Much like Ferrari, the oldest surviving and the most successful team in the history of Formula One, McLaren started as a race-car manufacturer long before it began making road cars. Founded in 1963 as Bruce McLaren Motor Racing, the team joined F1 as a works entry in 1966. It has since competed in every single season of the series as of 2014, winning eight constructor’s championships and no fewer than 182 wins. Statistically, McLaren is second only to Ferrari when it comes to race starts, total wins, podium finishes, pole positions, fastest laps, and championship points, making it one of the most prominent names in the single-seat auto racing scene. Despite this, the British have not won the constructor’s title since 1998, but scoring podium finishes on 12 occasions through 2012. Both 2013 and 2014 were rather disappointing, with McLaren finishing fifth without scoring a single win. This bitter drought could come to an end in 2015, when McLaren tackles the F1 season with a brand-new chassis and an all-new hybrid powertrain.

While all engine manufacturers developed new power units for the 2014 season, McLaren had to wait until 2015 to benefit from Honda’s return to the sport as a powerplant supplier after a ten-year hiatus. The new alliance is of great historic importance, as it reunites the entities that won four back-to-back world championships between 1988 and 1991. It all began at the end of the iconic Turbo Era and continued well into the 3.5-liter, naturally aspirated engine period, when McLaren had two of the greatest drivers in history: Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

The partnership between McLaren and Honda ended in 1992, when Honda retired only to return with BAR and Jordan between 2000 and 2005. Meanwhile, McLaren continued with Ford and Peugeot engines for two seasons before turning to Mercedes for a partnership that lasted two decades. Come 2015, McLaren hopes to win its first championship in 16 years using power from Honda’s first F1 engine since 2005. The hybrid powerplant was developed alongside a new single-seater, the MP4-30, with refined aerodynamics, a new nose-box solution and revised livery. Keep reading for the full rundown on McLaren’s all-new Formula One contender.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Race Car.

  • 2015 McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Formula 1 Car
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Make:
  • 0-60 time:
    3 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    200 mph (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Formula 1 Car High Resolution Exterior
- image 614259
While I agree that looks aren't particularly important for a Formula One car, I can't help notice how the new nose is a massive improvement compared to last year's finger snout.

While 2014 brought massive modifications to Formula One cars, including McLaren’s, the new single-seaters are somewhat based on last year’s racers. As a result, the MP4-30 borrows most of its aerodynamic features from the MP4-29 model, with various modifications having altered some of last year’s design. Aerodynamically refined over the winter, the race car gained a brand-new nose and a reshaped front wing. While I agree that looks aren’t particularly important for a Formula One car, I can’t help notice how the new nose is a massive improvement compared to last year’s finger snout.

While the area behind the driver’s seat remained relatively unchanged, the side pods and the rear-end packaging seem to have received a mild makeover as well. The shell has been slimmed around the gearbox and engine area.

The livery is also new, now incorporating a red stripe around the nose and the cockpit, including the side mirrors, in addition to last year’s silver top and black bottom. The company describes it as a color scheme that "firmly contextualizes McLaren’s brand in the 21st century," but that doesn’t make it seem less dull compared to other liveries.

Interior

McLaren didn’t release any data or photos of the MP4-30’s interior, but it’s safe to assume that very little has changed for 2015. Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button will operate the car from the same cramped cockpit, using an advanced, multi-function, quick-release steering wheel. As usual, the cockpit focuses on safety and allowing the driver to step outside in a matter of seconds in the event of a crash.

Drivetrain

2015 McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Formula 1 Car High Resolution Exterior
- image 614258
RPM is restricted to 15,000, a significant drop from the 18,000-rpm limit applied from 2009 to 2013.

At the heart of the McLaren MP4-30 sits Honda’s all-new RA615H hybrid power unit. Developed to meet the FIA’s new requirements for F1 engines, which were introduced in 2013 for the 2014 season, Honda’s turbocharged V-6 engine displaces 1.6 liters and works with a pair of hybrid systems. One is connected to the crankshaft for use during braking, while the other works in conjunction with the turbocharger to generate power when the driver isn’t accelerating, to charge the car’s lithium-ion battery.

McLaren didn’t release performance specs for its new engine, but the turbo V-6 should generate around 600 horsepower, with an additional 160 ponies to come from the Energy Recovery Systems. RPM is restricted to 15,000, a significant drop from the 18,000-rpm limit applied from 2009 to 2013.

Competition

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 W06

2015 Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 W06 Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 614640

Having won the 2014 Constructor’s and Driver’s championships by a large margin, Mercedes-AMG is the manufacturer to beat in 2015. Wearing a slightly revised nose and other aerodynamic bits, the W06 sports the company’s already familiar silver-and-green livery, which brings together Mercedes’ classic racing color and Petronas’ trademark green. The power unit, by far the most successful in 2014, is again developed in-house.

Unlike McLaren, who signed Fernando Alonso from Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG continues with the same driver lineup of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. The two drivers scored 16 wins last season, finishing first and second, respectively, in the driver’s championship. Hamilton will race in his ninth consecutive Formula One season in 2015, while Rosberg will embark on his tenth.

Ferrari SF15-T

2015 Ferrari SF15-T High Resolution Exterior
- image 614590

Ferrari’s new F1 racer also received a redesigned nose, as well as a reshaped front wing and larger intakes for the side pods. Ferrari also used its very own engine, which debuted to poor results in 2014, when it had to settle for a fourth-place finish in the constructor’s championship, behind Mercedes-AMG, Red Bull-Renault, and Williams-Mercedes. Having won its last title in 2008, Ferrari hopes to clinch its 17th manufacturers’ championship with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen behind the wheel.

The German joined the team in 2015 after six years and four driver’s titles with Red Bull Racing. Last year, Vettel finished fifth with only three podiums, while Raikkonen ended the season in 12th, with a fourth-place finish in Belgium as his best performance.

Conclusion

2015 McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Formula 1 Car
- image 614257

It’s hard not to get excited seeing McLaren and Honda reunited after 23 years, but I’m not expecting immediate success from this cooperation. Achieving good results and winning races is a lengthy process, especially with a brand-new engine in the equation, so it’s likely McLaren will focus on making progress toward a successful future rather than fighting for the championship right off. Still, with experienced drivers such as Alonso and Button behind the wheel, the McLaren-Honda alliance could pose a few problems for the likes of Mercedes-AMG, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing. But it all depends on the new engine’s reliability, and we won’t find out more about that until the 2015 season begins.

  • Leave it
    • * New engine means achieving success might take a while
    • * Steep competition
    • * Mercedes-AMG seems stronger than ever

Press Release

McLaren-Honda – the name evokes stirring memories of the past; of Ayrton Senna battling Alain Prost for supremacy; of classic red and white machines dominating for season upon season; of an iconic team writing one of the defining chapters in the motor racing history books.

2015 McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Formula 1 Car
- image 614257

Reuniting such an illustrious partnership brings with it the heavy weight of expectation, but all at McLaren and Honda are working to write a fresh chapter in Formula 1, one that respectfully nods to the past, but boldly looks to the horizon.

Today’s reveal of the new McLaren-Honda MP4-30 – McLaren’s first Honda-powered car for 23 years – speaks volumes about the progressive nature of both companies. It is a thoroughly refined evolution of last year’s McLaren, it is the only chassis on the grid to be fitted with Honda’s RA615H Hybrid power unit, and it features an evolved colour scheme that firmly contextualises McLaren’s brand in the 21st century.
MP4-30 – new technical DNA in the mix

2015 McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Formula 1 Car High Resolution Exterior
- image 614258

In 2015 McLaren-Honda intends to maintain the momentum it achieved during the second half of 2014, when an intensive technical development programme for the MP4-29 allowed the team to establish a solid position within the chasing pack.

Relatively stable technical regulations between seasons have permitted our engineers to evolve some of the newer philosophies explored on last year’s season-ending car while also adding some exciting new technical DNA into the mix.

Moreover, our restructured and strengthened engineering departments have gained the conviction to embark on a number of changes of direction. With that in mind, the MP4-30 has been developed to provide us with the most effective and practical base package. It is a foundation – offering up a number of new exploratory development paths for our engineers, aerodynamicists and drivers to pursue during the season, and on into next year.

The car has been aerodynamically refined over the winter, and the result is a pretty, elegant car with a refined nose-box solution, slimmed rear-end packaging – particularly around the gearbox – and the incorporation of an all-new power unit under its tightly contoured bodywork.
Honda: a truly bespoke engineering solution

The partnership with Honda is particularly exciting: to achieve success within the technical regulations requires a bespoke engineering solution that can be achieved only in collaboration with a works partner. Honda will provide the know-how, the expertise and the muscle to make rapid progress – and to keep pushing development, on all fronts, during the season. The partnership will be a work in progress, but it will only strengthen over time.

2015 McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Formula 1 Car High Resolution Exterior
- image 614259

Achieving our ambitious targets will not happen immediately – winning in Formula 1 is a lengthy, iterative process, and one that will gather collective momentum from season to season – but, with the MP4-30 as a base, McLaren and Honda feel they are ready to make quick and efficient progress towards a successful future.
Partners new and old – a formula for success

The team’s preparations for 2015 have drawn upon the considerable resources of ExxonMobil, who have been working with our new colleagues at Honda for two years on developing new technologies and formulations of Mobil 1 engine lubricants for the Honda V6 turbo. In turn, the team’s technology partner, SAP, provides its secure HANA Enterprise Cloud solution which underpins the entire McLaren Group, strengthening and simplifying the way the team runs its data management and modelling.

There are significant milestones to commemorate in 2015: this year marks McLaren’s 30th consecutive year of partnership with TAG Heuer, while both Johnnie Walker and Hilton Worldwide are celebrating 10 years with the team. Such long-standing relationships underline McLaren’s ability to support and enhance any blue-chip brand’s global marketing programme.

Joining us for 2015 are international news broadcaster CNN and professional services company KPMG, which have both formed important strategic alliances with the McLaren Technology Group. McLaren-Honda is also pleased to welcome back the global coffee brand Segafredo Zanetti, which first partnered the team during the original McLaren-Honda era.

2015 McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Formula 1 Car High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 614262

Fernando Alonso will begin on-track testing of the new MP4-30 at Jerez de la Frontera on Sunday February 1st.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: