February 3, 2017 / 12:18 PM / 2 years ago

Motor racing: New McLaren F1 car name to break with the past

Formula One - F1 - Brazilian Grand Prix - First practice session - Circuit of Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil - 11/11/2016 - McLaren's Fromula Onde driver Fernando Alonso drives. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

LONDON (Reuters) - McLaren’s 2017 Formula One car will be a break with the past, and the era of now-departed boss Ron Dennis, the team said on Friday.

“2017 is all about change, and our car name is changing too,” McLaren said on Twitter, announcing the car would no longer have the MP4 prefix that has been carried by every McLaren since 1981.

The prefix alluded to Project Four, a team founded by Dennis in 1976 that merged with McLaren in 1980.

Dennis was forced out as team boss by McLaren shareholders in November, with American Zak Brown coming in as executive director of the former world champions.

McLaren said the new Honda-powered car, which would have been the MP4-32, would now be designated the MCL32. The car is due to be launched at the team’s Woking headquarters on Feb. 24.

Formula One is undergoing major change this year, with Liberty Media taking over as the commercial rights holder and American Chase Carey replacing Bernie Ecclestone as chief executive.

On the track, the cars will have bigger tires and revamped aerodynamics aimed at making them faster, more aggressive looking and harder to handle.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond

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