McLaren MP4-27
McLaren hopes that the MP4-27 will take the fight to Red Bull

McLaren has unveiled its new MP4-27 at the team headquarters in Woking, with drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton confident that the car will finally end Red Bull's dominance.

The MP4-27 represents an evolution of the 2011 car which took Button to second place in the Formula One Drivers' Championship and is promised to take McLaren back to the top step of the podium, ending Red Bull's stranglehold on the sport in recent years.

Button said: "I'm very excited. This is the moment we see how hard we have all been working. It's a very exciting day.

"These guys have been flat out since we finished racing in 2011 on improving the car as much as they could in the simulator and I'm looking forward to getting out in at at Jerez."

Testing for the upcoming Formula One season is due to start in Jerez, Spain on 7 February, before the season kicks off with the first race at Melbourne Park, Australia on 18 March.

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh has high hopes for the MP4-27: "It looks beautiful at the moment but cars only really look beautiful when they win races. The goal is to win World Championships - that's the goal every year."

Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 World Champion, made a joke about the improved wing mirrors, which offer better visibility, saying: "Felipe Massa will be happy with that," after he and the Ferrari driver had several clashes during the 2011 season.

In compliance with changes to the rules for 2012, the new McLaren features a redesigned exhaust system, which is now forbidden from expelling gases through the floor to create additional downforce.

On the FIA rule changes, Hamilton said: "The biggest changes for 2012 are the modifications to the exhaust regulations - that will reduce the downforce and grip that we had last year, but it just puts the emphasis on the designers to try and claw some of that back in other areas."

He added: "I think it is fantastic. it's great to be here after a great winter. Seeing hard work going into building this car is inspiring. It is the most refined-looking car we have had for some time so we are looking forward to getting in it."

Looking to the season ahead and the stiff competition, Button said: "The Red Bulls will be strong. They are not suddenly going to build a bad car. They're still going to be good competitors in 2012 but the important thing is we stay focused on what we're doing."

McLaren will be hoping that the winter testing that lies ahead through February and March will be a smoother ride than last year, which saw many technical setbacks and poor performance.

Whitmarsh said: "We had by anyone standards an abysmal winter testing session last year. We didn't have reliability or pace. It was a tribute to a fantastic team that we were able to respond to that and arrive in Australia [for the first race of 2011] in reasonable shape."