McLaren-Honda launches 2016 effort – the MP4-31


McLaren-Honda has unveiled the MP4-31, the car they hope can put the troubles of 2015 behind them and push on to better things this year.

The Woking team have been working hard on its chassis over the winter, while the Honda engineers have been looking to overcome the many shortfalls they had during 2015 that saw the team languishing towards the back end of the midfield battle and struggling with reliability.

With that in mind, a number of new innovations have been incorporated into the MP4-31, as well as a bespoke RA616H power unit from Honda, while Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button will once again pilot the cars.

McLaren Executive Chairman and CEO Ron Dennis insists the partnership between McLaren and Honda is still working towards the common goal of victory, and admits his pride of the efforts of the team over the winter to try and improve.

“As we embark on the second year of our renewed McLaren-Honda partnership, all of us remain united in our purpose,” said Dennis. “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. 

“We remain resolute in our commitment to our goals, and we maintain an indefatigable commitment to the winning potential of a full works team. Believe me: the full works backing of a multinational automotive manufacturer is the only platform from which real success in modern Formula 1 can be achieved.

“As McLaren-Honda, therefore, we’ve vowed to work together, and to win together, and that determination has become further cemented as our relationship has deepened through the shared challenges we faced last year. 

“We have the best driver line-up in the sport. We have an engineering team that has been meticulously hand-picked, restructured, guided and inspired; the blend of technical skill-sets and attitudinal mind-sets we now possess are fit-for-purpose and state-of-the-art. And, thanks to the relationships we’ve nurtured with a hugely impressive roster of loyal and powerful partners, our commercial position is equally robust.” 

Button will get the first taste of the MP4-31 during the first day of the pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya on Monday, before Alonso takes over for day two.