Performance, innovation and exceptional design are synonymous with McLaren Racing and Sparco – two brands that have shared plenty of success at the pinnacle of motorsport. From grand prix wins to title triumphs, we’ve raced together since 1996 and that’s meant some of Formula 1’s leading lights have taken to the track in Sparco racewear imbued with McLaren colours. The likes of Häkkinen, Räikkönen, Alonso, Hamilton, Button, and now Norris and Ricciardo, have worn racewear that’s been tailored to millimetric precision and born out of intensive research and development – all in the pursuit of performance.
2021 marks the 25th anniversary of our partnership with Sparco and, to celebrate, this year we’re taking a closer look at how Sparco has married high performance, reliability and safety with Italian style throughout our long-standing relationship. To kick things off, here are some of the key milestones from two-and-a-half decades of collaboration.
Sparco brought innovation to racewear by responding to the ever-increasing need for safety, comfort and design from drivers and teams. This saw the Superleggera race suit developed between 2010 and 2011. It weighed around 20% less than previous suits and kickstarted a pioneering journey of weight reduction when it came to suit design – the pinnacle of which is currently the Prime PRO suit worn by Lando and Daniel.
Seat belts on
Sparco’s F1 story is not only about racewear. It’s been producing safety harnesses for our drivers in much the same way as a tailor-made suit, which includes finely adjusting dimensions and minimising weight. Weighing in at just 400 g, the PRIME H-10 safety harness we use in the MCL35M is 15% lighter than its predecessor and the lightest-ever six-point belt in F1, thanks to the use of titanium and an innovative two-inch ribbon.
Fits like a...
...biometric glove. Mandatory in F1 from 2018, the latest evolution of Sparco’s Arrow glove features a biometric sensor. The sensor allows teams and the FIA to monitor the progress of a driver's physical condition during the race, including blood pressure and heart rate. These gloves are the first FIA approved touch sensitive gloves, are pre-curved and the palm has been designed with HTX technology, patented by Sparco, which allows superior performance in terms of grip, flexibility, breathability and vibration dampening.
2018 also saw the introduction of the PRIME RB 11 boot, with McLaren playing a key part in its development. These racing kicks spearheaded the launch of Sparco’s range of FIA-approved boots and the innovation didn’t stop there, as in 2020 the X-Light + boot was born – a ‘knitted’ shoe, with a carbon fibre inner sole, made of 60% fireproof jacquard fabric to ensure levels of sensitivity, comfort and lightness comparable to that of a sock.
Keep an eye out on McLaren Racing's channels over the coming months to learn more about McLaren Racing and Sparco’s shared history.
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