Compare McLaren’s new MP4-31 with their 2015 car

2016 F1 season

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The first pictures of McLaren’s MP4-31 have been revealed by the team.

See what changes the team has made for its 2016 design with these interactive images.

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2016 McLaren MP4-31 and 2015 McLaren MP4-30: Top view

2016 McLaren MP4-31 and 2015 McLaren MP4-30: Side view

2016 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Compare McLaren’s new MP4-31 with their 2015 car”

  1. It’s the same car with out red at the front

    1. I hope its not the same engine :P

      1. Until Barcelona, it is.

        1. You mean that they’re gonna change the livery?

    2. Its not actually, use the slider on the bottom one (side view). Its not as bulky plus longer.

      1. @Alex , it’s not longer, all F1 cars are the same width and length, it’s the different image that give the impression.

    3. Apart from the lower, shorter front nose, the slimmer rearwing, the wider rear platform, the longer engine cover, the lower chassis, the large air box.

      Yeah it’s the same car.

      1. The nose is like the one they used in 2015 after Silverstone

        1. Not the wing. The nose.

    4. It does look remarkable similar to the MP4-30 that ran in AD. The rear suspension has definitely changed again, there is no longer the arm connecting to the rear of the crash structure, it seems to have been moved join the side pod further forwards that the other rear suspension elements .

      The intake on airbox certainly looks a little smaller vs the MP4-30 (I know it very hard to judge when the angels and distance of the pictures are obviously different between last years car and this years car) I hope this means that Honda have sorted there issues this season.

      1. Those angels man :P

        But yeah, didn’t they say they were running a lot of 2016 parts in Abu Dhabi?

  2. The part that connects the front tyres to the car (wishbones?) are much thicker for some reason. Won’t this just obstruct more airflow?

    1. They will be shaped as aerodynamic devices, basically it’s a rules loophole that lets them make the suspension into little wings.

    2. @mashiat It’s counter intuitive, but that’s not how it works. The main reason (in my view) why wishbones are shaped like wings is not to generate downforce or condition airflow downstream, it is to reduce drag. Wing profiles generate many times less drag than a cilinder, where the cilinder diameter is equal to the wing’s thickness. The reason for this is that a wing generates a much smaller wake region than a cilinder. The wake pressure aft of an object is less than the flow pressure fore of the object, resulting in a net pressure force towards downstream. This is called pressure drag, and is that you definitely want to minimze. Of course, wings have larger surface area than cilinders, and thus have more of what is called viscous (friction) drag, but you can engineer a solution that will minimize the total ammount of drag, and that solution is a wing profile of some description.

      For anyone with an interest in the subject, I highly recommend the series of videos made by the National Committe for Fluid Mechanics Videos.

      1. Don’t the rules say that the suspension parts must be “aerodynamically neutral”? As in they can condition the airflow further downstream but can’t generate downforce themselves because then they would become movable aerodynamic pieces?
        Just asking

        1. @eoin16 umm, the user above you, @guilherme, answered your question

  3. The biggest visible difference is the engine cover. Honda and Mclaren said they kept the size zero but it seems its about size 0.5… I’m no expert or engineer but I’m just base my conclusion on the pictures on Ferrari and Merc.. overlay them in photoshop, scale to match each tire because we are sure that tires are of the same dimension… from that you can see that Mclaren is only marginally smaller than the other two. I hope that if they lost the size advantage, they will make it up for the power output.

    1. Fudge Ahmed (@)
      21st February 2016, 15:37

      Yes I noticed that right away, the coke bottle shape is much less tapered and is more apparent if you whack up the brightness on the new car overlay. So they have definitely made a packaging concession let’s hope it’s for a big power gain.

  4. Ok, this era is reaching maturity because everybody is trying to implement the ideas that have been approved on track, particularly the nose. The variety of looks seen two years ago is no longer here.

    1. Although some were unsightly, I wish they kept the rules open on the noses from 2014. More variety and more downforce.

  5. The new car has seatbelts now. Also I see what looks like louvres in the floor either side of the coke bottle.

  6. Wow!! How heavily polished is the 2016 car, you can see the reflection of the markings on the tyre. And they go more ‘this is spinal tap’ with the paint job, not quite there yet but almost in the ‘none more blacker’ category

  7. the side profile is off quite a bit. you can see the top of the car in last year’s model. wow, the nose is a lot shorter. and the cockpit seems further back as well (from the side at least)?

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