McLaren MCL32 – the Woking team’s challenger for 2017 – was presented in the McLaren Technology Center.
Dynamic orange and black livery reflects the team’s glorious 50-plus-year history. It also heralds a new era led by Executive Committee and new senior management. Drivers are an established world champion – Fernando Alonso and an exciting future star – Stoffel Vandoorne.
The MCL32 follows in the evolutionary footsteps of its two immediate predecessors, MP4-30 and MP4-31.
Mohammed Bin Essa Al Khalifa, Executive Committee Principal, McLaren Technology Group, says:
“The launch of a new Formula 1 car is always a time of anticipation and expectation.
“At McLaren-Honda, we’re fully focused on returning our team to the top step of the podium. A task we view as a multi-year project that requires thorough strategic planning and execution.
“We’re now confident that all the building blocks are in place, and that we now have the expertise, the experience, the energy and the enthusiasm successfully to make the journey back to the front.
“We knew changes were required – and, now, with Zak [Brown], Jonathan [Neale] and Eric [Boullier], and of course our drivers Fernando [Alonso] and Stoffel [Vandoorne], backed by a superb team of men and women in both Woking [UK] and Sakura [Japan], we’re fully equipped to tackle this year’s exciting changes to the Formula 1 regulations, and, in addition to that, we’re already liaising strategically with the new owners of our sport, Liberty Media, to improve its spectacle and success.”
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) 24 February 2017
Mansour Ojjeh, Executive Committee Principal, McLaren Technology Group, adds:
“Over the past few months we’ve been working extremely hard to prepare for the new Formula 1 season – from every point of view – and the first visible output of that massive effort is a car that looks fantastic in my view.
“Its colour scheme incorporates a significant nod to our team’s founder, the great Bruce McLaren, but it’s deliberately not orange all over. The black stripes and white trims not only add to the overall aesthetic effect, but also reference more recent colour schemes as well as the traditional corporate colour of our much-valued power unit partner, Honda, whose engineers have been toiling night and day over the past few months.
“I’ve been involved in Formula 1 far too long to make precise performance predictions – more than 30 years – but I can say without fear of contradiction that we’re now in a very good place: we’ve got the right people, with the right attitude, motivated by the right kind of collaborative ambition, and we’re ready to continue to work as hard as is humanly possible to do what it takes to succeed.
“I’m proud of them all.”
The core McLaren philosophy of ultra-hi-tech and attention to detail remains undiminished. The new partnership of Executive Director Zak Brown and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Neale underlined and galvanised that ambition, supported very capably by Racing Director Eric Boullier.
Zak Brown says:
“McLaren has always been the team in Formula 1 for me. And I’m massively motivated to be able to help re-establish the team where I firmly believe it belongs: at the very pinnacle of Formula 1.
“I’m hugely encouraged by the amount of attention this year’s McLaren-Honda launch has garnered, and by the number of our partners in attendance – not only at the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre in Woking [UK], but also at our concurrent event in Tokyo [Japan], which is taking place at a Hilton hotel; Hilton is one of our partners, of course.”
Jonathan Neale adds:
“It has been a challenging winter for us as a leadership team, but there’s a great sense of purpose and enthusiasm throughout the business this year. And that applies not only to the McLaren Technology Group but also to our power unit partner Honda. Together, we’ve assembled a formidably capable team. But we still have work to do in order to fulfil our true potential. Together with our staff, the Board of Directors, and with the guidance and support of our Executive Committee Principals, we’re working extremely hard as we continue to put the essential elements of future success in place.
“The journey ahead isn’t going to be easy. We made progress in the past 12 months. But we’re not where we need to be and we expect on-track competition to be fierce. To win in Formula 1 requires any competitor to be good at everything.
“So, do I believe we’ll be back at the front this year? Realistically, probably not quite yet, no. But do I think we’ll continue to make meaningful improvement as a team? Absolutely.”
For Racing Director Eric Boullier, the ambition is clear:
“Within McLaren-Honda, there’s a tangible feeling of progress, of change. This year’s rules reset is a valuable opportunity for us.
“The addition of a striking orange and black paint job reinforces the notion that we’re moving away from what immediately preceded it. But it’s the engineering detail on the MCL32 that really impresses me.
“There’s a feeling around the factory that we’re about to turn the corner. Our relationship with Honda has blossomed. There’s a real sense of comradeship to what we do now.”
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) 24 February 2017