1. They each raced in just one grand prix for McLaren, but which driver ultimately went on to score the most points in his Formula 1 career?
Answer: Gilles Villeneuve
The Canadian scored 107 points in his brief F1 career. He’s followed by Wurz (45), de la Rosa (35), and Alliot (7).
2. McLaren last raced a B-spec car back in 2004, but how many B-spec MP4 models had the team used in total before it ran the MP4-19B?
Before the MP4-19B, McLaren raced four B-spec cars – MP4/2B (1985), MP4/5B (1990), MP4/6B (1992) and MP4-10B (1995); but it also ran two further B-spec test hacks – MP4/3B (1987/88) and MP4/4B (1988/89).
3. Keke Rosberg memorably raced this one-off livery at the 1986 Portugese Grand Prix, but why was his car painted gold rather than the regular white and red?
Answer: New sub-brand of the team’s major sponsor.
The gold livery was only used once as part of an activation for title sponsor Marlboro, and was only applied to Rosberg’s MP4/2C.
4. Ayrton Senna’s McLaren debut, where did it happen?
Senna made his McLaren race debut at Rio’s Jacarepagua circuit in 1988, but his first time in a McLaren Formula 1 car was back in 1983, when he tested the MP4/1C at Silverstone. Needless to say, he was immediately impressive.
5. The McLaren MCL33 memorably revived the team’s famous papaya orange livery, but when was the last time an F1 car ran in all-orange livery?
The original papaya livery was last raced in 1971, but made two comebacks – in 1997 and ’98, and then again in 2006, but was only using during pre-season testing.
6. Who has driven the most grands prix for the team?
Answer: David Coulthard
David Coulthard drove 150 grands prix for McLaren; he’s followed by Jenson (136), Mika Häkkinen (131), Alain Prost (107) and Ayrton Senna (96).
7. What number was used for Stoffel Vandoorne’s wet-weather tyre test at Paul Ricard in January 2016?
He tested using the number 32 driving the MP4-29H/1X1 at the Abu Dhabi test in November 2014, but ran as 47 at Paul Ricard and at the Bahrain GP in 2016. He now races as number 2.
8. What was John Watson’s final race for McLaren?
Answer: Europe 1985
Watson retired from F1 at the end of the 1983 season, losing his seat at McLaren to Alain Prost, who had suddenly been fired by Renault. However, he made a one-off appearance at Brands Hatch in 1985, subbing for Niki Lauda, who had injured his wrist at the previous race in Belgium.
9. Quick! McLaren’s best result in the Indian Grand Prix was…?
McLaren never really prospered at the Buddh International Circuit, but Jenson took a well-deserved second during his imperious run of results at the end of 2011.
10. The soles of the McLaren race team’s shoes once carried which inspirational slogan?
Answer: One Step Closer To Victory
Yes, the soles of our shoes once carried the slogan, ‘One Step Closer To Victory’.
11. He’s a McLaren legend who’s sadly no longer with us. Who is he?
Answer: Tyler Alexander
It’s the late, great – and much missed – Tyler Alexander, our Bostonian former colleague who was never without a wise word, whatever the situation…
12. The McLaren F1 team scored its first victory in 1968, where was it?
Answer: Brands Hatch
McLaren’s first Formula 1 win came at the Brands Hatch Race of Champions, in March 1968. Our first grand prix victory came at the Belgian Grand Prix, in June of the same year.
13. In what season did McLaren score the most-ever points in the constructors’ championship?
By virtue of the new scoring system, and the handiwork of two mega drivers, we scored a mighty 497 points in 2011.
14. Remember that ‘hilarious’ season when we had to re-tool the whole cockpit to accommodate the slightly bigger fit of Nigel Mansell? Yeah, so do we… But can you remember the chassis model of that car?
It was the MP4-10, the rather unloved 1995 car that sprouted an engine-cover mid-wing. Nigel obviously wasn’t very impressed as he walked away after two races. Even we’ll admit: pretty it wasn’t…
15. Mighty Finn Mika Häkkinen and team-mate David Coulthard clubbed together to buy legendary team coordinator Joe Ramirez what gift on his 60th birthday in 2001?
Answer: A Harley-Davidson motor bike
Indeed, as Joe himself recounts in an issue of Motorsport magazine: “At the 2001 Hungarian GP, it happened to be my 60th birthday, and Mika and David produced a beautiful leather jacket and put it on me. A really nice present, I thought. On the back of the jacket was the Harley Davidson badge, so I said jokingly, ‘Now all I need is the bike.’ They lifted me onto their shoulders and carried me to the back of the motorhome, and I heard the sound of a big bike being revved up, and there was a brand new shiny Harley-Davidson. They had bought it for me. I had a big lump in my throat, I couldn’t say anything. It was one of the nicest things that ever happened to me, so generous for them to do.”