After a frustrating couple of years floundering at the back of the pack, McLaren is hoping its new MCL32 race car will bring with it more success this season. Launched at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, the 2017 car represents a departure from previous cars with a new nomenclature, livery and a new team boss.
After ousting Ron Dennis from his position, McLaren has parted with its naming tradition by losing the MP4 suffix, which has been on every McLaren F1 car since 1981. Keen to speed up progress towards becoming competitive once again, new team boss Eric Boullier is hopeful that changes to the Honda powertrain and advancements in the aero package will make a difference to his team’s 2017 season.
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Alongside the new name, McLaren has also unveiled a new livery, being the first McLaren since 1971 to rock a predominantly orange colour scheme. Although only used for three seasons, the colour is synonymous with the McLaren brand and should help distinguish the cars on track.
Following the same regulation changes as the rest of the field, McLaren’s aggressive aero package looks more flamboyant than on some rivals. However it’s likely the Honda powertrain will still struggle against the Mercedes-AMG units.
Finally for 2017, McLaren has lost veteran British driver Jenson Button and although he still has a contract for this season, Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne will take his place alongside Spaniard Fernando Alonso.
The 2017 season promises to be a bumper year for Formula One with faster cars, untested aero and a good dollop of driver ego to shake up proceedings. We can’t wait for the season opener in Melbourne on March 26 to see them in action.