McLaren-Honda – il nome evoca ricordi forti del passato: Ayrton Senna in lotta con Alain Prost per il primato; le classiche monoposto rosse e bianche che dominavano stagione dopo stagione: un team iconico che ha scritto uno dei capitoli più memorabili nella storia della Formula 1. Il ritorno di una partnership così illustre porta con sé tante aspettative, ma tutti in McLaren e in Honda stanno lavorando per un nuovo capitolo nel motorsport, rispettoso del passato ma che guarda avanti.
La presentazione svoltasi oggi della nuova McLaren-Honda MP4-30 – la prima McLaren motorizzata Honda da 23 anni a questa parte – dice tutto sulla natura di entrambe le aziende. Si tratta di un’evoluzione raffinata della McLaren 2014, è l’unico telaio sulla griglia dotato della power unit Honda RA615H Hybrid e si presenta con una colorazione evoluta che contestualizza il brand McLaren nel 21° secolo.
Nel 2015 la McLaren-Honda intende mantenere la forma raggiunta nella seconda parte del 2014, quando un intensivo programma di sviluppo sulla MP4-29 ha permesso al team di conquistare una posizione solida tra i team più competitivi. I regolamenti tecnici relativamente stabili per questa stagione hanno permesso agli ingegneri di evolvere dalle filosofie più innovative sperimentate sulla macchina dello scorso anno, aggiungendo nuovi dettagli tecnici.I reparti di engineering rafforzati e rinnovati hanno portato a diversi cambi di direzione. La MP4-30 è stata sviluppata per avere un pacchetto il più efficace e pratico possibile. E’ una base per nuove esplorazioni di sviluppo per gli ingegneri, gli aerodinamici e i piloti, per questo e per il prossimo anno.
La monoposto è stata sviluppata a livello aerodinamico durante l’inverno e il risultato è un pacchetto bello, elegante, con un muso “nose-box” raffinato, un retrotreno più sottile – specie nella zona attorno al cambio – e che incorpora la nuova power unit sotto la sua carrozzeria dalle forme sinuose.
La partnership con la Honda è particolarmente eccitante: arrivare al successo rispettando i regolamenti tecnici richiede una soluzione che si può trovare solo in collaborazione con un partner ufficiale. La Honda darà il know-how, l’esperienza e la forza per fare progressi rapidi – e per continuare a spingere sullo sviluppo su tutti i fronti nel corso della stagione. La partnership sarà un work in progress, che si rafforzerà di continuo.
Raggiungere gli obiettivi ambiziosi non sarà immediato, vincere in F1 richiede un processo lento, progressivo, fatto di singoli momenti di stagione in stagione ma, con la base della MP4-30, McLaren e Honda sono pronte per un progresso rapido ed efficace.
I partner sono una delle chiavi per il successo. Per il 2015 il team conta sulle risorse della ExxonMobil, che lavora con la Honda da due anni per svluppare nuove tecnologie e formule dei lubrificanti Mobil 1 per l’Honda V6 turbo. SAP assicurerà la sua soluzione HANA Enterprise Cloud che lavora per l’intero McLaren Group, semplificndo il metodo di data management e modelling del team.
Nel 2015 si celebrano i 30 anni della partnership con TAG Heuer e i 10 con Johnnie Walker e Hilton Worldwide. Quest’anno arrivano anche CNN e KPMG, oltre a Segafredo Zanetti, già sponsor del team nella prima era McLaren-Honda.
Il primo a scendere in pista al volante della nuova MP4-30 a Jerez de la Frontera sarà Fernando Alonso, domenica 1° febbraio.
#14 Fernando Alonso
Age 33 (July 29 1981)
GP starts 234
Titles 2 (2005, 2006)
Fastest laps 21
“Although the winter period is a time for rest and relaxation from racing, my motivation could not be stronger for the new season. I’ve done a lot of training during the winter break, to reach my peak physical fitness, and I’ve been working hard in preparation for this new era of McLaren-Honda. I’ve never felt better, or more ready for a new season.
“Of course, we’re prepared for a steep learning curve, but it’s clear to see that inside McLaren-Honda there’s total commitment, and a real change in feeling, as we start this new partnership. We’re all focused on the challenge ahead, and I feel extremely honoured to be part of a relationship that has shared so much history together. My aim is to help write a new chapter in the history of McLaren-Honda. We understand the effort and teamwork required to take McLaren-Honda back to where it should be, at the front of the grid, and all our energy as a team is focused on that goal.
“Our first target will be to learn the maximum from the car at the pre-season tests, understand the package, and extract as much performance as possible. That won’t be easy or trouble-free, but we’re ready for that. Why? Because our key focus will be on development. Historically, McLaren has already been characterised by its ability to bring updates to the car quickly, and develop a strong package. It’s going to be a real privilege to be the first person to drive the new McLaren-Honda MP4-30 at Jerez, and I can’t wait to begin what I’m certain will be a very exciting new chapter in my career. I’m as motivated now as I was when I was given my first opportunity at the wheel of an F1 car.
“Last but not least, I’m excited to be sitting alongside Jenson [Button], a great team-mate and a very experienced competitor. Together we’ll push the team forward, to learn, to progress, and eventually to achieve the best possible results together. We are ready for the new era.”
#22 Jenson Button
Age 35 (January 19 1980)
GP starts 266
Titles 1 (2009)
Fastest laps 8
“The off-season has really brought about a sense of renewal coming into 2015 – continuing my relationship with McLaren, getting married, and now embarking on such an exciting chapter: McLaren’s new partnership with Honda. I’ve trained hard over the winter, and I’m absolutely itching to get going in the new McLaren-Honda MP4-30.
“It’s been interesting to spend time in the factory during the past few weeks: you can really sense a feeling of reignited optimism and positivity around the building. I’ve never seen such motivation amongst the guys – we’re all massively keen to get going in Jerez and to work hard on developing our new car. But we’re under no illusion that it will be easy – there’s a huge challenge ahead of us to try to pull back the gap to our rivals, but we’re certainly up for it. We ended last season with great momentum and clear progress, and I’m determined to carry that forward into 2015.
“I’m also looking forward to working with my new team-mate, Fernando [Alonso], and I’m confident that our joint experience on track will pay dividends in our development race to get our team back to the front of the grid. I’m hugely motivated to make more history in this new McLaren-Honda era.”
Kevin Magnussen Test and reserve driver
Age 22 (October 5 1992)
GP starts 19
Fastest laps 0
“McLaren-Honda evokes so many great memories in race fans all over the world, and I’m really proud to be a part of this team at the restart of such an important and historic partnership. My new role as McLaren-Honda’s test and reserve driver is a really important responsibility, and I’m determined to prove my abilities and show what I can do not only on track, but also behind the scenes in the simulator, analysing the data and giving valuable feedback to the engineers. Our fight back to the front of the grid is our main focus, so it’s going to be down to me to work really hard to develop the MP4-30 and make a real difference to its performance in Fernando’s and Jenson’s hands.
“My aim is, of course, to return to a Formula 1 race seat as soon as possible, so I’ll be giving it 100 per cent, both on track and off it, to build on my last year’s experience, to show what I know I’m capable of, and to reward the McLaren-Honda team’s faith in me by keeping me on board.”
“McLaren Technology Group is driven by the relentless pursuit of technological perfection, and, perhaps more than any other element of our portfolio, Formula 1, which is the remit and responsibility of McLaren Racing, and now McLaren-Honda, most famously epitomises that.
“McLaren-Honda is a partnership focused on performance, technology and innovation, and there’s no better example of that than the results achieved in our first collaboration in the 1980s and 1990s. I was Team Principal all those years ago and, while I don’t tend to like looking back to the past, our previous record of sustained success was certainly instrumental in creating the confidence to make the decision to partner with Honda again. Now, there’s real hunger to demonstrate the capabilities of the huge talent pool we share between us, and I’m totally committed to driving progress and achieving further success.
“Although our renewed alliance began again many months ago, the launch of the McLaren-Honda MP4-30 marks the start of a lengthy journey. We’ve come a long way already and, although there’s a lot of work to do before we can expect to repeat the level of success we enjoyed together 25-or-so years ago, it’s already clear that there’s enormous synergy and potential in our partnership, and I’m positive that, together, we’ll get to where we want to be: winning Grands Prix and eventually World Championships as McLaren-Honda.”
Eric Boullier Racing director, McLaren Racing
“It’s almost a year since I arrived in Woking, and, together with Ron and Jonathan [Neale, Chief Operating Officer, McLaren Racing], began an extensive restructure within McLaren Racing. We’re now seeing the benefits of that extensive restructure, and the result is a strengthened, skilled and efficient team, characterised by undimmed commitment from everyone throughout our organisation.
“For a team with such incredible heritage as McLaren, being able to build on our past successes is hugely important to us. It’ll take time to attain the levels of success we aspire to, but you may rest assured that, in concert with Honda, we are totally focused on fulfilling the potential of our exciting new partnership.
“I firmly believe that our team is stronger than ever, and that it’s in the best possible position to push the development of the MP4-30 forward. Progress is our purpose, and we’ve seen firm evidence of that from the very beginning of our renewed relationship. We acknowledge that our journey will require a huge amount of hard work, dedication and application from everyone involved, in both Woking and Sakura, but we’re ready and committed to building on the foundations we’ve already established in order eventually to enjoy the results we crave.
“McLaren and Honda are completely integrated and united in our purpose, and we share a fantastic sense of optimism: that together, in time, we’ll create another legacy of success.”
“Today is obviously a very exciting day for me and for Honda. It’s not every day that you’re involved in a launch of a new Formula 1 car and a start-up of a new partnership.
“As you can see with the new MP4-30, we’ve dedicated ourselves as one team with McLaren to creating a new car that compromises on nothing – either power or aerodynamics.
“Yet, in the midst of the excitement, both myself and our engineers are 100 per cent focused in both Sakura and Milton Keynes to prepare for Jerez and beyond. We’re confident that the technology is there, and I’m looking forward to see how it will perform.
“We’re about to commence a long season, with numerous challenges, but Honda is determined to face them head-on. After all, we’re here to drive Formula 1’s technology forward and give our fans a thrilling ride.”
MP4-30 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
Monocoque Carbon-fibre composite, incorporating driver controls and fuel cell
Safety structures Cockpit survival cell incorporating impact resistant construction and anti-penetration panels, front impact structure, prescribed side impact structures, integrated rear impact structure, front and rear roll structures
Bodywork Carbon-fibre composite. including engine cover, sidepods, floor, nose, front wing and rear wing with driver-operated drag reduction system
Front suspension Carbon-fibre wishbone and pushrod suspension elements operating inboard torsion bar and damper system
Rear suspension Carbon-fibre wishbone and pullrod suspension elements operating inboard torsion bar and damper system
Weight Overall vehicle weight 702kg (including driver, excluding fuel)
Weight distribution between 45.5% and 46.5%
Electronics McLaren Applied Technologies. Including chassis control, power unit control, data acquisition, alternator, sensors, data analysis and telemetry
Instruments McLaren Applied Technologies dashboard
Lubricants & Fluids Mobilith SHC™ 1500 Grease – High temperature drive-shaft tripod lubrication
Mobilith SHC™ 220 Grease – Low rolling resistance ceramic wheel bearing lubrication
Mobil SHC™ Hydraulic Oil – High pressure, high temperature hydraulic fluid used for chassis, transmission and power unit actuation
Brake system Akebono brake calipers and master cylinders
Akebono ‘brake by wire’ rear brake control system
Carbon discs and pads
Steering Power-assisted rack and pinion
Tyres Pirelli P Zero
Race wheels Enkei
Paint AkzoNobel Car Refinishes system using Sikkens products
Type Honda RA615H
Minimum weight 145 kg
Primary PU components Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)
Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic (MGU-K)
Motor Generator Unit – Heat (MGU-H)
Energy Store (ES)
Internal Combustion Engine
Capacity 1.6 litres
Bank angle 90-degree vee angle
No of valves 24
Max speed 15,000 rpm
Max fuel flow rate 100 kg/hour (above 10,500 rpm)
Fuel consumption 100 kg ‘lights to flag’ regulated fuel capacity limit
Fuel injection Direct injection, single injector per cylinder, 500 bar max
Pressure charging Single-stage compressor and exhaust turbine, common shaft
Fuel ExxonMobil High Performance Unleaded (5.75% bio fuel)
Lubricants Mobil 1™ Engine Oil – High protection low friction lubricant and coolant, for high durability and improved fuel economy
Energy Recovery System
Architecture Integrated Hybrid energy recovery via Motor Generator Units
Crankshaft coupled electrical MGU-K
Turbocharger coupled electrical MGU-H
Energy Store Lithium-Ion battery, between 20 and 25 kg
Maximum energy storage, 4 MJ per lap
MGU-K Maximum speed, 50,000 rpm
Maximum power, 120 kW
Maximum energy recovery, 2 MJ per lap
Maximum energy deployment, 4 MJ per lap
MGU-H Maximum speed 125,000 rpm
Maximum power unlimited
Maximum energy recovery, unlimited
Maximum energy deployment, unlimited
Gearbox Carbon-fibre composite main case, longitudinally mounted
Gear ratios Eight forward and one reverse
Gear selection Electro-hydraulically operated seamless shift
Differential Epicyclic differential with multi-plate limited slip clutch
Clutch Electro-hydraulically operated, carbon multi-plate
Lubricants Mobil 1 SHC™ Gear Oil – Low traction loss, high efficiency gear and bearing lubricant and coolant