Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ target for 2008 is very clear – we want to do one better than last year.

Championship race is on

Yesterday the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One team revealed their new car for the 2008 F1 Championship, hours after arch-rivals Ferrari released their car. The McLaren MP4-23 will be powered by the Mercedes-Benz FO 108V engine, which is based on the flawless 2007 FO 108T. Last season's engine did not experience any failures during the 17 race weekends. The 2008 engine specifications will now be frozen until the end of the 2010 season, just like all the other 2008 F1 entries.

The new rules set by the FIA of course include the new Electronic Control Unit (ECU), developed by McLaren Electronic Systems for the FIA, which eliminates driver's aids such as traction control.

The 2008 season will also include the first night-time race, it will be driven in Singapore and Lewis Hamilton is looking forward to it. He said: “I think it will be wicked. In all my years of racing I have never competed in a night race, apart from indoor karting, so it will be something new for all the fans to watch and definitely exciting for the drivers.”

New-to-the-team Heikki Kovalainen responded in regards to the Singapore race: “It’s a good thing to do as long as everything is safe and the lights are very good, Formula 1 is quite different to football and it will have a much bigger effect if a light fails.”

The first race of the season will take place in Sydney, Australia in March 2008.

Gallery: McLaren Unveils MP4-23 for 2008 F1 Season