By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
McLaren debuted their new 2018 Formula One car today, the MCL33, which represents a fresh start for the brand with Renault power after three seasons of misery with Honda power unit failures.
To symbolize this new beginning the car makes a bold return to McLaren’s classic papaya orange color, a nod to company founder Bruce McLaren, who proudly painted his cars in the standout color during the team’s early years of the 1960s.
The car is a clear evolution of the MCL32 that came before it, but even a quick glance reveals that a lot of refinement and work has taken place over the winter. The team is eager to prove that they were not let down by their chassis or aero and that it was only the woeful Honda power units that kept them from being competitive.
To that end, Racing Director Eric Boullier proudly praised his team’s work.
“The design, engineering and aerodynamic departments have done an incredible job delivering a new car with a new power unit in an extremely short time frame. 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,” said Boullier.
The team’s lineup remains unchanged as the car will be driven by two time world champion Fernando Alonso and promising young star Stoffel Vandoorne.
The two completed a shakedown of the new chassis during a filming day at the Navarra Circuit in Spain.
In a video released by McLaren, Alonso described his feelings on the day.
“I think good times are coming. We struggled, we kept the motivation very high, the team is stronger now than three years ago. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The good thing about these days is the emotional part, after very intense work in the factory, everyone working very hard, very proud of the team and finally the day arrives. The engine’s running, the car is running, we are all happy,” said Alonso.
Much is expected of this McLaren team, they have the driver lineup to deliver if the car is good enough. We will get our first real glimpse of its performance and the performance of their rivals when pre-season testing begins at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona next week.