The McLaren F1 Team have revealed their first car since reviving their partnership with Honda, with the launch of the MP4/30 that will be driven by former Formula 1 world champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.
The two race drivers, as well as test driver Kevin Magnussen, were present at the official launch of the new car, and heralds the next generation of the McLaren-Honda partnership that first ran between 1988 and 1992 with much success.
The team are hopeful that the positive momentum that begun in the final race of the 2014 season can continue into 2015, with the MP4/30 being developed during the off season with a more slim-lined package around the gearbox, refined details to the front nose, and the arrival of the new Honda power unit to replace Mercedes.
Both sides of the partnership between McLaren and Honda have high and ambitious targets moving forward, but both understand that the partnership will need time to grow, and that progress will come.
Ron Dennis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the McLaren Technology Group, welcomed the return of Honda to the team and to Formula 1, and insisted that the team remain focused on ‘technological perfection’.
“McLaren Technology Group is driven by the relentless pursuit of technological perfection, and, perhaps more than any other element of our portfolio, Formula 1, which is the remit and responsibility of McLaren Racing, and now McLaren-Honda, most famously epitomises that,” said Dennis at the launch of the MP4/30.
“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. I was Team Principal all those years ago and, while I don’t tend to like looking back to the past, our previous record of sustained success was certainly instrumental in creating the confidence to make the decision to partner with Honda again.
“Now, 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.”
Dennis spoke about the renewed partnership with Honda, and knows there is still work to be done to get back to where he, and his engine supplier, feel they belong – at the front of the field.
“Although our renewed alliance began again many months ago, the launch of the McLaren-Honda MP4-30 marks the start of a lengthy journey,” said Dennis. “We’ve come a long way already and, although there’s a lot of work to do before we can expect to repeat the level of success we enjoyed together 25-or-so years ago.
“It’s already clear that there’s enormous synergy and potential in our partnership, and I’m positive that, together, we’ll get to where we want to be: winning Grand Prix and eventually World Championships as McLaren-Honda.”
Yasuhisa Arai, the Senior Managing Officer of Honda R&D Co Ltd and the Chief Officer of Motorsport, insisted it was an exciting day for Honda with the revelation of the Honda-powered MP4/30. He understands that there will be challenges ahead of them in the partnership with McLaren, but is adamant their will be no let up as they focus on pre-season testing and the beginning of the 2015 Formula 1 season.
“Today is obviously a very exciting day for me and for Honda,” insisted Arai. “It’s not every day that you’re involved in a launch of a new Formula 1 car and a start-up of a new partnership. “As you can see with the new MP4-30, we’ve dedicated ourselves as one team with McLaren to creating a new car that compromises on nothing – either power or aerodynamics. “Yet, in the midst of the excitement, both myself and our engineers are 100 per cent focused in both Sakura and Milton Keynes to prepare for Jerez and beyond. We’re confident that the technology is there, and I’m looking forward to see how it will perform. “We’re about to commence a long season, with numerous challenges, but Honda is determined to face them head-on. After all, we’re here to drive Formula 1’s technology forward and give our fans a thrilling ride.”