Coming off the back of one of its worst seasons in Formula 1, McLaren enters 2016 with hopes of a revival. With one of the most experienced line-ups on the grid and a rich heritage, can the new season bring better things?
TEAM: McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team
CAR: McLaren MP4-31
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Drivers’ Championship Positions: 16th (Jenson Button); 17th (Fernando Alonso)
Constructors’ Championship Position: 9th
22. Jenson Button (GBR)
14. Fernando Alonso (ESP)
2015 TEAM RECAP
2013 and 2014 may have been disappointments for McLaren, but 2015 was a total nightmare. Honda’s arrival failed to remedy the issues the team had faced in its final Mercedes years, with a number of issues with the power unit limiting McLaren to a paltry haul of 27 points from the entire season. Reliability was the biggest sticking point, leaving both Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso frustrated on a regular basis. The storm was weathered in the end, but 2015 acted as a new low point for one of F1’s proudest teams.
It can’t get any worse than 2015 for McLaren… can it? In short, probably not. Honda appears to have made some major breakthroughs with its engine for the new season. It won’t be Mercedes-esque or perhaps even on a par with Ferrari or Renault, but the fact that McLaren will be able to compelte a full qualifying lap at full power with no major issues is something. Racing director Eric Boullier has set his sights on the team regularly featuring in the Q3 shootout, suggesting regular points may be on the cards. Will that be enough to keep Alonso and Button happy though?