As his team unveiled its 2013 contender, Martin Whitmarsh sent out a clear warning to rivals and detractors, insisting that the Woking outfit, in its 50th anniversary season, intends to underline why it is "the finest grand prix team in the world".
"The launch of a new Formula 1 car is always an exciting and slightly nerve-wracking occasion," he admitted. "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.
"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.
"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.
"Checo joins us after a sensational 2012 season and he's immediately proved that he's intelligent, modest, hard-working and, make no mistake; very, very quick. Of course, there'll be a learning curve to overcome as he gets used to our organisation, particularly during the hustle and bustle of the early-season race weekends, but he understands that we are placing no pressure on him. "This is an exciting time for the whole team. In our 50th anniversary season, I want McLaren to underline why we are the finest grand prix team in the world."
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