McLaren F1 changing car’s name following Ron Dennis’ departure

The 2017 McLaren F1 car will be called the MCL32, and is expected to feature some orange livery. (Photo: Steven Tee/LAT Photographic)
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McLaren has moved to further distance itself from the Ron Dennis era by changing the designation of its new F1 car – and dropping the reference to Project Four, the F2/F3 team that Dennis owned before he hooked up with McLaren.

The team originally used an ‘M’ designation for its F1, Indy, F5000, F2 and CanAm cars, which ended with the M30 used in 1980. After McLaren merged with Dennis’s nascent Project Four F1 team, the first carbon-chassised car of 1981 was called the MP4, in a reference to Marlboro Project Four.

The MP4 element was kept alive after Marlboro left all the way through to last year’s MP4-31. However, the team has decided to make a break with the past by calling its 2017 car the MCL32. In a nod to an earlier era, the car’s livery is expected to include some papaya orange, as used until the early seventies.

The name change was announced by the team on Twitter: