McLaren has unveiled its new MCL33 Formula 1 car, the first Renault-powered McLaren in the marque’s 50-plus year history.
As expected, the 2018 F1 McLaren’s livery is reminiscent of the iconic papaya orange and blue colours used by McLaren in F1 and, equally famously, in the Can-Am sports car series in the late 1960s and early ‘70s.
McLaren hopes that the switch to Renault power will see a shift in fortunes after three disappointing seasons with Honda.
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso - who was one of the chief catalysts for the powerplant change - returns for what will be the Spaniard’s fourth consecutive season with McLaren, while team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne prepares for his second year in F1.
“Looking at our new car, I feel incredibly excited – but also apprehensive,” Alonso said. “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 colour looks really great; really eye-catching."
The MCL33 is a development of last year’s car, which was widely acknowledged as one of the best chassis on the F1 grid in 2017.
McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier paid tribute to the work put in at McLaren to get the car designed and built in a timeframe significantly limited by the late decision to switch to Renault power.
“I think the whole team feels proud of this car," Boullier said.
“The design, engineering and aerodynamic departments have done an incredible job delivering a new car with a new power unit in an extremely short timeframe. We never took the easy route or looked to shortcut a process or a solution; and the result is a car that is neat and well-resolved.
“That said, we are under no illusions that it will be difficult to splinter the hegemony at the front; and that the midfield will be full of well-funded, experienced outfits with plenty to prove. We are humble about the challenge ahead, but feel we’ve prepared well, have a solid package that we can build upon and exploit as the season progresses, and have two excellent drivers who will make the difference in races.
“At McLaren, we are all racers – pure and simple. We’re going to come out pushing, and we’re going to be racing as hard as ever.”