Driven by double world champion Fernando Alonso, 2009 world champion Jenson Button, as well as stand-in driver Kevin Magnussen, the MP4-30 was McLaren’s 2015 challenger. Designed by Tim Goss and Neil Oatley, the MP4-30 was the first McLaren since 1992’s MP4/7A to be powered by a Honda engine, as both companies sought a return to the glory days of the late 80s and early 90s.
The car was nicknamed the "size-zero Formula 1 car" by the team for its sharply tapered rear end, which was shrink-wrapped around the incredibly compact power unit. The MP4-30’s chassis featured an exaggerated “coke bottle” shape around the engine and transmission, aiding airflow to the diffuser, wings and other downforce-generating devices at the back of the car.
Pre-season testing was difficult, with the new Honda engine suffering from a series of recurring mechanical faults and McLaren completed the least mileage among the teams present. After day one of testing, McLaren had only managed seven laps but, by day two, Button managed to cover over one hundred. However, with two weeks until the opening race, the MP4-30’s longest stint of continuous running was only 12 laps – less than a quarter of a full race distance. Pre-season issues were overshadowed by an accident on the final day of testing that saw Alonso hospitalised with a concussion that would force him to miss the first race of the season.
With Alonso side-lined for the opening race in Australia, Kevin Magnussen stepped in, though his engine failed on the out lap and he didn’t make it to the start. Button reached the race’s conclusion as the final classified finisher, but the engine’s performance was just not strong enough. Button was clocked travelling 13mph (21km/h) slower than the fastest car on track through the speed trap. Alonso returned for the second race in Malaysia, but the MP4-30’s reliability continued to prove problematic, with both cars ultimately failing to finish in Malaysia. Button didn’t start in Bahrain and Alonso retired from four races in a row, though one was due to a collision with Kimi Raikkonen. The first points of the season came in Monaco as Button guided the car to an eighth-place finish before double retirements in Canada and Austria brought the team back down to earth. Alonso claimed a single point at Silverstone before McLaren attained their best result of the year: Alonso finishing fifth and Button achieving ninth in the Hungarian Grand Prix. It was the only double points finish the team would achieve during the season and Alonso achieved the impressive feat of finishing ahead of the dominant Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Four disappointing races followed, including another double retirement in Singapore, before Button claimed points in Russia and the USA. McLaren’s season then petered out as it claimed no more points in the final three races.
By the end of the season, the MP4-30 had scored just 27 points, leaving McLaren ninth in the constructors' championship.
This fine 1:12 scale model of the Fernando Alonso's McLaren MP4-30 Nosecone has been handcrafted and finished in our workshops with the co-operation and assistance of the manufacturer regarding original finishes, materials, archive imagery and drawings. The use of supremely accurate digital scanning of the original car has allowed us to perfectly recreate every detail at scale. Furthermore, it has undergone detailed scrutiny by both engineering and design teams to ensure complete accuracy of representation.
This model is one of many in our collection of miniature nosecones.