Time to Make History: McLaren-Honda MP4-30
Many people have been excited since hearing McLaren and Honda were teaming up again in Formula One. And now they’ve unveiled a brilliant, red-tipped silver bullet that the ridiculously talented driver lineup of Fernando Alonso and Jensen Button, both former World Champions, will helm around the world’s racetracks during the 2015 F1 season.
McLaren-Honda was one of the most successful partnerships in Formula One history, with drivers Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost winning both the driver’s championship and constructor’s championship each year from 1988 to 1991 thanks in large part to Honda’s amazing engines.
After a lackluster fifth place finish in 2014, McLaren dropped Mercedes as an engine supplier in favor of its long-lost flame. The result is the MP4-30, the only car on the grid to be fitted with Honda’s RA615H Hybrid Power Unit—basically a fancy name for a fancy engine.
The look of the car—really the only thing we can talk about because we haven’t seen the thing actually run yet—is an evolution of what McLaren raced last year, with a sleeker front nose and a dashing red line around the nose and back to the driver’s mirrors.
The partnership between the two companies is especially interesting because, at least for 2015, Honda is only working with McLaren. They will be able to exchange information and strategies without worrying about competitors learning what they’re up to. In contrast, last year, McLaren was using Mercedes engines and, with Mercedes having their own factory race team, there must have been more than a little consternation at McLaren over sharing technical information with their competitors. After all, Mercedes completely dominated the field in 2014.
Honda’s head of motorsport, Yasuhisa Arai, said: “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% 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.