Around McLaren in 50 facts
McLaren is one of the most famous sporting marques worldwide and here are 50 things you may not know about it:
1. We’ve raced in 31 different countries and 6 different continents in Formula 1. The furthest south of the equator we have ever raced is Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix and the furthest north of the equator was the Swedish Grand Prix held at Anderstorp.
2. McLaren’s longest-serving employee is Ray ‘Tex’ Rowe, who joined Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd in 1963. Tex still works three days a week in Racing’s gearbox shop. The team can still boast at least six employees who joined the team in the 1970s, and more than 30 who joined in the ’80s…
3. Before anything could be done on the site of the MTC, huge efforts were made to relocate adders from the area. Four foot plastic fences were erected around an area about a kilometre square, and corrugated iron laid on the ground to warm the earth and attract them to the surface.
4. Every visitor always asks how deep the MTC lake is: it’s almost three metres deep and contains more than 50,000m3 of water.
5. We use around 1000 litres of chrome paint per year on the car. There also needs to be 48 logos on each car, which get replaced regularly so around 2000 logos are used per year. The hardest to produce and apply are the Vodafone roundels on the sidepods as they are distorted but look correct when applied.
6. Some noteworthy McLaren 50s: our 50th race win – Monaco 1986 (Alain Prost), fastest lap – Phoenix 1989 (Ayrton Senna), and pole position – Spa 1989 (Ayrton Senna, who else?),
7. The MTC is constructed from over 5,000 tonnes of steelwork and uses 43,000m3 of glass throughout the building. The MTC’s footprint is big enough to house nine Boeing 747 Jumbo jets.
8. You have to push a mower for approximately 20 miles to mow the turf just once at the McLaren Technology Centre. Between May and September it is cut at least twice a week – that’s 9,234 miles of lawn-mowing since the MTC opened in 2004!
9. Our longest-serving driver was David Coulthard, who drove for us between 1996 and 2004 – he started 150 grands prix for McLaren-Mercedes.
10. Our first works F1 chassis was 1965’s M2A/1. Since then, we’ve built more than 250 racing cars; our 50th was 1979’s M29/3, chassis 100 was an MP4/5B from 1990, chassis 200 was 2002’s MP4-17-2, and our 250th was the MP4-24-5 from 2009. Our four current MP4-28 tubs are numbers 263-266.
11. While the restriction in testing has placed a natural limit on the number of tubs we build, we’ve previously built a far larger range of cars in a single year: back in 2004, we built nine MP4-19 and 19Bs; in 1995 we built 11 MP4/10 and 10Bs. The most iterations on a single tub we ever built in a single season was 11, back in 1991 with the MP4/6.
12. In 1993, we built our first road car – the McLaren F1. Only 66 chassis were built. Recording a top speed of 391km/h (243mph, with a 0-100km/h time of just 3.2 seconds), it’s still officially recognised as the fastest normally aspirated production car in the world. In 1995, a combined works and customer effort took the F1 to the racetrack – we won Le Mans at our first attempt, as well as finishing third, fourth and fifth.
13. McLaren’s roadcar heritage goes much further back than the F1, though: in 1969, Bruce conceived the M6GT as a closed-cockpit racer with designs for the road – only one car was built by McLaren, for Bruce himself, with neighbouring constructor Trojan building a further two chassis.
14. McLaren driver most wins is Ayrton Senna (35); he’s followed by Alain Prost (30), Lewis Hamilton (21), Mika Hakkinen (20) and David Coulthard (12). Jenson has scored eight wins for McLaren – the same as Niki Lauda.
15. Single car with most victories is the M23, which took 16 grand prix victories between 1973 and 1977. Our second most successful chassis is 1988’s MP4/4 – 15, rounding off the podium is MP4/2, which netted 12 victories in 1984.
16. Away from F1, McLaren has won in CanAm – 43 victories. CanAm will also be remembered as the series which cost Bruce his life – he was testing an M8D at Goodwood when he crashed fatally during the summer of 1970.
17. Our first win from pole was by Emerson Fittipaldi – at the 1974 Brazilian GP. We’ve done it a further 72 times – most recently at last year’s Italian Grand Prix.
18. John Watson has the unique honour of being the lowest-qualified McLaren driver to have won a race – at Long Beach in 1983, John qualified 22 and finished first. Team-mate Niki Lauda followed him home to second after starting one place behind him in 23rd!
19. The strangest car in our collection? That’s probably an honour shared between the MP4/T5 and the MP4-98T. The T5 was the tiny orange downhill soapbox car campaigned at Goodwood by Chris Goodwood in 2002. The 98T was the incredible two-seater passenger car that saw active service in 1998. Only one model of each was ever built.
20. The McLaren Technology Centre receives approximately 185 visitors to the site each day. Since the building was formally opened by Her Majesty The Queen on May 12 2004, it’s therefore been visited around 428,460 times!
21. During the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix, we reached another impressive milestone in our history – we led our 10,000th Formula 1 race lap. Jenson Button drove the historic lap, reaching the milestone on his 17th tour of 78. He would lead a further 15 laps during that race.
22. When Bruce McLaren Motor Racing was inaugurated on September 2nd 1963, Bad To Me by Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas was top of the UK Singles Chart and The Beatles’ Please Please Me was number 1 in the UK Albums Chart.
23. The first McLaren driver to do the treble of race win, pole position and fastest lap was James Hunt at the United States Grand Prix in 1976.
24. We don’t just set records on the track. McLaren has the longest sports partnership of all time. Its association with HUGO BOSS dates back 32 years to 1981. Together we were the first team to introduce team kit to wear at the track.
25. In 1981 we made F1 history when we raced the first carbon fibre composite chassis on the MP4/1, a concept which is now ubiquitous. The new design provided new levels of rigidity and driver protection and changed the way F1 cars would be designed from then onwards.
26. McLaren engineers have routed more than 1,000km of power and control cabling throughout the building and more than 40km of water management pipework. Around one million cubic metres of air is pushed through the air-conditioning unit every hour.
27. McLaren’s first Formula One car used throughout the 1966 season, the M2B, originally featured a Ford 3.0 V8 which produced 321bhp and weighed 535kg. To put the evolution of Formula 1 into perspective, our last championship-winning car, the MP4-23, had more than double that power output with 765bhp and only weighed 65kg more.
28. We’ve done the double of Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships eight times (1974, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1998). This includes the most dominant season in the history of the sport in 1988, when Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost won 15 out of 16 races. The team amassed 199 championship points, the same as the next eight best-placed teams put together.
29. Up to this point, we have already travelled 46,579 miles in total to and from grands prix this season. That is around two times around the circumference of the world.
30. Naturally, the most pole-winning McLaren driver is Ayrton Senna – he set 46 poles, 20 more than joint-second-placed Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton.
31. McLaren Applied Technologies worked with UK Sport to support five teams competing at last summer’s Olympic Games in London. They won 30 medals in total including 15 Gold. McLaren developed and installed technology to precisely measure athletes’ speed, position and performance.
32. McLaren collates 6.5 billion pieces of data from both cars every race, which SAP then helps us to analyse and use to improve future performance.
33. The latest addition to the ever-expanding McLaren Automotive range is the stunning P1™. With 903bhp, 0-60 in less than 3 seconds and a top speed of 217mph it has the highest power to weight ratio of any electric motor in the world. Only 375 P1™s will be made – quite a collector’s item!
34. There were a total of four employees that assisted Bruce during the 1966 season. In contrast Vodafone McLaren Mercedes usually send around 50 personnel to races this season; this figure includes drivers, engineers, mechanics, support crew, marketing personnel and hospitality.
35. During a season we use approximately 20,000 individual items of HUGO BOSS designed & produced kit to clothe the personnel who travel to races. This figure is made up of team & travel kit as well as 3 styles of luggage. We use around 5090 male & female team shirts/tops, and 3660 pairs of trousers.
36. We use 14,128 individual items of HUGO BOSS designed & produced kit to clothe the staff based in Woking at MTC & MPC. Each person in base kit receives one sweatshirt, five tops and five trousers. Each person’s name is individually printed onto their top - this is done in house within the Clothing Zone.
37. Amongst our fans throughout the world, we do have a few celebrity ones. These include celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsey and James Martin, English actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson and Sir Chris Hoy, six-time Olympic cycling champion.
38. In the employee restaurant we use approximately 250 eggs and 77 litres of milk each day. We're a racing team, we need some fuel inside us!
39. Between 2007 and 2011, the amount of CO2 that McLaren Group emits per employee fell by 18.4%. Over the same period, the amount of general waste we recycle went up from 46% to 66%.
40. McLaren also raced in Indy 500. Peter Revson and Carl Williams were our very first drivers in 1970 in the M15 and our final car was the M24B in 1978. In total we won three races thanks to Mark Donohue in the M16B and two from Johnny Rutherford. One in the M16C/D and the other in the M16E.
41. Our fleet of vehicles includes seven lorries which carry the racing equipment including the cars and 15 lorries which transport the hospitality unit. In total each truck travels around 20,000km per year.
42. At the far end of the building lies the 145 metre long wind tunnel. The team uses it for testing aerodynamic parts and set-ups. The tunnel is made of 400 tonnes of steel and uses a four metre wide fan that rotates at up to 600 rpm.
43. The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Brand Centre takes five 12 hour shifts of 20 men to build. There are 500 different items to install such as tables, chairs, infill panels, TVs, etc. The dismantling or ‘de-rig’ takes two full days and from there the operation normally travels directly to the next venue.
44. People often ask what racing equipment we take to races. The answer is two complete cars, one spare chassis, four to five sets of bodywork, five sets of front and rear wings, five floors, five gearboxes complete with rear suspension, uprights, drive shafts and rear brake ducts, 12 shelving units of car parts, six stillages of equipment, 80 front and 80 rear wheels, one timing stand, one set of garage build panels and two overhead garage modules.
45. McLaren has around 25 of its historic cars and 632 trophies on display in the MTC. 476 of those come from our podium place finishes in F1 and the rest are a mixture of Indycar, CanAm and off-track awards.
46. The McLaren Production Centre is just as impressive as the MTC. If all the 218,000 ceramic tiles specified were laid end to end they would stretch from London to Reading. Moreover if all the steel columns were stacked on top of each other they would reach a height of 895m almost three times the height of the Eiffel Tower.
47. In December 2011, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes was officially certified as Formula 1’s first-ever carbon neutral team and In February 2013 McLaren became the first ever recipient of the FIA Institute's Environmental Award for the Achievement of Excellence.
48. The most powerful McLaren Formula 1 car is the 2005 MP4-20A which had a power output of 920bhp, 10 more horsepower than the 2004 MP4-19B. That’s nearly four times more power than our first F1 car, the McLaren M2B, which only generated 260bhp. It is reported there were over 3,600 hours spent working on it in the wind tunnel.
49. The recordings for our hit animation series Tooned take anywhere between one and two hours with Jenson and Checo. In the early stages it’s longer but as we get further through the season and more episodes complete the time is less. Average time per episode is 10 weeks.
50. This season Jenson and Checo will complete 37 days or 296 hours in the simulator getting used to the next tracks and the G-forces required in the corners.