This is the new black, stealthy feel to the Honda-powered MP4-31, as McLaren hopes this car will lead them back into the winners circle.
The Woking-based outfit had a troubled 2015 championship as the Honda power unit struggled with reliability and performance. McLaren finished ninth in the constructors’ championship…
“As we embark on the second year of our renewed McLaren-Honda partnership, all of us remain united in our purpose,” McLaren group CEO Ron Dennis said.
“That purpose is to develop our team towards our shared ambition: to win.
“We’ll make no predictions as to when those wins will come, but I can say without fear of contradiction that every member of our team has worked with truly relentless dedication over the past few months.
“The result is that MP4-31’s developmental trajectory has been usefully steepened over the winter, and I’m consequently very proud of our team’s efforts.”
McLaren has commented that the new chassis as ‘innovative’, and its fortunes will rest on Honda’s off-season progress with the RA616H power unit.
“Learning from last year, we’ve made changes to the compressor and other hardware of the power unit during the break, maturing our overall concept from last year,” Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai said.
“Our focus will be to test the car’s balance with the new chassis and power unit, and specifically the ERS direction during the eight days of winter testing.
“We won’t know exactly where we stand until we reach the end of the two tests, but we’re looking forward to getting back on track, gathering data, and feeding back the information to our engineers so as to prepare for Melbourne and onwards.”
McLaren retains its ‘size zero’ aero with the MP4-31. The drivers have noted the detail in this area.
“The immense amount of sheer hard work that has gone into the development of the MP4-31 over the winter makes me immensely proud, and consequently I go into the new season with even more motivation and belief,” Button said.
“From what I’ve seen so far, the aero detailing on the car looks fantastic, and I’m really looking forward to beginning the process of testing those new innovations when I get behind the wheel tomorrow.”
Fernando Alonso will test the car on the second and fourth days in next week’s pre-season test.
“The aero package shows fantastic attention to detail,” the Spaniard added.
“The whole car is beautiful in fact – it’s particularly nicely packaged from an aerodynamic point of view.”
Fingers crossed the new Honda will be more competitive this season. The livery makes the MP4-31 a mean machine. Hopefully it can stealth back to winners.