Formula One team McLaren-Mercedes unveiled their new car for the 2011 F1 season at the Sony Center in Berlin.

McLaren had used their old car for the first test session at Valencia after deciding to dedicate more time to design the new car, called the MP4-26.

The McLaren engineers unveiled the car in a unique manner, joining in separate components of the car to literally build it in front of the huge crowd assembled there. The drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, both from England, then came out to feast their eyes for the first time on their new cars.

What would have caught their gaze is the new aerodynamic features designed to limit the amount of downforce from the car's underbody. U-shaped sidepods have been added, which will facilitate easier over-taking as it releases air efficiently to reduce the drag while an all-new hybrid KERS system has been installed.

An excited Jenson Button, who finished fifth in last season's five-horse title race, told BBC Sport, This is our new baby, the car we hope will take one of us to the drivers' championship and the team to win the constructors'. It's beautiful.

I've had some fun and good years in F1. But the competitiveness now of the teams but also the drivers is the best it ever has been in my view. You have five world champions on the grid, but also the drivers who have been close like (Ferrari's) Felipe Massa and (Red Bull's) Mark Webber.

I hope it's going to be a good fight this year - but hopefully not too good. Hopefully we're going to have a few 10ths on everyone.

Hamilton was equally excited and said, We'll be quite a bit more competitive than we were last year. Last year was one of the best ever, and this year I think we'll have an even more competitive season.

We've seen it (the MP4-26) in the wind tunnel but this is the first time we've seen it all together and it looks even better in full size.

Last season, McLaren finished second in the constructors' championship though they had a disappointing end in the drivers' championship with both Hamilton and Button making up the 4th and 5th places respectively, while Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber placed first and third with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso coming second.

McLaren will roll out its new car for the first time along with the other 2011 cars at the second pre-season test session at Jerez next week.

Button went on, I'm really looking forward to getting to drive the new car for the first time. Our pre-season simulations suggest that the new Pirelli tyres should be well-suited to my particular driving style, so I'm hopeful of being able to derive a good advantage from the tyres during the races.

It doesn't matter how much grip and downforce you've got. If you can't put it down on to the track, it will come down to who can make the tyres work best.

The 2011 Formula One season starts with the Bahrain Grand Prix on 13 March.