McLaren turns orange for the 2017 F1 season

It appears that McLaren is keen to move on from the Ron Dennis era. One clear indicator is an updated naming policy for the team’s cars.

Ever since 1981 they’ve carried an ‘MP4’ prefix, reflecting the merger between Project Four Racing (which was founded by the recently-departed Dennis) and McLaren. To help signal the new epoch, 2017’s contender is known simply as MCL32.

Another symbolic change concerns the colour scheme. After what seems like years of rumour and speculation, a return to McLaren’s traditional orange has finally happened. The pearl-effect shade, called Tarocco Orange, is complemented by areas of satin black and gloss white paintwork.

McLaren MCL32 2017 Front Side

The MCL32 is described as an evolution of 2016’s MP4-31. However, the revised Formula One technical regulations being introduced for 2017 have resulted in some significant modifications to the aerodynamics.

Honda’s hybrid power unit has also received plenty of much-needed attention.

According to Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda Executive Chief Engineer and head of the company’s F1 Project, “Based on our two years of acquired experience and constant progress, Honda has made big changes to the concept and layout of our 2017 power unit, the RA617H.

“The main areas of change that we focused on have been to decrease the weight and lower the centre of gravity, so as to improve the balance of the car, while generating more output from the internal combustion engine.

“Also, owing to the new 2017 regulations fundamentally affecting the design of our new car, Honda has made a lot of changes to accommodate the updated chassis. The team has therefore continued their hard work throughout the winter to find an ideal balance.

“The pre-season test in Barcelona will be very important for us, so as to learn the functionality of the car as a whole.

“Our relationship with McLaren will continue to strengthen as we further progress technically and operationally this year, to achieve our ultimate goal.”

Quite what the “ultimate goal” is remains unclear, but a race win would be a good start. After all, the last time McLaren achieved that feat was at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.

McLaren MCL32 2017 SideMcLaren MCL32 2017 Front

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