McLaren brings Heritage and hope with the launch of the MCL33
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News February 23, 2018 Updated: 2:33 PM PT
In the wave of online car launches this week, McLaren released their challenger for the 2018 season Friday morning, the MCL33, with the hashtag #Bebrave.
McLaren hopes to get fans excited with this year’s livery as the team goes old school returning to the iconic “papaya” color which harkens back to McLaren’s days of competing in Indy and Can-Am series. This color scheme was also seen when McLaren returned to the Indianapolis 500 last year.
The team have also partnered with Renault this year as their new engine supplier after McLaren chose to part ways with Honda during the second half of the season due to a disastrous three years of engine reliability issues.
McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown is hopeful the team has hit the reset button stepping into the new season.
“The McLaren team was created by a brave pioneer, and has had bravery at its core ever since. Whether it’s been with brave drivers, brave leaders or brave fortune, this team has always fought back.
“And we definitely view 2018 as the year when McLaren will move closer to the front, fighting teams and drivers as we improve our fortunes.
“We have an excellent team, a new engine partner in Renault and a host of fantastic new partnerships: Airgain, CNBC, Dell Technologies, Kimoa and Petrobras have all been welcomed to the McLaren family.
“Our return to a papaya orange livery for this year wasn’t simply an emotional decision; it demonstrates that we are listening to our fans, building deeper engagement with them and the Formula 1 community as a whole.”
“We want McLaren to earn respect on and off the track, and this felt like a good starting point. We want to show everyone what makes this team special, whether that’s our fans or our partners – there’s room for more on our journey,” said Brown.
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso will return with teammate Stoffel Vandoorne to pilot the new car. Alonso prepares for a busy season as he will not only have his F1 duties, but will also be competing in the World Endurance Championship later this year.
“My winter has felt somewhat shorter than usual, as I’ve already been in the cockpit for a 24-hour race, and several sports car tests! That said, I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car for the first time in three months.
“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.
“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. The car certainly looks very neat and well thought-out, and I think the new color looks really great; really eye-catching,” said Alonso.
McLaren’s last victory goes back to when former driver Jensen Button won the final race of the season at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.