- Scale guide
Driven by 2008 and 2009 World Champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, the MP4-27 was McLaren’s entry for the 2012 Formula One season. Whilst a clear evolution of the previous season’s multiple race-winning MP4-26, the MP4-27 was substantially revised from the ground-up. The car featured more tightly waisted rear bodywork, developed to improve air flow to the rear of the car, and a revised cooling system, which re-directed the gearbox oil cooler. FIA regulations to clamp down on the blown diffusers, with exhausts exiting close to the car's floor, ensured that the MP4-26’s distinctive U-shaped sidepods were re-designed and replaced with a far more conventional layout. McLaren’s new exhaust layout was very effective and later copied by numerous teams on the grid. Although McLaren were spot on with the exhausts, it soon turned out that the low front bulkhead and nose were a design mistake and were disposed of for the 2013 season. The MP4-27 was only one of three cars on the grid to not feature the notorious “platypus” stepped nose, instead featuring a more tasteful gradual sloped nose.
The MP4-27 demonstrated early promise in testing and this followed into the first race of the season, as Hamilton and Button locked out the front row after qualifying in Australia. Hamilton would go on to finish third whilst Button would win the race, despite team principal Martin Whitmarsh's admission that the team had made a mistake in calculating Button's fuel load, forcing him to enter a "severe fuel-saving mode" eight laps into the race. Another qualifying front row lockout followed in Malaysia, though Hamilton could only salvage a podium after an eventful and frustrating race for McLaren. As their rivals started to show their pace, the team still managed to secure a double podium in China as Button and Hamilton finished behind Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg.
The MP4-27’s performance advantage started to wane after China and the rest of the season became a hard slog. Poor performances in Bahrain, Spain and Monaco saw a best position of fifth before some redemption came in Canada, as Hamilton beat Romain Grosjean’s Lotus to win the race. This only masked the increasing problems for the team and two further modest performances in Valencia and Silverstone saw the team only bring in nine points from a possible 86. Upgrades came before the German Grand Prix and, though the performance improved, reliability became an issue. The MP4-27 would go on to retire five times from mechanical issues after the upgrades, despite having had no retirements in the first nine races of the season. Hamilton, in what would prove to be his last season at McLaren, took the chequered flag in Hungary, Italy and the penultimate race of the season in the USA. Button would score two second place podium finishes in Germany and Singapore as well as taking victory in Belgium and the last race of the season in Brazil, a win that would prove to be the team’s last win for a long time.
McLaren ultimately finished the 2012 Championship in third place with 378 points, behind Red Bull and Ferrari, as the MP4-27 secured 7 wins in 20 races, matching Red Bull and beating Ferrari’s three wins. Despite the raw speed that was showcased by the 35% win rate and seven more pole positions, the car didn’t achieve its potential, mostly due to various mechanical failures.
This 1:12 scale model of Jenson Button's McLaren MP4-27 Nosecone has been handcrafted and finished in our workshops with the co-operation and assistance of the manufacturer regarding original finishes, materials, archive imagery and drawings. The use of supremely accurate digital scanning of the original car has allowed us to perfectly recreate every detail at scale. Furthermore, it has undergone detailed scrutiny by both engineering and design teams to ensure complete accuracy of representation.
This model is one of many in our collection of miniature nosecones.
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