Formula 1's build-up to the 2012 season will shift up a gear this morning [Wednesday] when the covers come off McLaren's new MP4-27 at its Woking factory.
Teams have worked hard this winter trying to not only deliver the improvements that will be needed to move closer to the front of the grid, but also try and eke out the most performance from the subtle changes in the regulations this year.
While the rules are fairly similar heading into this season, there have been two main areas of change, as can be seen in our video, that will make the cars look very different.
The most noticeable aspect for fans, and one which has already been a talking point after the first pictures of the new Caterham emerged, is the nose regulations.
As the video shows, the fact the nose has been lowered on safety grounds, with the top of the chassis remaining the same height, has led to a dramatic transition point - which could well lead to further platypus comparisons.
The other change in regulations is with the exhausts, as teams agreed on regulations to outlaw blown diffusers.
The rules now dictate a set angle and location for the periscope exhausts to exit the car - although whether teams have exploited this area to divert exhaust gases to the rear wing will only become clear over the next few days.
After McLaren's launch on Wednesday, attention will shift to Maranello on Friday when Ferrari pulls the cover off the car that will carry the hopes of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa in 2012.
With Ferrari chiefs admitting that mistakes were made last year, the new car has been touted as being more radical than recent cars - as the outfit knows the steps it needs to take the fight to Red Bull Racing.
Shortly after Ferrari launches its car, Force India will begin a shakedown and unveiling of its car at Silverstone - which means by the end of the week we should have a clear indication of what the 2012-generation of cars looks like.
The real hectic phase comes at the start of next week, though, when the majority of the cars are all launched over a 48-hour period at Jerez in Spain.
On Sunday afternoon, Lotus is publishing pictures of its new car on its website, while the following morning Sauber will pull the covers off its C32 at the track.
A few hours later, Red Bull Racing has elected to show its car via a video on its website, then in the evening Scuderia Toro Rosso are doing an unveiling in the pitlane.
After that, there will be a manic few minutes in the morning as the rest of the outfits present at Jerez with new cars show off their machines in public for the first time. We will see the Lotus, Red Bull Racing and Caterham in the flesh for the first time - plus the new Williams will be revealed.
The end of the first phase of launches - with Mercedes GP, Marussia and HRT to follow at subsequent tests - marks just the beginning of the real intrigue though.
It is inevitable the first test will result in some teams being further ahead than they expected some being unsure and others being a long way off. Yet we will not get the definitive answer on that until first qualifying - and maybe not even until Sunday night - in Melbourne.
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