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Alonso and Button realistic over development of McLaren MP4-30

29 Jan 2015

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have expressed excitement about getting behind the wheel of McLaren’s newly unveiled MP4-30, though both are acutely aware that developing the Honda-powered machine will not be easy.

Alonso, who re-joined McLaren from Ferrari over the winter, said that he’s prepared for possible teething problems when he gets the Woking team’s pre-season test programme underway in Spain on Sunday. 

McLaren have only ever run Honda’s brand-new RA615H Hybrid power unit once previously, in an interim car during a disrupted test at Abu Dhabi last November.

“Of course, we’re prepared for a steep learning curve, but it’s clear to see that inside McLaren-Honda there’s total commitment, and a real change in feeling, as we start this new partnership,” explained Alonso.

“Our first target will be to learn the maximum from the car at the pre-season tests, understand the package, and extract as much performance as possible. That won’t be easy or trouble-free, but we’re ready for that. Why? Because our key focus will be on development. 

“Historically, McLaren has already been characterised by its ability to bring updates to the car quickly, and develop a strong package.” 

Despite the hard work that lies ahead, Alonso emphasised that his motivation for the new season ‘could not be stronger’, a feeling echoed by new team mate Button. 

“I’ve trained hard over the winter, and I’m absolutely itching to get going in the new McLaren-Honda MP4-30,” said the 2009 world champion, who will take over driving duties from Alonso on day two at Jerez.

“It’s been interesting to spend time in the factory during the past few weeks: you can really sense a feeling of reignited optimism and positivity around the building. 

I’ve never seen such motivation amongst the guys - we’re all massively keen to get going in Jerez and to work hard on developing our new car. But we’re under no illusion that it will be easy - there’s a huge challenge ahead of us to try to pull back the gap to our rivals, but we’re certainly up for it. 

“We ended last season with great momentum and clear progress, and I’m determined to carry that forward into 2015.”

In December McLaren chairman and CEO Ron Dennis described the pairing of Alonso and Button as "by an order of magnitude the best driver line-up of any current Formula One team". Between them the experienced duo have started 500 Grands Prix, winning 47 races and three world drivers’ titles.