McLaren’s P1 makes a brief appearance at the launch of the company’s MP4-28 F1 car (w/VIDEOS)

McLaren launched their new 2013 Formula 1 challenger – the MP4-28 – in a manner which looked to the future, but also back at the company’s greatest moments.

In its 50th Anniversary year, the launch event at the McLaren Technology Centre began with a parade showcasing the brand’s history, while a special film was shown where we watched founder Bruce McLaren reflecting on his legacy and hoping to inspire future generations (fast forward to 1:01 in the 83-minute video below).

It was a poignant moment in the proceedings, which sent the message that McLaren in 2013 was the best it’s ever been.

The team’s F1 drivers, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez, arrived in style, joining a special parade which brought to life a string of race and championship-winning McLarens from across the decades.

Cars included a 1970s M8D CanAm sportscar, Emerson Fittipaldi’s iconic 1974 M23, Ayrton Senna’s dominant 1988 MP4/4, our 1995 Le Mans-winning F1 GTR, Mika Hakkinen’s MP4-13 car from 1998, and the most recent championship winning car to wear the McLaren badge, the MP4-23 from 2008.

Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez then arrived at the event in a 12C Spider finished in heritage McLaren Orange, while teammate Button followed closely behind in a camouflaged XP prototype version of the McLaren P1. These two models brought proceedings fully up-to-date as they joined a spectacular grid of racing cars showcasing the brand’s history, and kicked off a year of 50th anniversary celebrations.

McLaren P1 MP4 28 Launch G1 McLarens P1 makes a brief appearance at the launch of the companys MP4 28 F1 car (w/VIDEOS)
McLaren P1 MP4 28 Launch G3 McLarens P1 makes a brief appearance at the launch of the companys MP4 28 F1 car (w/VIDEOS)

The display of classic McLarens was a timely reminder of the weight of history that constantly hangs over a team with such high expectations each and every season.

It underlined the sentiment that the McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 is the culmination of everything McLaren has ever done – the sum of 50 years’ experience, expertise and passion.

McLaren’s Team Principal, Martin Whitmarsh, said at the launch “It’s fully appropriate that the echoes of the past should be made to reverberate around the glass walls of a thoroughly modern building like the McLaren Technology Centre. Equally, however, we’ve never lost sight of the fact that we’ll always be linked to that fearless band of enterprising pioneers who came together to form Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd in the autumn of 1963. ”

“The launch of a new Formula 1 car is always an exciting and slightly nerve-wracking occasion. Today’s parade of some of our greatest and most significant cars was a thrilling way to kick off our 50th anniversary celebrations and also our 2013 campaign – but it’s a reminder of the tremendous responsibility everyone within the McLaren Technology Centre shares to uphold the legacy began by Bruce McLaren and taken on by Teddy Mayer and Ron Dennis.

McLaren MP4 28 launch G5 McLarens P1 makes a brief appearance at the launch of the companys MP4 28 F1 car (w/VIDEOS)

McLaren MP4 28 launch G1 McLarens P1 makes a brief appearance at the launch of the companys MP4 28 F1 car (w/VIDEOS)

“Like Bruce and his closest friends, we still have the belief that we can go out into the world, risk everything and emerge victorious. That, ultimately, is the spirit that drives this organisation.

“For 2013, of course, we go racing to win. With Jenson and Checo, and this fantastic-looking new car, I believe we’re extremely well prepared for another competitive season. Jenson is driving better than ever – he’s the most experienced driver in Formula 1, but he makes every ounce of that experience count: he’s peerless in his ability to read a race and one of the very fastest drivers out there. He’s a consummate professional, too, and will revel in working hard to drive this team through the year.”