CAR: McLaren-Honda MP4/30 - Back To The Past,

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Title : CAR: McLaren-Honda MP4/30 - Back To The Past,
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CAR: McLaren-Honda MP4/30 - Back To The Past,


First, you must watch this video:

OK, now you've had the same... "experience" as me. You're allowed to see the new McLaren F1 car now:

This is it. After years of speculation, the new McLaren-Honda looks like this. Yes, the new nose is sensible and smooth and not at all phallic, unlike last year's car. That's good. The rear half of the car is also narrower, which is a sign of good packaging and good for aerodynamics. So maybe they'll be more competitive than last year when they had their second win-less season in a row.

However, we have to talk about liveries.

Obviously, "McLaren-Honda" evokes images of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in white cars with day-glo red sections of Marlboro colours on them. A lot of nostalgic people and people who've seen Senna the movie were hoping for something similar (minus the now-illegal tobacco sponsorship). I, on the other hand, was hoping for something a bit more original, or perhaps even something reaching back to when McLaren started in the 1960s, when kiwi Bruce McLaren used bright orange paint (this is why the 12C and P1 were presented in orange, if you didn't know).

Yet, somehow, when choosing between 1965 and 1985, the people and/or droids working at McLaren who decide these things wound up paying homage to...... 2005.

2005 McLaren-Mercedes MP4-20
Explain to me how that makes any sense. Seeing as originality these days is off the table (Force India have bizarrely also taken inspiration from the '05 McLaren...), I don't understand how they could've got it so wrong. 2005 wasn't a terrible year for the Surrey-based team - they got a smattering of wins and came 2nd in the constructor's championship behind the dominant Renault - but it does seem like a strange thing to do, especially when we had heard that Honda wanted McLaren to get rid of silver as it's too reminiscent of their ex engine suppliers Mercedes. The day-glo red that might have referenced their dominance of the '80s has instead been used in a way they only recently stopped using it. Lewis Hamilton's 2008 title-winning car also sported this colour scheme when McLaren were sponsored by Vodafone. So it looks like it's sponsored by a selection of companies that don't sponsor it.

Foot, meet bullet.

What's more, this is ANOTHER monochrome-with-stripes livery, just like the other three cars we've seen already from Williams, Force India and Lotus. What's wrong with using colours?! Why should we have to tell teams apart by their stripes, and struggle even to do that? It's a load of crap!

Here's the grid from 2004:

Granted, there are still some black and/or white teams, but they're balanced out by the bright yellow Jordan, racing-green Jaguar (remember that?), blue & yellow works Renault and many-blues Sauber, plus of course the perennial flash of Rosso Corsa from the Italians. What's more, the white Toyota and Williams had huge splashes of vibrant colour on top, and the black-base McLaren and Minardi also used large sections of white and coloured highlights, similar to Force India now. So even the largely colourless liveries were at least fuller liveries than the two-striped Williams or plain-Jane Lotus of 2015.

My point is, we need more varied colours, dammit! Get your paints out! Use some imagination! The best thing McLaren could've done for the MP4/30 is to paint it bright orange, maybe with some tastefully applied Championship White stripes or highlights to honour their engine supplier. Instant visual impact! Instead it will, at best, be the other way around, in white with orange highlights.

Should we only be able to tell teams apart by their stripes? I say no!

Hopefully though, those stripes and the pure power of nostalgia (oh, an Honda's engine-building mastery) can help Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso go faster and regularly stand on the podium where they both thoroughly belong.

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