Sunday, 21 February 2016

McLaren-Honda unveil the MP4/31

Image Courtesy McLaren-Honda 

McLaren-Honda unveil the MP4-31, ahead of the first all-team test, which will begin in Barcelona tomorrow. 

The striking and innovative MP4-31 chassis integrates the new Honda RA616H power unit, developed exclusively for the team. 

Although a high level of continuity in Formula 1’s technical regulations has enabled the team to strengthen and mature many of the design concepts developed on last year’s McLaren-Honda MP4-30, the new car also incorporates a significant number of all-new innovations. The result is a balance of remarkably elegant aerodynamic solutions with a highly space-efficient integration of Honda’s new-for-2016 power unit. 

While McLaren’s race team has spent an extremely busy few months developing the MP4-31 right up to the very tight deadline dictated by the truncated modern off-season, its marketing team has also enjoyed a very strong winter, announcing a raft of prestigious new commercial deals to add to a roster of equally valued existing partners. 

Joining McLaren-Honda’s partner group for 2016 will be the world-renowned luxury watch brand Richard Mille, which commences a 10-year marketing, branding and licensing collaboration. 

Global luxury goods giant LVMH will continue its long unbroken association with the team, through its premium sparkling wine brand Chandon, whose rising-star identity will adorn both the MP4-31 and the drivers’ race suits. 

Other important and valuable recent acquisitions include a brand-new haulage supplier, Volvo Trucks, and a brand-new technical services provider, IT Lab, while official services supplier ISS has renewed and extended its partnership. Also, official electronic communications supplier Kenwood celebrates 25 years as a McLaren partner this year. Finally, 2016 marks the second year of a 10-year alliance with KPMG. 

In addition to the aforementioned acquisitions and renewals, McLaren-Honda is once again privileged to count on the loyal support of an impressive portfolio of partners old and new, including Johnnie Walker, SAP, Hilton Worldwide, CNN, Santander, GSK, Mazak, AkzoNobel Sikkens, Segafredo Zanetti, Akebono, Norton Rose Fulbright, Enkei, Repucom, Sparco, Maxi Nutrition, Asics and TechnoGym. 

Last but very far from least, McLaren-Honda’s preparations for 2016 have once again benefitted enormously from the unrivalled resources and expertise of ExxonMobil, which is celebrating 22 years of partnership with McLaren this year. ExxonMobil’s engineers, together with their counterparts at Honda, have been tirelessly developing pioneering new technologies and formulations of Esso fuels and Mobil 1 lubricants for the all-new Honda RA616H V6 turbo power unit, and Mobilube 1 SHC racing gear oil for McLaren’s bespoke eight-speed gearbox. 

Importantly, the size and calibre of our partner roster – and its collective commitment to the team – underscores the confidence that all at McLaren have in our journey back to the podium. 

Fernando Alonso (#14) said: “The start of a new season is always a special feeling, characterised by a lot of anticipation for the year ahead. This year is no different: I’m excited and raring to go. 

“Last year the spotlight was very much on McLaren-Honda as we embarked on the first year of our renewed partnership. It was a tricky season for all of us, but we learned a hell of a lot. 

“Likewise, it’s been a very productive winter for me. I’ve been training extremely hard, as usual, but also enjoying time with my family, and keeping tabs on all the hard work going on at the McLaren Technology Centre, Woking, where the McLaren guys have been doing an incredible job to get everything ready in time. The Honda boys have been working flat-out in Sakura, too. 

“The aero package shows fantastic attention to detail. The whole car is beautiful in fact – it’s particularly nicely packaged from an aerodynamic point of view as I say – and I’m 100 per cent ready for the challenge ahead.” 

Jenson Button (#22) said: “I really can’t wait to take the wheel of the new MP4-31 tomorrow. All Formula 1 drivers need a winter break, but I’m massively excited to get started on the 2016 season now, and I have to say the brand-new McLaren-Honda MP4-31 really looks the part.

“Moreover, having spent quite a bit of time at the McLaren Technology Centre recently, I can tell you that there’s a huge amount of palpable positive energy there at the moment, despite the challenging yet steep learning curve we all travelled along in 2015.  

“In fact, the immense amount of sheer hard work that has gone into the development of the MP4-31 over the winter makes me immensely proud, and consequently I go into the new season with even more motivation and belief. 

“Despite the ups and downs we saw last year, there were steady improvements all year long, and that gives us confidence in the design direction we’re taking. There are a lot of positives we can build on, and a strong platform to take forward. I’m not about to make any over-optimistic predictions – Formula 1 is far too unpredictable for me to do that – but, from what I’ve seen so far, the aero detailing on the car looks fantastic, and I’m really looking forward to beginning the process of testing those new innovations when I get behind the wheel tomorrow.” 

Ron Dennis (Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Technology Group) said: “As we embark on the second year of our renewed McLaren-Honda partnership, all of us remain united in our purpose. That purpose is to develop our team towards our shared ambition: to win. 

“We’ll make no predictions as to when those wins will come, but I can say without fear of contradiction that every member of our team has worked with truly relentless dedication over the past few months. The result is that MP4-31’s developmental trajectory has been usefully steepened over the winter, and I’m consequently very proud of our team’s efforts. 

“We remain resolute in our commitment to our goals, and we maintain an indefatigable commitment to the winning potential of a full works team. Believe me: the full works backing of a multinational automotive manufacturer is the only platform from which real success in modern Formula 1 can be achieved. As McLaren-Honda, therefore, we’ve vowed to work together, and to win together, and that determination has become further cemented as our relationship has deepened through the shared challenges we faced last year. 

“We have the best driver line-up in the sport. We have an engineering team that has been meticulously hand-picked, restructured, guided and inspired; the blend of technical skill-sets and attitudinal mind-sets we now possess are fit-for-purpose and state-of-the-art. And, thanks to the relationships we’ve nurtured with a hugely impressive roster of loyal and powerful partners, our commercial position is equally robust.” 

Eric Boullier (Racing Director, McLaren Racing) said: “First of all, we must recognise the very hard work performed over the past few months by everyone in Woking, Sakura and Milton Keynes. 

“The guys have shown intense dedication throughout the winter period, and the result is that they’ve successfully kept our aggressive build and development programmes on schedule. As such, all our team members are a credit to McLaren-Honda, and consequently we’re incredibly grateful to everyone involved in the development of the MP4-31. 

“But we’re never satisfied, which is why we’ve continued to strengthen our engineering team in recent weeks and months, and we’re confident that the changes we’ve made will improve and accelerate our car-development progress in the future. 

“So the two Barcelona tests will merely herald the continuation of the huge collaborative task that all departments have been engaged in during the off-season. We’ll be aiming to spend the four days of the first test carefully and methodically: extracting the maximum from the time available, and concentrating our efforts on proving out our central systems, operational procedures and electronics checks. We’ll need to verify our work in the garage before we can expect any miracles on track – essentially, to ensure we walk before we can run. After all, testing is just that: testing. 

“But be assured, we’re motivated and determined, and we’re pulling together.”

Yasuhisa Arai (Senior Managing Officer and Chief Officer of Motorsport, Honda R&D Co Ltd) said: "From the start of tomorrow’s testing, the second season of McLaren-Honda’s new adventure begins. It was a short winter break, but nonetheless Honda was able to make the most of the off-season in preparation for 2016, strengthening our team and working tirelessly alongside the McLaren and ExxonMobil engineers. 

“Learning from last year, we’ve made changes to the compressor and other hardware of the power unit during the break, maturing our overall concept from last year. Our focus will be to test the car’s balance with the new chassis and power unit, and specifically the ERS direction during the eight days of winter testing. 

“We won’t know exactly where we stand until we reach the end of the two tests, but we’re looking forward to getting back on track, gathering data, and feeding back the information to our engineers so as to prepare for Melbourne and onwards. 

“It’s good to be back.”

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Nobuharu Matsushita named as test and development driver at McLaren-Honda

Image Courtesy of McLaren-Honda 

McLaren-Honda announces Nobuharu Matsushita as test and development driver. 

The Japanese driver will focus on simulator support and engineering work to underline the efforts of our race drivers, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, as well as reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne. 

His appointment showcases the collaboration that exists between McLaren Racing and Honda to discover, train and give opportunity to young and promising racing drivers. The 22-year-old won the All-Japan Formula 3 Championship in 2014 then graduated to GP2 for 2015 – racing for ART Grand Prix, alongside eventual champion Vandoorne. 

In ’16, he hopes to endorse his credentials with a tilt at the 2016 GP2 title, which he will again contest with ART. 

“This season I am ecstatic to be joining the McLaren-Honda F1 team as a test and development driver,” said Matsushita. “To step into the world of Formula 1 fulfils a boyhood dream, and is a huge step forward in my career. I will do the utmost to help the race team on the track, by gathering data to feed back into the development and set-up of the car through simulator work. 

“Last year’s GP2 Series season was a steep learning curve for me,” he added. “It was my first year racing in Europe – but, thankfully, my experiences with Honda’s young driver programme meant I was well prepared for the task ahead. 

“As a GP2 Series driver, my sole focus for 2016 is to win the championship. I believe that I have the best package around me to succeed and reach my ultimate goal of becoming a Formula 1 driver.” 

McLaren-Honda racing director Eric Boullier added: “Nobu’s first season racing in Europe showed great promise – he produced some extremely impressive performances, and with experience and consistency, will surely build on that potential in 2016. His position as a McLaren-Honda test and development driver will be extremely important – he’ll underline and corroborate the learning we acquire at the track, and will play a key role in improving our performance throughout 2016.”

Friday, 19 February 2016

Williams reveal the 2016 FW38 challenger

Courtesy Williams Martini Racing
The new Williams Mercedes FW38 was unveiled today ahead of the first pre-season test in Barcelona, Spain next week.

For a third successive season the iconic red, white and blue stripes of WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING will be lining up on the Formula One grid, with the team looking to build on a successful 2015 season that resulted in four podiums and a third place finish in the Constructors’ Championship.

Commenting on the new FW38 Sir Frank Williams, Founder and Team Principal, said; “Williams has started to cement our position back amongst the front running teams after finishing third in the Championship in the past two seasons. This has been a great achievement given the resources of those around us. Staying where we are will be a challenge in itself, but we are determined to keep improving because only winning will ever be good enough. 

“We have a very stable team going into 2016, with Felipe and Valtteri teaming up for a third successive season. They work well together and both have the ideal blend of speed and consistency. Our technical team has also remained very consistent which will be to our advantage and we have some of the best engineering minds on the grid at our disposal.   

“We have a busy couple of weeks of testing coming up to learn more about our package and to refine the car ahead of the first race. We will have to wait until Melbourne to find out exactly where we stand in the pecking order but I’m confident that our hard work over the winter will stand us in good stead.”

Felipe Massa added; “Securing third in the Constructors’ Championship for two consecutive years is a great achievement and one that comes with a lot of expectation - a momentum which I am excited to build on going into the new season. The team at the factory have worked really hard on the new car and we have spent a lot of time understanding where we need to improve. I have a lot of confidence in the team at Williams and I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the FW38 to see how it performs. I’m equally delighted to be teammates with Valtteri for another year. He is a very talented driver who brings a lot to the team.”

Valtteri Bottas, who is about to embark on his fourth season in Formula One with Williams, said: “This is always a really interesting and exciting time of the year because we have a new car and we can’t wait to get it out on track to see how it feels and how fast it is. It’s been a good winter and from what I’ve seen we seem to be headed in a good direction with this car. Testing next week will be our chance to see how our performance has improved since the last race. The development of the FW38 has been all positive in theory, now we just need to see it on track.

“As a team we need to be able to win races, which is what we are always trying to do. I’m sure we have made improvements everywhere as a team, so we’re definitely looking to fight for better results this year. I’d like to thank everyone at the factory for their hard work over the winter in getting the car ready.”

Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, concluded. “2016 promises to be a very competitive year in Formula One and there will be a number of strong teams who have us in their sights. We are confident that we have made a step forward over the winter and that the FW38 will build on the strengths of the FW37 and address some of its weaknesses. We started design work on the car earlier than normal and hopefully this extra development time will stand us in good stead.

“The car we are launching today is by no means the final product. We are already planning updates for Melbourne and will be pushing for constant improvements over the course of the season. Williams enters 2016 in a strong place. We have a great team of people and over the past two years we have started to regain our competitive edge. Now we need to build on that and take this team back to where we all want it to be.”

The FW38 will take to the track for the first time on 22nd February for eight days of testing that concludes on 4th March. The season officially gets under way at the first race in Melbourne, Australia, on 20th March. 

Williams Mercedes FW38 Technical Specification 
Chassis construction: Monocoque construction laminated from carbon epoxy and honeycomb surpassing FIA impact and strength requirements

Front suspension: Double wishbone, push-rod activated springs and anti-roll bar

Rear suspension: Double wishbone, pull-rod activated springs and anti-roll bar

Transmission: Williams eight speed seamless sequential semi-automatic shift plus reverse gear, gear selection electro-hydraulically actuated

Clutch: Carbon multi-plate

Dampers: Williams

Wheels: Aptech forged magnesium

Tyres: Pirelli, Fronts: 245/660-13, Rears: 325/660-13

Brake system: AP 6 piston front and 4 piston rear calipers with carbon discs and pads

Steering: Williams power assisted rack and pinion

Fuel system: ATL Kevlar-reinforced rubber bladder

Electronic systems: FIA SECU standard electronic control unit

Cooling system: Aluminium oil, water and gearbox radiators

Cockpit: Six point driver safety harness with 75mm shoulder straps & HANS system, removable anatomically formed carbon fibre seat

Power Unit: Mercedes-Benz PU106C Hybrid , Internal Combustion Engine : Capacity 1.6 litres, Cylinders Six, Bank angle 90, No of valves 24, Max rpm ICE 15,000 rpm, Max fuel flow rate 100 kg/hour (above 10,500 rpm)

Fuel injection: High-pressure direct injection (max 500 bar, one injector/cylinder), Pressure charging Single-stage compressor and exhaust turbine on a common shaft, Max rpm exhaust turbine 125,000 rpm 

ERS: Mercedes AMG HPP

Dimensions & weight: Weight: FIA Minimum, Overall length: 5000mm, Overall height: 950mm, Overall width: 1800mm

Saturday, 13 February 2016

'Welcome' - By Jake Davis


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Thursday, 28 January 2016

'Training' - By Jake Davis


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'Sprinklers' - By Chris Rathbone


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Thursday, 21 January 2016

'Discount engines' - By Chris Rathbone


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Monday, 18 January 2016

'Cruising' - By Jake Davis


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Thursday, 14 January 2016

'Money vs Talent'?? - By Jake Davis


This fantastic weekly F1 Toon was designed and created by Jake Davis Creative. Prints are available in sizes A4, A3 and A2. Commissions are also available. If you would like to order a PRINT of this fantastic F1 Toon feel free to contact him via:
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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

'Bye bye BBC' - By Jake Davis




This fantastic weekly F1 Toon was designed and created by Jake Davis Creative. Prints are available in sizes A4, A3 and A2. Commissions are also available. If you would like to order a PRINT of this fantastic F1 Toon feel free to contact him via:
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