VIDEO: McLaren’ Release the MP4-31 for 2016 season

McLaren release their new 2016 challenger.

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.”

Mcalren MP4-31 sfront Mcalren MP4-31


MonocoqueCarbon-fibre composite, incorporating driver controls and fuel cell
Safety structuresCockpit survival cell incorporating impact resistant construction and anti-penetration panels, front impact structure, prescribed side impact structures, integrated rear impact structure, front and rear roll structures
BodyworkCarbon-fibre composite, including engine cover, sidepods, floor, nose, front wing and rear wing with driver-operated drag reduction system
Front suspensionCarbon-fibre wishbone and pushrod suspension elements operating inboard torsion bar and damper system
Rear suspensionCarbon-fibre wishbone and pullrod suspension elements operating inboard torsion bar and damper system
WeightOverall vehicle weight 702kg (including driver, excluding fuel)
Weight distribution between 45.5% and 46.5%
ElectronicsMcLaren Applied Technologies. Including chassis control, power unit control, data acquisition, sensors, data analysis and telemetry
InstrumentsMcLaren Applied Technologies dashboard
Greases & FluidsMobilith SHC™ 1500 Grease – High temperature drive-shaft tripod lubrication
Mobilith SHC™ 220 Grease – Low rolling resistance ceramic wheel bearing lubrication
Mobil SHC™ Hydraulic Oil – High pressure, high temperature hydraulic fluid used for chassis, transmission and power unit actuation
Brake systemAkebono brake calipers and master cylinders
Akebono ‘brake by wire’ rear brake control system
Carbon discs and pads
SteeringPower-assisted rack and pinion
TyresPirelli P Zero
Race wheelsEnkei
Garage RadioKenwood
PaintAkzoNobel Car Refinishes system using Sikkens products

Power Unit

Minimum weight145 kg
Primary PU componentsInternal Combustion Engine (ICE)
Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic (MGU-K)
Motor Generator Unit – Heat (MGU-H)
Energy Store (ES)
Control Electronics

Internal Combustion Engine

Capacity1.6 litres
Bank angle90 degree vee angle
No of valves24
Max speed15,000 rpm
Max fuel flow rate100 kg/hour (above 10,500 rpm)
Fuel consumption100 kg ‘lights to flag’ regulated fuel capacity limit
Fuel injectionDirect injection, single injector per cylinder, 500 bar max
Pressure chargingSingle-stage compressor and exhaust turbine, common shaft
FuelEsso™ High Performance Unleaded Race Fuel (5.75% bio fuel)
LubricantMobil 1™ Racing Oil – High protection low friction lubricant for high durability and improved fuel economy


Energy Recovery System

ArchitectureIntegrated Hybrid energy recovery via Motor Generator Units
Crankshaft coupled electrical MGU-K
Turbocharger coupled electrical MGU-H
Energy StoreLithium-Ion battery, between 20 and 25 kg
Maximum energy storage, 4 MJ per lap
MGU-KMaximum speed, 50,000 rpm
Maximum power, 120 kW
Maximum energy recovery, 2 MJ per lap
Maximum energy deployment, 4 MJ per lap
MGU-HMaximum speed 125,000 rpm
Maximum power, unlimited
Maximum energy recovery, unlimited
Maximum energy deployment, unlimited


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Classic Ronspeak from the second paragraph on. Great to have that back.


It is interesting to see the steps on the front of the chassis. Ferrari and Merc have smooth noses up to the driver white Haas and McLaren have one or more steps in that section. Often this is due to how the suspension is packaged. I would think you would want to avoid those harder bumps if at all possible.


I want to say that I recall ScarbsF1 saying that those bumps don’t impact the balance or aerodynamics of the car in any significant amount to warrant smoothing them out. This was a big talking point when the initial nose regulations that brought us these “step-noses” was instated. Smoothing them probably has some affect, but probably more to the aesthetics then to the performance of the car. Then again, I’m no engineer, just a programmer.


The video’s thumbnail really points out the attention McLaren’s engineers took to the aerodynamics around the pylons that hold the front wing to the nose. There appears to be some bare metal for possibly reinforcing that tiny tiny point of connection to the wing. Beautiful.