McLaren-Honda seen for the first time
Have we seen the dawn of a new era recently when Mclaren’s Honda-powered F1 car was allowed to get its rubber dirty for the first time?
Last Friday saw the McLaren-Honda F1 car take to the track for its maiden laps at British Grand Prix venue Silverstone, in what will surely be the first of many appearances for this newfound partnership.
Despite being merely a test run that was conducted behind closed doors, the event posed a perfect opportunity for the Honda Twitter machine to go into overdrive and create a stir of interest by releasing an image of the MP4-29H car.
Displaying the word ‘Honda’ clearly on its engine cover, the new car was allowed to take to the track as it was for a dedicated filming day and so didn’t contravene any F1 regulations. However, McLaren were limited to just 60-miles of testing last Friday, but that should still be enough to get a decent feel for the new Honda power unit.
The fruit of Honda and McLaren’s 10-year works partnership will inevitably get its first real thrashing at the post-season Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test but Friday’s short jaunt will have been a useful test for all involved.
Furthermore, the fact that a Honda-powered car has been seen at a Formula One track marks a significantly exciting moment because they haven’t competed in F1 since quitting the sport back in 2008 after five unsuccessful years on their own.
McLaren will be hoping that Honda’s turbo hybrid engine is enough to give them a competitive edge next season and that the partnership will be reminiscent of the two teams’ glory days back in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Back then, however, it was the likes of the late Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost who were raising trophies for them.
We’ll have to wait and see who joins Fernando Alonso at the team in 2015 but whoever it is they will have a fantastic base to build from.