McLaren-Honda Reveals MP4-31 for 2016 F1 Season
The MP4-31 Formula 1 car from McLaren-Honda has just been revealed and it’s a beauty. But whether last year’s power issues have been fixed remains to be seen.
McLaren-Honda has just revealed the car it will race in the 2016 Formula 1 season, the MP4-31. And while no performance details have been revealed yet, the team will be hoping that it improves on its ninth place (out of 10) finish in the constructors’ championship last year.
The new car will actually get put through its paces today in Barcelona at the start of pre-season testing, with Jenson Button (champion in 2009) behind the wheel.
McLaren chief Ron Dennis said: “As we embark on the second year of our renewed McLaren-Honda partnership, all of us remain united in our purpose.
“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.”
Button added that the car “looks fantastic” and his teammate Fernando Alonso said he was “100% ready for the challenge ahead”.
The striking and innovative MP4-31 chassis features the new Honda RA616H power unit, which was developed exclusively for the team to utilise.
However, while the car features many all-new innovations, it is still just an evolution of last year’s chassis. The team will be pinning its hopes on Honda’s new-for-2016 power unit, especially as many said the car was hamstrung by a lack of performance last season.
Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai said that the team had learnt from last year’s failings and have made changes, maturing the overall concept from last year.
He added that they will use the pre-season testing opportunities to monitor the car; gather data; and feedback information to the team engineers. This will help them prepare for Melbourne and onwards.
It’s going to be an interesting season for McLaren-Honda, but expectations will, nevertheless, remain realistic. The MP4-31 is unlikely to close the gap to the standard-setting Mercedes engine, but any improvement on last year will undoubtedly be welcomed by the team.