McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team has revealed the new MP4-30 race car at Woking
today. It's McLaren's first Honda-powered car since 1992.
Contrary to speculation that McLaren will completely overhaul their silver livery for the start of a new era with Honda, the team have opted for an evolutionary silver and black color scheme with red lines added either side of the nose cone.
According to McLaren, the new car "is a thoroughly refined evolution of last year's McLaren, it is the only chassis on the grid to be fitted with Honda's RA615H Hybrid power unit, and it features an evolved color scheme that firmly contextualizes McLaren's brand in the 21st century."
"The car has been aerodynamically developed over the winter, and the result is a pretty, elegant design with a refined nose-box solution, slimmed rear-end packaging - particularly around the gearbox - and the incorporation of an all-new power unit under its tightly contoured bodywork," said the team at launch.
"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," said McLaren chairman Ron Dennis.
"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."
Honda chief Yasuhisa Arai said that they've dedicated themselves "as one team with McLaren to creating a new car that compromises on nothing - either power or aerodynamics. Yet, in the midst of the excitement, both myself and our engineers are 100 per cent focused in both Sakura and Milton Keynes to prepare for Jerez and beyond. We're confident that the technology is there, and I'm looking forward to see how it will perform."
Spaniard Fernando Alonso is returning to the team after spending six years at Ferrari.
"Of course, we're prepared for a steep learning curve. Our first target will be to learn the maximum from the car at the pre-season tests, understand the package, and extract as much performance as possible. That won't be easy or trouble-free, but we're ready for that. Why? Because our key focus will be on development. Historically, McLaren has already been characterized by its ability to bring updates to the car quickly, and develop a strong package. It's going to be a real privilege to be the first person to drive the new McLaren-Honda MP4-30 at Jerez, and I can't wait to begin what I'm certain will be a very exciting new chapter in my career. I'm as motivated now as I was when I was given my first opportunity at the wheel of an F1 car," said Fernando Alonso.
The team's other driver, Jenson Button, explained: "It's been interesting to spend time in the factory during the past few weeks: you can really sense a feeling of reignited optimism and positivity around the building. I've never seen such motivation amongst the guys - we're all massively keen to get going in Jerez and to work hard on developing our new car. But we're under no illusion that it will be easy - there's a huge challenge ahead of us to try to pull back the gap to our rivals."
The 2015 McLaren MP4-30 will hit the track for the first time on February 1 during the opening pre-season test at Jerez in Spain.