What they said
New engine partners, new start. That seems to have been the main message coming from McLaren HQ over the last few weeks in the build up to the launch of the MCL33. The main focus in the press releases has been the change in livery to a ‘papaya’ orange, reminisce of the early cars run by Bruce McLaren, notably on their 1974 Indy 500 winning car, and mirrored in Fernando Alonso’s attempt last year.
The press releases have been rather sparse in the technical aspects surrounding the new model, however it's been hard not to reference the change to a Renault power unit for the first time in their history. McLaren Race Director, Eric Boullier, summed up the challenges the car faces.
“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."