Making our silverware sparkle
This team has a proud history - as of the this year's Monaco Grand Prix, our drivers have stood on a Formula 1 podium 458 times, but it isn’t only Formula 1 trophies we’ve won. We won 71 trophies competing in CanAm, seven at the Indianapolis 500 and a further four at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Over the years we’ve racked up many awards off the track too, ranging from Ron Dennis’ CBE, to the mayor of Woking’s recognition of the team’s excellence following Mika Hakkinen’s 1998 world championship win.
As you can imagine we need a rather large trophy cabinet to house all these in. Luckily for us, we have two. They adorn the walls at the far end of the McLaren Technology Centre’s boulevard, and are full to the brim with glimmering pieces of history.
When looked at in detail, you can see their positioning in the building is quite significant too – they’re visible through glass window panes so the mechanics in the race bays working on our current cars can see them clearly. This is to motivate them so we do even better than we have done in the past.
Rachel Palmer, who’s responsible for keeping a database of what’s in the cabinets, reckons there are over 590 trophies and awards in them. “There are hundreds more stored offsite,” she added.
Once a year, the cabinets are painstakingly emptied so each trophy and award can be cleaned individually.
Theo Futter, who’s the Operations Manager Cleaning Division of ISS, the partner which is responsible for the MTC’s maintenance, said: “This year, it took us eight days to clean all the trophies and the cabinets themselves, and that was with at least two guys working from 8am to 5pm each day. I calculated it took us just shy of 160 man-hours.”
He added that depending on what they were made of, different processes were used to clean the trophies. Glass ones, for example, were cleaned with just a touch of water and specialised microfibre cloths, whereas metal polish was employed to make the metal ones, glint like they did the day they were presented to us.