Papaya orange returns to McLaren

The historic papaya orange makes a welcome return to McLaren as the team presented their 2018 Formula 1 racer.

The Renault-powered MCL33 was unveiled online, just three days before the first pre-season test at Barcelona.

McLaren’s MCL33, which will be driven by Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne this season, has all-orange bodywork with a hint of blue and black.

The move to a papaya orange will please many fans who felt last year’s switch to an orange-and-black design was not close enough to the colours used by founder Bruce McLaren in the team’s early years in Formula 1.

The new design is similar to the one used by Alonso when he drove a McLaren-branded Andretti entry in the Indianapolis 500 last year. So its refreshing to see the famous livery on the Grand Prix car.

With Renault power, the competitive order should help McLaren back to winning ways after three nightmare seasons with Honda. Hopefully Alonso and Stoffel can score points and podium finishes.

4 thoughts to “Papaya orange returns to McLaren”

  1. Eric Boullier says McLaren did not take any shortcuts with the chassis design of the MCL33 despite the challenge of incorporating the new Renault engine.

    McLaren decided to ditch Honda after three frustrating seasons, but the final call to switch to Renault power for 2018 came very late in the design process.

    Technical director Tim Goss said the different packaging of the turbo and energy recovery systems required to major work to accommodate it and racing director Boullier heralded the approach taken by his team to deal with the challenge.

    “The design, engineering and aerodynamic departments have done an incredible job delivering a new car with a new power unit in an extremely short timeframe,” he said at the launch of McLaren’s 2018 challenger on Friday.

    “We never took the easy route or looked to shortcut a process or a solution; and the result is a car that is neat and well-resolved.

    “That said, we are under no illusions that it will be difficult to splinter the hegemony at the front; and that the midfield will be full of well-funded, experienced outfits with plenty to prove.

    “We are humble about the challenge ahead, but feel we’ve prepared well, have a solid package that we can build upon and exploit as the season progresses, and have two excellent drivers who will make the difference in races.”

    Goss said changing power units was “a big deal” because the differences between the Honda and Renault concepts were so dramatic.

    “There are two families of engine out there; the Mercedes and Honda concept, with the compressor at the front of the engine, turbine at the back, MGU-H sat in the vee; and the Ferrari and Renault approach, where the turbo-charger is at the back of the engine, and the MGU-H sits forwards into the vee,” said Goss.

    “The advantage of the Renault layout means that we can push the engine forwards, but then you have the compressor at the back of the engine, so you’ve got to get the outlet pipes forward without impacting the packaging.

    “We had to redesign the back of the chassis, the gearbox bell-housing area, the rear suspension, and the cooling layout.

    “That was two weeks of intense effort to get right.

    “But it was something we were somewhat prepared for, because we knew it might happen, and it’s amazing what people can do in such a short space of time when the chips are down and you’ve got a really clear mission.”

    Goss added the orange and blue-liveried MCL33 looks “evolutionary” but the team will continue “enhancing” the car through testing and across the season.


  2. Double Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso was left feeling positive after the shakedown test and commented that “good times are coming” that will please McLaren race fans. has the details.

    Fernando Alonso has told McLaren Formula 1 fans that “good times are coming” after he drove the MCL33 for the first time at the Navarra circuit in Spain.

    McLaren’s 2018 challenger was revealed online early on Friday before it took to the track for a shakedown using one of its two allocated filming days.

    Alonso was the first to drive the car and was positive about the future running Renault power after three difficult and frustrating years with Honda.

    “Good times are coming, that’s the message,” said Alonso when asked to give a message to the fans. “We struggled, we kept the motivation very high and the team is stronger now than three years ago.

    “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The last few years makes a very united team, a very strong team and we will see the first results this year.”

    After his initial run in the car, which was at relatively low-speed and with camera trucks on track, Alonso said it “felt great.”

    He added: “It’s always a special moment when you drive the car the first time. Everything feels good. I’m looking forward to doing a proper lap at full speed. So far, it’s good.

    “We run behind some other cars, some cameras, some pickups with filming equipment and things like that so it’s not full speed but it’s still good for the sponsors.

    “For us, it’s the first feel with the seat, the pedals, the comfort side of it. For the guys, [they can check] temperatures, maybe there are some bodywork adjustments we need to do.

    “The good thing about these days is the emotional part. After very intense work in the factory the last few months, [I’m] very proud of the team.

    “Finally the day arrives, the engine is running, the car is running, we’re all happy.”

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