McLaren reveals bold new MCL32 challenger

Tom Howard

Friday 24th February, 2017 - 11:35pm

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The McLaren MCL32

McLaren has taken the covers off its bold new MCL32 which will contest the 2017 Formula 1 season.

The Woking squad revealed its latest challenger in a new striking orange, black and white livery which harks back to the team’s 1960s roots.

McLaren’s new look arrives following a restructure which has seen American businessman Zak Brown take up the role of executive director following the departure of long time boss Ron Dennis.

The MCL32 will be driven by double F1 world champion Fernando Alonso and 2015 GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne, who replaces Jenson Button.

Launched at the McLaren Technology Centre, the car also features a shark fin engine cover similar to those seen on the Ferrari, Sauber, Renault and Force India cars launched this week.

“I think it’s a beautiful piece of art,”  said Brown.

“We went through a variety of designs and ultimately this was in response to fans.

“We had so much outreach from fans saying ‘we want to have some orange’.”

The former world champion team has struggled for form in recent seasons with the squad’s last race win arriving back in 2012.

McLaren showed signs of recovery last year by finishing sixth in the Constructors’ standings after claiming a woeful ninth in 2015 when it rejuvenated a partnership with Honda.

Brown is however hopeful the team will make further progress in closing the gap to the top operations.

“This team is highly frustrated that we’re not winning races,” Brown added.

“We’ve got a new package and these things take time.

“2016 wasn’t a great year by McLaren’s standards but it was forward progress and that’s what we need to see in 2017.

“Once we get there, we’ll be pretty hard to knock back down.”

Encouraged by the new MCL32, Alonso admits the team still faces a challenging season ahead.

“What I’ve seen of the MCL32 appears to be really promising, the new regulations seem to be well thought-out, and the cars look fast and aggressive,” said Alonso.

“The look of the car makes me really want to get in the cockpit.

“I’ve lost none of that all-important hunger every Formula 1 driver needs. Training over the winter has gone well. I worked really hard and I can’t wait to get going in the car as I say.

“We still think the start of the season will be a challenge.

“We can’t ignore the fact that we’re still coming from a significant step behind the current front-runners, but I’d like to think we can target the second half of the year as a time when we’ll really be able to start making useful performance steps.

“The aim is to look respectable this year – and I’d like to think we can achieve that.”

The MCL32 will be in action at next week’s Barcelona pre-season test from February 27-March 2.

VIDEO: McLaren launches the new MCL32

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