Formula One World Champion Jenson Button and former champion Lewis Hamilton took to the wheel of McLarens newest high performance MP4-12C sports car. Feedback from Button and Hamilton will fine tune 12C Development teams final series of testing programmes.
McLaren Automotive will leave nothing to chance in the development of the 12C. Inviting Button and Hamilton along for an exclusive test drive gave the team a point of view and commendations that no other car has ever received those of the two most recent Formula 1 world champions. Their time on the tight fast circuit at the famous Goodwood Motor Circuit returned feedback on the 12C’s launch control, brake-steer application and threshold levels of the electronic stability control programmes as well as driver comfort at speed. Jenson Button commented, “The 12C is so easy to drive. Its cockpit is a nice place to be and really makes you feel at one with the car. The driving seat is very comfortable and the layout of the controls is completely logical. I like the fact that there’s no switchgear on the steering wheel. You simply select the mode you want before you begin driving and after that there’s no need to concentrate on anything but the driving itself. The car’s dynamic capability is fantastic at high and low speeds. Within just a few seconds, I felt really comfortable with the car – and after only a couple of laps I was able to begin to push it hard through the corners. Yet, even though I was pushing, I was amazed by the car’s great stability at high speeds. It’s very quick in a straight line, too. In fact, the biggest problem with driving this car on a circuit is that sometimes you forget it’s a road car!”
Lewis Hamilton said, “The 12C is a real driver’s car; it delivered on all my expectations. The visibility is great from the driver’s seat. You really appreciate that in tight corners. I loved the McLaren F1 when I drove it and, like that car, the huge front windscreen of the 12C allows you to take in all the information needed for perfect lines through apex turns. It was clear when meeting the Automotive test team that they share the same competitive focus as our race team. We’re obsessed with winning and we’ll do all we can to make sure that happens. If the 12C team say they are aiming to make the best performance car on the market, then I’m convinced that is what they will do.”
The 12C is being developed to be enjoyed by a wide range of owners, from those new to the high-performance sports car segment through to drivers as skilled as the professionals. For that reason, Button and Hamilton’s advice will prove invaluable through the final stages of development and ahead of the first cars going on sale.