The 2018 McLaren MCL33 is an evolution of the car from last year and dawn’s the papaya orange livery, taking cues from the fans. The 2018 McLaren uses a Renault sourced power unit.

Mclaren recently launched its latest iteration of their Formula 1 challenger named MCL33. The 2018 F1 contender is now powered by a Renault sourced power unit, a first during company’s 52 years in racing, and a result of the team’s troubled partnership with Honda that ended at the end of the 2017 season. In fact, the move saw a major reshuffle across the grid as organisers made some serious changes to the team’s and driver line-ups in order to keep Honda in the sport. The 2018 McLaren MCL33, as a result, is expected to be a lot more durable and faster than its predecessor.

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The new car features a striking new papaya orange and blue colour scheme, a dramatic change from last year Orange and Black. The new livery is inspired by the 1968 F1 car driven by Bruce McLaren himself. Talking about the new livery, Executive Director Zak Brown said, “Our return to a papaya orange livery for this year wasn’t simply an emotional decision; it demonstrates that we are listening to our fans, building deeper engagement with them and the Formula 1 community as a whole.”

The MCL33 will be driven by Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, who reprise their roles this season. While it’ll be Alonso’s fourth consecutive season with McLaren, Stoffel will look forward to make a mark in his second Season of F1.

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The switch to Renault from Honda is expected to give McLaren an edge in engine power they were long lacking. Last season saw McLaren facing several problems including stalled engines, breakdowns and outright power. On the outside, changes include the now compulsory Halo cockpit safety device and upgrades to the chassis. The MCL33 chassis itself is actually an evolution on last year’s MCL32.

When asked about the new car, Alonso said, “If we’re able to develop the key strengths of last year’s chassis and marry it to an improved Renault power unit, then I think we’ll be able to take a step forwards. The car certainly looks very neat and well thought-out, and I think the new colour looks really great; really eye-catching.”

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Eric Boullier, McLaren Racing Director told the press, “The design, engineering and aerodynamic departments have done an incredible job delivering a new car with a new power unit in an extremely short timeframe. We never took the easy route or looked to shortcut a process or a solution; and the result is a car that is neat and well-resolved.

That said, the season has begun with mixed Emmy for McLaren. The MCL33 made its track debut at Barcelona on February 26, 2018 for pre-testing with Alonso behind the steering. The testing had to be cut short to six-laps though due to the the rear wheel coming off on the car. The incident, McLaren has described as a minor one with no major damage to the car. Certainly hope that’s the last of the British outfits troubles for the year.