McLaren launches new Honda-powered MP4-30
McLaren-Honda's hotly-anticipated MP4-30 was revealed to the world via an online launch on Thursday ahead of the new car's first test in Jerez next week.
The MP4-30 marks a new era for McLaren as it returns to Honda power and welcomes Fernando Alonso back to the team. The exclusive engine deal will see McLaren go its own way with Honda power after 20 years of working with Mercedes and carries the hopes of future championship success for both Alonso and Jenson Button.
The MP4-30 features an elegant solution to F1's new nose regulations rather than the stubby 'thumb' interpretation seen on the latest Williams and Force India. The team claims the rear of the car is more tightly packaged, especially around the gearbox, although cooling remains one of the biggest challenges for all teams under the current engine regulations.
Little is known about the new Honda power unit and it has only completed very limited mileage at a filming day and during a two-day post-season test in Abu Dhabi last year. However, team boss Ron Dennis is confident the Honda partnership will bring the team back to the front of the grid.
"McLaren Technology Group is driven by the relentless pursuit of technological perfection, and, perhaps more than any other element of our portfolio, Formula One, which is the remit and responsibility of McLaren Racing, and now McLaren-Honda, most famously epitomises that," Dennis said.
"McLaren-Honda is a partnership focused on performance, technology and innovation, and there's no better example of that than the results achieved in our first collaboration in the 1980s and 1990s. I was Team Principal all those years ago and, while I don't tend to like looking back to the past, our previous record of sustained success was certainly instrumental in creating the confidence to make the decision to partner with Honda again. Now, there's real hunger to demonstrate the capabilities of the huge talent pool we share between us, and I'm totally committed to driving progress and achieving further success.
"Although our renewed alliance began again many months ago, the launch of the McLaren-Honda MP4-30 marks the start of a lengthy journey. We've come a long way already and, although there's a lot of work to do before we can expect to repeat the level of success we enjoyed together 25-or-so years ago, it's already clear that there's enormous synergy and potential in our partnership, and I'm positive that, together, we'll get to where we want to be: winning Grands Prix and eventually World Championships as McLaren-Honda."
"The start of the 2015 season is actually the culmination of a period of great change, and change for the better, plus a huge amount of hard work from everyone in our team. It's almost a year since I arrived in Woking, and, together with Ron and Jonathan [Neale, Chief Operating Officer, McLaren Racing], began an extensive restructure within McLaren Racing. We're now seeing the benefits of that extensive restructure, and the result is a strengthened, skilled and efficient team, characterised by undimmed commitment from everyone throughout our organisation.
"For a team with such incredible heritage as McLaren, being able to build on our past successes is hugely important to us. It'll take time to attain the levels of success we aspire to, but you may rest assured that, in concert with Honda, we are totally focused on fulfilling the potential of our exciting new partnership.
"I firmly believe that our team is stronger than ever, and that it's in the best possible position to push the development of the MP4-30 forward. Progress is our purpose, and we've seen firm evidence of that from the very beginning of our renewed relationship. We acknowledge that our journey will require a huge amount of hard work, dedication and application from everyone involved, in both Woking and Sakura, but we're ready and committed to building on the foundations we've already established in order eventually to enjoy the results we crave.
"McLaren and Honda are completely integrated and united in our purpose, and we share a fantastic sense of optimism: that together, in time, we'll create another legacy of success."
The car will test for the first time on Sunday, February 1 as the 2015 pre-season gets underway at Jerez. After a tricky two-day test in Abu Dhabi with Honda power at the end of last season, McLaren will be keen to get testing mileage under its belt.