McLaren have revealed the MCL33 car they hope will propel them back to the front of Formula 1 in 2018.
But of more significance when the car hits the track will be its new Renault engine with the fallen superpowers under massive pressure to deliver a vast upgrade in performance in 2018 following their split from Honda.
“If we’re able to develop the key strengths of last year’s chassis and marry it to an improved Renault power unit, then I think we’ll be able to take a step forwards,” said driver Fernando Alonso.
“Looking at our new car, I feel incredibly excited – but also apprehensive. I know just how important this car is to the team, and I just hope that it delivers in the way we all want it to.”
As expected, the new McLaren is an evolution of its predecessor. ‘Much of the work on the MCL33 has been around optimising the packaging of the new Renault engine, and the incorporation of the new halo device,’ the team confirmed.
The 20-time F1 world champions haven’t won a race in the sport since 2012 – the year Lewis Hamilton departed for Mercedes – while March’s season-opening Australian GP will mark the fourth anniversary of McLaren’s last podium finish.
But for 2018 the team will be powered by Renault engines after three fruitless and frustrating seasons with Honda.
McLaren: Four fast facts
- McLaren have finished ninth in the Constructors’ Championship in two of the last three seasons
- Fernando Alonso secured 97 podiums in 183 races between March 2003 and April 2014. He is without a podium in 65 races since then
- Renault are McLaren’s third different engine partner in five years
- Stoffel Vandoorne is aiming to become Belgian’s first F1 podium finisher in 28 years
And the new McLaren is the evolutionary successor to the MCL32 which the team believed would have been a frontrunner in 2017 but for the crippling lack of power provided by its unreliable Honda units.
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