McLaren-Honda are officialy back to re-new a partnership that swept all before it during the 1980s and 1990s. That was then this is now the Senna/Prost era is but a distant memory and the MP4-30 faces the task of forging its own history. And its going to be tough.
It isn’t clear just how good Honda’s 1.6-litre V6 hybrid turbo engine is, early signs indicate Honda still needs to fine tune its powerplant. McLaren had Mercedes power last year and despite having the most powerful engine on the grid the MP4-29 under performed.
McLaren have everything at their disposal, one of the most advanced F1 facilities, the best people and two world champions, still 2015 will be a season of unknowns. What we do know is the MP4-30 is an evolution of last years car which did end the final few races showing improved form after a lackluster season.
Ron Dennis, the all purveying eye of McLaren was enthusiastic, saying “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. 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.
Jenson Button weighed in on his thoughts for 2015 “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, but we’re certainly up for it. We ended last season with great momentum and clear progress, and I’m determined to carry that forward into 2015.”
But all eyes and ears are on Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard returns too McLaren after a well publicised falling out with the team in 2007 “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 characterised by its ability to bring updates to the car quickly, and develop a strong package.”
The first race of the season is the Australian Grand Prix on March 13, before that pre-season testing is scheduled to begin on February 1-4 in Jerez Spain, then in Barcelona on February 19-22 and the final pre-season test will again be held in Barcelona between February 26-March 1.
McLaren MP4-30 Details:
Carbon-fibre composite, incorporating driver controls and fuel cell
Cockpit survival cell incorporating impact resistant construction and anti-penetration panels, front impact structure, prescribed side impact structures, integrated rear impact structure, front and rear roll structures
Carbon-fibre composite. including engine cover, sidepods, floor, nose, front wing and rear wing with driver-operated drag reduction system
Carbon-fibre wishbone and pushrod suspension elements operating inboard torsion bar and damper system
Carbon-fibre wishbone and pullrod suspension elements operating inboard torsion bar and damper system
Overall vehicle weight 702kg (including driver, excluding fuel).
Weight distribution between 45.5% and 46.5%
McLaren Applied Technologies. Including chassis control, power unit control, data acquisition, alternator, sensors, data analysis and telemetry
McLaren Applied Technologies dashboard
Lubricants & Fluids
Mobilith SHC™ 1500 Grease – High temperature drive-shaft tripod lubrication
Mobilith SHC™ 220 Grease – Low rolling resistance ceramic wheel bearing lubrication
Mobil SHC™ Hydraulic Oil – High pressure, high temperature hydraulic fluid used for chassis, transmission and power unit actuation
Akebono brake calipers and master cylinders
Akebono ‘brake by wire’ rear brake control system
Carbon discs and pads
Power-assisted rack and pinion
Pirelli P Zero
AkzoNobel Car Refinishes system using Sikkens products