After three years of Honda struggles is McLaren ready to turn the corner and show its true potential? For the entire grid, the true measure of competitiveness is Mercedes. That team has dominated since the hybrid power unit regulations were introduced, but in the short-term McLaren's immediate measure will be Red Bull and, possibly on a few occasions, the works Renault team. Which of these three teams using the same power unit will come out on top?
On many occasions last season, Fernando Alonso stated the McLaren was the best chassis in the pitlane. Now, he should have the power unit to prove it. Even when the overall package wasn't up to the Mercedes level, Red Bull has still managed to pull off a few wins over the last few seasons, so assuming that Renault has burned the midnight oil on power unit development over the winter, 2018 will offer no hiding place for McLaren.
McLaren says the MCL33 is an evolution of the 2017 chassis, and it does look very well detailed in all of the critical downforce-producing areas. The team also stated a few weeks ago that the design philosophy was going to be about producing a car with stable aerodynamics, allowing the drivers to get the confidence to push to the limit in all circumstances. Both of these are very positive statements, and although the McLaren orange colour scheme won't do much for its overall performance, that also looks good.