Legacy of McLaren
Racing and engineering excellence are the core of everything we do. Every car we build, every product we create, every progressive step we take is driven by our relentless pursuit of engineering perfection.
Drawing on 50 years of racing success, McLaren has created some of the most iconic and exhilarating road cars the world has ever seen. During the epochal 1988 season, Team Principal Ron Dennis and Technical Director Gordon Murray began pondering the ultimate road car, a McLaren road car. In 1993 the seminal McLaren F1 was launched. Two years later, the F1 GTR dominated the podium at Le Mans, turning the greatest supercar of its generation into the most successful British race car of modern times.
When we pioneered the carbon monocoque in the McLaren F1, it took 3,000 hours to make each carbon fibre chassis. It now takes just four hours to create the carbon MonoCell at the heart of the 650S. It’s amazing progress, and testament to our unrivaled knowledge of the technology and our unmatched success with it.
From the peerless 650S to the iconic McLaren P1, every car we build incorporates race-bred technology, pioneering innovation and our celebrated obsession with detail. It’s how Bruce did it. It’s how we do it. It’s how it should be done.
Started his racing career as a teenager in an ingeniously modified Austin Ulster that his father gave him. A prodigiously talented engineer and racer, he developed his own Formula 1 car in May 1966. It debuted at Monaco and qualified in 10th place with Bruce at the wheel. In the British Grand Prix two months later, McLaren Racing scored its first point in a Formula 1 Grand Prix when Bruce finished sixth. The foundations of our world beating racing team and world leading technology company were laid that day.
Tragically, Bruce died while testing the McLaren M8D at Goodwood in 1970. His death was a devastating blow, but we did not founder. In memory of Bruce, racing legend Denny Hulme won nine out of 10 Can-Am races in the M8D in 1970. Wins in the Indy 500 followed for McLaren in 1972, 1974 and 1976. Under the control of Teddy Mayer, we took the Formula 1 constructor’s championships in 1974, and driver’s titles with Emerson Fittipaldi and, even more memorably, James Hunt.
When Group Chairman Ron Dennis took over in 1981, the team was set on its current path: focused, disciplined, confident, inspirational and inspired. Since then, the records have tumbled and the names involved in our story have taken their place in the pantheon of motorsport greats: Niki lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
As aesthetically pure as it was fast, the all-conquering MP4/4 won 15 of the 16 Grands Prix in 1988 with Senna and Prost at the wheel. It`s a record that stands to this day as one of sport`s – all sports – most seismic achievements. A decade later, MP4-13 delivered driver`s and constructor`s titles in Formula 1 world championship. And in 2008, long-time McLaren prodigy Lewis Hamilton took the MP4-23 – arguably the most aerodynamically advanced racing car ever – to overall victory in the driver`s championship in only his second season.