McLaren MP4-31 F1 Car Launch: 2016 Images and Details Released

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2016

SUZUKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 25:  Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren Honda and Jenson Button of Great Britain and McLaren Honda walk in the paddock during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on September 25, 2015 in Suzuka.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

McLaren have released images of the MP4-31, the car Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso will be driving in the 2016 Formula One season.

The team’s official Twitter feed posted the images of the vehicle on Sunday, as well as a video outlining the key features: 

Button and Alonso will be hoping it’s a car that yields greater results than they had to endure in 2015, as a string of reliability issues left the pair in 16th and 17th in the Drivers' Championship respectively. As a team, only minnows Marussia finished below McLaren in one of their worst seasons in the sport.

McLaren will give the MP4-31 its first public outing in Barcelona on Monday, with testing set to begin ahead of the 2016 season.

2015 was a very difficult year for the McLaren team.
2015 was a very difficult year for the McLaren team.Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Both Button and Alonso revealed they’re keen to get behind the wheel again having been impressed by the car for the upcoming campaign.

“I really can’t wait to take the wheel of the new MP4-31 tomorrow,” said Button, per the McLaren website. “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.”

“The aero package shows fantastic attention to detail,” added an impressed Alonso, also per the McLaren website. “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.”

Alonso posted the following on his Instagram account on Sunday, suggesting he’s a big fan of the new design:

With a former world champion behind the wheel of each car, there’s undeniable potential for McLaren to achieve big things in 2016. But it’s critical this term they have a vehicle that not only competes against the top constructors on the grid but is far more reliable when it comes to actually finishing races.

It’ll make McLaren one of the most intriguing teams to watch when testing gets under way, especially as 12 months ago there were foreboding signs for Button and Alonso in Barcelona, with the latter crashing on the final day. For the sport’s sake, it’d be wonderful to see this illustrious team competing for race wins again.