McLaren-Honda and Ferrari to launch online
MP4-30 to be unveiled on January 29, twenty-four hours before Ferrari release first images of their as-yet unnamed new car
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 09/01/15 3:03pm
Both McLaren-Honda and Ferrari will launch their 2015 cars online the week before the first pre-season test this winter.
The McLaren-Honda will be unveiled on Thursday January 29, twenty-four hours before Ferrari reveal their new charger.
While McLaren have confirmed their new car will be called the MP4-30, Ferrari are still yet to name their successor to the F14 T. However, Ferrari, who have appointed former world champions Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen as their driver line-up for 2015, have confirmed they will run at the four-day Jerez meet which starts on February 1. The team's new hierarchy admitted earlier this month they were braced for another tough season after "starting late with the 2015 car."
McLaren haven’t won a race since 2012 but are reuniting with Honda, with whom they dominated the sport in the late 1980s and early 1990s, for the new season. The team will also boast an all-champion driver line-up in the shape of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.
According to team boss Eric Boullier, the exclusive provision of Honda’s engines, elevating McLaren to the status of a ‘works teams’ after previously being powered by Mercedes, will be "a game changer".
Honda’s return to F1 has already proved controversial following a directive from the FIA excluding the newcomers from a loophole that will allow the three’s current engine suppliers to continue developing their engines beyond the anticipated homologation date of February 28.
"It is a significant disadvantage for Honda," said Sky F1 pundit Ted Kravitz. "Honda’s learning curve, because they are a new engine supplier, is going to be so much steeper than everyone else’s this year."
A hybrid version of McLaren’s 2014 charger, the MP4-29, ran in the two-day Abu Dhabi test at the end of November, but completed just five laps over two problematic days due to a myriad of hardware and software issues.
Force India are currently the only other team to have revealed their launch plans after scheduling a livery unveiling on January 21 in Mexico City, the base of their new sponsors America Movil.
The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary of all three winter tests, starting in Jerez on Sunday February 1, with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News HQ.