McLaren-Honda came in to the F1 Spanish Grand Prix with renewed confidence, thanks largely in part to a livery change of the MP4-30 and several important updates. Although the car remained quite similar on technical specifications from the first four races, McLaren did implement some updates to the MP4-30 to bring further gains to both chassis and power unit.
The team is quietly hoping to capture its first points at the Catalan race this weekend. Fernando Alonso came so close to securing a point for McLaren but an eleventh place finish at the Bahrain GP just wasn’t enough. Regardless, Alonso is looking forward to his home race with great optimism, “My home Grand Prix is always very special. The Spanish fans are really passionate about Formula 1 and the Circuit de Catalunya is very enjoyable to drive; it’s a great place to kick off the European season. Let’s hope we can put on a good show.”
Jenson Button didn’t even start the race at Manama last time out due to an electronic fault. This time around, the 2009 F1 Champion hopes to jump right back into a potential hunt for McLaren-Honda’s first points of the season. “We’ve been working flat-out since the last race to improve the performance of the MP4-30, both the chassis and the power unit. Barcelona will be a good track to test our package as it’s a challenging circuit with every type of corner,” Button explained. “I really enjoy driving on this circuit – it’s high-speed and really tests the balance of the car, so we’ll be working to get that right as soon as we get out on track. There’s a huge amount of positivity in the team and all of us are working hard for better results in each race. Although we won’t be fighting for victory in Barcelona, I know I can count on the support of the fans to bring even more motivation during the whole weekend, which will be very special.”
For the record, McLaren have had rather impressive results here at the Catalan track with 8 wins, 8 poles and 7 fastest laps since 1976.
McLaren’s new-liveried MP4-30 has taken up a darker shade compared to the initial MP4-30 launch edition. The top of the engine cover and top of nose cone now have glossy black finishes, instead of silver. The blackened MP4-30 gives an impression of a more menacing outlook, as well as add an appealing factor to the package.