MP4-30 A new era
McLaren and Honda’s reunion has resulted in the MP4-30 – a bold step forward in terms of packaging, concept and design philosophy.
The car was created without compromise: Honda’s RA615H power unit sits beneath tightly packaged bodywork designed to improve aerodynamic performance. It’s an aggressive concept – but one aimed at maximising the benefits of our collaborative approach.
Find out more about the car by viewing our exclusive video and photo gallery, explore it on your desktop with our interactive 360-degree model, and delve deeper with our chassis and engine technical specification.
Three Men and a Windtunnel
A good selection of impressive toys here
Do you remember slinky's
What is it?
Is it an Atari
Yeah, it's an Atari
I never had one of those
Brings a lot of memories back all these toys
PETER PRODROMOU - Chief Engineer
Yeah, that whole era, I was a massive fan of F1
MATT MORRIS - Director of Engineering
What really got me hooked was going to Donnington and watching Senna race with my Dad
TIM GOSS - Technical Director
One of his best races ever
It's nice to see Pete's got his '80s tie on as well
You're going to struggle with traction
I am going to struggle with traction
There you go Matt, that's what it used to be like in the old days
Stick an engine on the back of a tub and it's all fairly simple
But what they've done over the last year within Formula 1 has just taken it to a whole new level hasn't it?
It's nice to see some new technology back in F1 with all the new engines and power unit
It's a huge interest in engineering task isn't it?
Trying to work out whether you put the compressor and turbine at the back of the power unit
Or whether somehow you split it and have the compressor at the front and the turbine at the back
Where you're going to position radiators so that you balance out the cooling left to right on the car
In terms of aerodynamics makes things quite tricky
Aerodynamically this was one of the most efficient planes of its time
This wingform is one of the most efficient wings you can get
You've got the flow coming towards the wing, and the wings purpose is to divert the flow down which then makes the wing lift
Obviously our challenge is to try and get that into our car wrapped around this packaging nightmare
You've got to turn it upside down
Which produces downforce, and try to produce as much downforce as we can but with the minimum drag
One of the most obvious changes to Formula 1 cars for this season is going to be look of the cars from the front end, the nose
If you take the regulations from last year, it was an area regulation we had to adhere to at the tip of the nose, but that didn't extend any further back
This season they're going to be forced to have a reasonably sensible area progression from the tip of the nose running backwards
The noses will look a little bit more sensible and actually they'll work better as impact structures
I must admit I think our car looks really well packaged this year, with the Honda engine I think we've done a good job
The chassis is much tighter. Honda have done a fantastic job trying to package everything into such a tight space
This is a privilege to be at McLaren with McLaren-Honda above the door again I think
Honda are just so dedicated to the cause
I think they took it to a new level back in the '90s and are absolutely committed to doing the same again
McLaren-Honda: a new era begins
...and Ayrton Senna in the McLaren-Honda leads
Senna's trying to go through on the inside
It's happened immediately, this is amazing
Anything can happen in Formula 1
Left, right, he's still leading in the McLaren-Honda
And it's yet another McLaren-Honda one-two
Oh my goodness, this is fantastic!
Jenson Button: McLaren-Honda 2015
McLaren Honda, yeah, when you think of the best sort of fights in motor sport, you'd go back to the '80's I would say with Alain Prostin and Ayrton Senna driving for McLaren-Honda.
There's a lot for us to live up to.
Those were great fights back then, but this is a new era and I think we're all very excited about this new era of McLaren and Honda working together again.
Obviously, I worked with Honda for many years.
Six years ago was when we parted ways so it's great to be back with them and hopefully we can make some history.
This year's car is very different than the last two years.
I know all the mechanics are very excited about working on it.
They said that everything just fits and it just works in terms of it feels like one full package instead of different departments, building different parts of the car and putting it together.
There's a really good vibe about the place and people have a good feeling about where the car is in terms of engine.
Obviously there's a lot of work still going on before the first race and testing is going to be very important to us.
We obviously have a lot less experience than the other engine manufacturers so it's going to be a tough winter testing programme but we're going to get a lot of experience.
And the great thing about Honda is they're very good about listening to what you have to say in terms of driver's feedback and if you tell them we need something they'll be on it straight away.
They will either have a fix or an improvement for the next test.
At the start of a new season is always very exciting I think for everyone in the sport, for the mechanics, the engineers, the people who have designed this car.
It's an exciting but also quite stressful time of the season getting the car ready for the first test and hoping it's what they think it is in terms of the numbers.
For us as drivers, we spent quite a few days here at the factory making sure that we are used to our surroundings of the new car.
But when you first drive it in anger, that's the exciting moment.
After two minutes of driving the car you have a slight understanding of the direction you are going that season.
I'm a little bit nervous but very excited at the same time to jump in the car and see what we have.
It's a very, very exciting part of the season for us for we can learn a lot in a very short space of time.
Fernando Alonso: McLaren-Honda 2015
Well, I feel very proud and very honored to be a part of this team.
I grew up as a child watching the McLaren-Honda domination in Formula 1
...and now I have this big opportunity and this big privilege to be back with them
...and to start from zero this new era and I'm ready to work, ready to learn, ready to discover many, many things together
...and hopefully try to succeed in this new chapter.
Well, the new car, I think, is looking good.
Very interesting project what I felt and what I heard from the engineers and the designers
...so, yeah, looking forward to test the car and to have a feel.
But for sure there are new philosophies into the team, a new way of approaching the car
...and everyone is so excited about this partnership with Honda as well
...and many things, I think, we can do and still a lot of work for sure because everything is new for all of us
But I see a lot of enthusiasm about the project from everybody and this is a good thing.
Yeah, it's always important part of the year, the winter.
Obviously we finished late, the championship, but we have all December and January just to prepare ourselves for a very long season ahead.
It has been good to relax, to switch off a little bit from motor racing.
Now we are all hungry of adrenaline and of getting into the car and start working.
It feels very short, the winter, when you do the last race and you say, "I want to relax a little bit," but after one month, or a month and a half of relaxing, you need the car and it's what we're looking forward now, to jump into the car
...to start working and to be back into what is our work and our life.
Well, I think what we have to be ready now is to learn, be very open because I think the first couple of days with the car we will discover many, many things and we need to be ready to react to all the problems that we may face
...and be ready with an answer from everybody altogether.
Yeah, I think it's going to be a learning year and a learning process for all of us.
Obviously we are here to win so the goal is to win, it's nothing more than that, but I think we need to be ready to work as a team, very united to achieve that win as soon as possible.
Kevin Magnussen: McLaren-Honda 2015
McLaren Honda means a lot. It's a legendary name.
It is, many people I personally referenced back to the days when McLaren was really dominating Formula 1 with Senna and Prostin.
I wasn't born back then back still it's a very special name.
I'm really looking forward to start working with the team again and with Honda as well so it's going to be an exciting year I think.
My role this year is much going to be observing and obviously driving the simulator back here at the MTC.
I'm going to go most of races and just observe and if I have anything to say I'll say but mostly observe and obviously be ready if something should happen to one of the drivers and I'll be ready to step in and drive the car.
It's a bit of an off year for me.
Obviously I want to race but it's going to be very exciting to be still part of this team and to be part of McLaren-Honda.
I think it's looking good for McLaren.
The future is looking good for McLaren and I'm going to be there too to support as much as I can.
You'll definitely see me in the cockpit probably not at a race but I should be driving the car in some tests at some point in a year so we'll be looking forward to that.
Apart from that, I hope to be racing something next to the reserve driver.
It's going to be a different year for me but I think it's going to be exciting as well.
Jonathan Neale: McLaren-Honda 2015
I think the return of Honda to Formula One is an exciting prospect not just for McLaren but for all of the fans.
It's terrific when somebody new enters the sport and we have a lot to look forward to.
Obviously we started at 2015 in the introduction of Honda, it's a fantastic opportunity to address a number of things in the team.
It's a huge amount of work.
We'll continue the evolution of performance improvement from last year, what we saw in 2014.
And add Honda to the mix is a really exciting opportunity for us.
I think many will associate Honda and McLaren with the success of the 1980s.
Honda, of course, had been involved in Formula One since then and we've had a very strong performance over many years.
But at this point we bring Honda's huge R&D know-how and racing ambition to join that of McLaren's as we push forward to the front of the grid.
Both McLaren and Honda have huge ambitions for their Formula One programme.
Honda haven't returned with anything other than ambitions to be at the front and to win races and championships.
And that's why we make such good partners.
We have to be realistic about the process of getting to that.
Honda have had half the amount of time to develop this engine that the other engine manufacturers have had.
And we, at McLaren Racing are on a recovery of our on-track performance as well.
So our first priority is to get this ambitious technical programme stabilized and then to push on into the season and push for race wins.
It's difficult to be very sure about how to answer the question of what are your predictions for 2015.
There are a number of established competitors at the front of the grid who I expect will continue to be very strong starting in 2015.
But we expect to be in that mixture in the season, racing at the front.
Eric Boullier: McLaren-Honda 2015
Well, a big huge part of the history of Formula One, especially so, McLaren, was obviously linked to McLaren Honda name, an iconic name, and is definitely a lot of memories for me.
But obviously lot of success on tracks.
Still the record for the number of wins over one season.
So a lot of pressure, but nice pressure and good challenge for the future.
So all what we changed on the MP4-30 was obviously the philosophy of the car, not the DNA.
McLaren DNA is still here, and will stay for long, I hope.
But our philosophy of designing the car, but how we handle, how we package a car, everything has changed, I guess.
Some people downstairs on shop floor, obviously, are very happy to say this is maybe one of the most exciting and best-ever built car for McLaren, which is already very flattering for all the organisation.
But we have to stay obviously grounded, and we need to see what's going to happen and our performance to or let's say how successful we will be.
Yeah, this concept of driver-friendly is maybe new and part of this new philosophy.
We are trying just to make sure we can give our driver's the ability to exploit the car to the limits, which means getting this performance package.
If you have a performing car and the driver can't drive it, it's obviously a waste.
So we just want to make sure the drivers, our drivers, can drive the car to the limit, which obviously means we will exploit to the limit.
And this is where this new philosophy is turning to.
Development is part of Formula One, and obviously as long as you stay in the frame of the regulation, you can do whatever you want.
So it's very key to develop obviously the performance of the car throughout the year.
We already know that the car, which is going to be seen during the launch, will be different from the car hitting the track during the testing, and obviously still very different from the car turning up in Melbourne.
So we will keep developing the car.
We know where we go, at least in the short-term view, and we want to keep to develop the car.
But it's the beginning of a new era, and obviously the potential is huge now - winner for the coming years, which is our target, to be very successful.
So we had to rebuild this platform and make sure we can develop based on this one.
“Without racing, there is no Honda”
With these words, founder Soichiro Honda famously illustrated the Japanese firm's utmost belief in, and dedication to, motorsport.
It's a message that has echoed through the ages: Honda first entered Formula 1 in 1964, it returned again in the 1980s, enjoying its greatest successes with McLaren and the legendary Ayrton Senna. A works Honda effort returned to the grid in 2006, Jenson Button most recently winning a race in one of its famous cream and red racing cars.
For 2015, Honda returns to the pinnacle of motorsport, reuniting with its most famous racing partner - McLaren. As before, the manufacturer will use motorsport's most exacting series as an intensive training ground for its engineers, their learning subsequently feeding back into the company on every level.
As well as vehicle and engine technology, the Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has a broad portfolio, ranging from motorcycles and power equipment to the HondaJet aeroplane and Honda Robotics, which designed and built the famous ASIMO humanoid robot. All of Honda's products and technologies have the singular aim of affordably bringing joy and excitement to millions of people across the world.
Carbon-fibre composite, incorporating driver controls and fuel cell
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
Carbon-fibre composite. including engine cover, sidepods, floor, nose, front wing and rear wing with driver-operated drag reduction system
Carbon-fibre wishbone and pushrod suspension elements operating inboard torsion bar and damper system
Carbon-fibre wishbone and pullrod suspension elements operating inboard torsion bar and damper system
Overall vehicle weight 702kg (including driver, excluding fuel).
Weight distribution between 45.5% and 46.5%
McLaren Applied Technologies. Including chassis control, power unit control, data acquisition, alternator, sensors, data analysis and telemetry
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
Akebono brake calipers and master cylinders
Akebono 'brake by wire' rear brake control system
Carbon discs and pads
Power-assisted rack and pinion
Pirelli P Zero
AkzoNobel Car Refinishes system using Sikkens products
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
Cylinders - Six
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
ExxonMobil High Performance Unleaded (5.75% bio fuel)
Mobil 1™ Engine Oil - High protection low friction lubricant and coolant, for high durability and improved fuel economy
Integrated Hybrid energy recovery via Motor Generator Units
Crankshaft coupled electrical MGU-K
Turbocharger coupled electrical MGU-H
Lithium-Ion battery, between 20 and 25 kg
Maximum energy storage, 4 MJ per lap
Maximum speed, 50,000 rpm
Maximum power, 120 kW
Maximum energy recovery, 2 MJ per lap
Maximum energy deployment, 4 MJ per lap
Maximum speed 125,000 rpm
Maximum power, unlimited
Maximum energy recovery, unlimited
Maximum energy deployment, unlimited
Carbon-fibre composite main case, longitudinally mounted
Eight forward and one reverse
Electro-hydraulically operated seamless shift
Epicyclic differential with multi-plate limited slip clutch
Electro-hydraulically operated, carbon multi-plate
Mobil 1 SHC™ Gear Oil - Low traction loss, high efficiency gear and bearing lubricant and coolant
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Get ready for the McLaren-Honda MP4-31
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Last update 29th January 2016
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