- Scale guide
Driven by the returning 2005/2006 Double World Champion Fernando Alonso, 2009 World Champion Jenson Button and stand-in driver Kevin Magnussen, the MP4-30 was McLaren’s participant in the 2015 Formula One season. Designed by Tim 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/early 90s.
The car was nicknamed the "size-zero Formula One car" by the team for its distinct 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’s distance. Pre-season issues were overshadowed by an accident on the final day of testing that saw Alonso hospitalised with a concussion and would miss the first race of the season. Alonso blamed a steering malfunction although McLaren still maintain that the telemetry showed no evidence of car failure.
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 line. Button reached the race’s conclusion as the final classified finisher, but the engine’s performance was just not strong enough. Button was clocked at 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 would continue to be a concern. Both cars failed to finish in Malaysia, Button didn’t start in Bahrain and Alonso would retire four races in a row, though one was due to a collision with Kimi Räikkönen. 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 this 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 rather petered out as they claimed no more points in the final three races.
By the end of the season, the MP4-30 had scored just twenty-seven points, leaving McLaren ninth in the World Constructors' Championship, and making this McLaren’s worst for 35 years. They finished nine points behind their nearest rivals Sauber and only finished ahead of Marussia, who themselves failed to score a single point. Post-season analysis pointed towards critical faults in the engine's design and a failure in communication between Honda and McLaren, as Honda developed the engine independently with minimal input from the team. Honda themselves admitted they underestimated the demands and technology required for the complex hybrid engine. McLaren CEO Ron Dennis attributed the team's difficult season to a range of factors such as chassis development and staff morale, rather than blaming just the engine performance alone. The McLaren-Honda partnership was originally intended to last for ten years but would last no longer than three, as the MP4-30's successors, the MP4-31 and MCL32, continued to struggle with underpowered and unreliable Honda engines.
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.
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