch after the the first test so a stable and known platform could be used to asssess the new Pirelli tyres.

McLaren, overall runners-up in 2010 behind Red Bull, pioneered the use of the so-called 'F duct' last season -- a device used by the driver to alter the flow of air over the rear wing and increase speed on the straights.