McLaren fires up new Renault engine for the first time

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McLaren's new partnership with Renault is officially underway after the team fired up its French engine for the first time at its factory in Woking.

McLaren joins Mercedes, Ferrari and Toro Rosso in sharing its fire-up via social media -- a significant moment in the build of any new F1 car. It is arguably even more significant for McLaren this year after the team switched from Honda power to Renault following three uncompetitive seasons with the Japanese manufacturer since the start of 2015.

The relatively late call to switch power unit supplier lost McLaren roughly two weeks of development time last year, but technical director Tim Goss said his team was able to quickly gain it back.

"I think the big difference is speaking with all the guys at Renault they've inherently got a lot more experience," he said recently. "Those guys that are on the ground have been doing it a lot longer than the guys at Honda, and that's just a fact. I think that's what's allowed us to get the packaging done so quickly.

The new MCL33 will be launched on February 23 before hitting the track for the first day of pre-season testing on February 26.