[QODLink]
Sport
McLaren unveil new car
All smiles as Button and Hamilton reveal 2010 Formula One season car.
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2010 14:42 GMT

Button and Hamilton reveal the new MP4-25 ahead of next week's testing [GALLO/GETTY]

The Formula One world champion super duo of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton showed off the new McLaren car in their first public appearance as teammates.

Button's MP4-25 car is adorned with the No. 1, and he seemed to take the
upper-hand at the launch despite the presence of the 25-year-old Hamilton, who won the 2008 championship.

Button, who won the 2009 championship with Brawn GP, now reborn as Mercedes, looked happy and relaxed as he stood alongside the sport's youngest champion, Hamilton, who turned 25 this month.

New start

"We need to start forgetting about last year...and looking to the future," said 30-year-old Button.

"You never know what to expect going into a new team, not knowing what the atmosphere will be,'' said Button, who won last year's title with Brawn.

"I've been pleasantly surprised.''

Both Button and Hamilton are eager to forget the 2009 season - for very different reasons.

While Button does not want to dwell on ending his long wait for a first title, Hamilton had a difficult third season, finishing 46 points behind his new teammate.

"After the last race you think about what you have achieved and it goes through your mind, the road to becoming world champion, but soon after that you start forgetting because you are already focused on 2010 and the new challenge,'' Button said.

"We need to start forgetting about last year ... and start looking to the future.''

Best of mates - for now, Hamilton and Button joke around [GALLO/GETTY]
Mates

Asked to comment on his new team mate, Hamilton grinned as Button whispered something.

"He says be nice," he said, giving the older Briton a friendly hug.

"I won my first ever championship on John (Button)'s engines," he said, referring to his team mate's father.

"I always wanted to follow in Jenson's footsteps.

"I'm really looking forward to working with him for the rest of the year and years to come."

Hamilton, who won the title in his second season in F1, is hoping the improvements in downforce and aero efficiency will allow him to challenge for the championship again this season.

"I'm sure it's going to handle completely differently to last year's car,'' Hamilton said.

"I hope so.''

Preparation key

Speaking at the headquarters of title sponsor Vodafone, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh quoted Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, in saying "preparation is the key to success."

"We have prepared for this season more comprehensively than ever before," he declared.

McLaren are the first team to have the two most recent title-holders together in their line-up and the first with two champions since they had Alain Prost and the late Ayrton Senna were paired in a notoriously acrimonious 1989 partnership.

"Both drivers are clearly winners and want to win again this year," said Whitmarsh.

"We expect an exciting season within our team."

In a nod to Mercedes, who will still provide McLaren's engines for the long term despite taking over Brawn, Whitmarsh added: "We know we must be at our best to beat the works team."

Testing will begin next week, and each driver will have seven days in the car ahead of the season-opening race in Bahrain.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeeras new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Polio remains endemic in Pakistan as health workers battle anti-vaccine prejudice and threat to life by armed groups.
Despite 14-year struggle for a new mosque in the second-largest city, new roadblocks are erected at every turn.
Authorities and demonstrators have shown no inclination to yield despite growing economic damage and protest pressure.
Lebanese-born Rula Ghani may take cues from the modernising Queen Soraya, but she'll have to proceed with caution.
One of the world's last hunter-gatherer tribes has been forced from the forest it called home by a major dam project.