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United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes logo.png
Full name Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Base Woking, Surrey, United Kingdom
Team principal(s) Martin Whitmarsh
Technical director/s Paddy Lowe
Neil Oatley[1]
2010 Formula One season
Race drivers 1. United Kingdom Jenson Button
2. United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Test drivers United Kingdom Gary Paffett
Chassis McLaren MP4-25
Engine Mercedes-Benz FO 108X
Tyres Bridgestone
Formula One World Championship Career
Debut 1966 Monaco Grand Prix
Latest race 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix
Races competed 667
Constructors' Championships 8 (1974, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1998)
Drivers' Championships 12 (1974, 1976, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1998, 1999, 2008)
Race victories 164
Pole positions 145
Fastest laps 137[2]
2009 position 3rd (71 points)

McLaren Racing Limited, trading as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, is a Formula One team based in Woking, Surrey, UK. Founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren, McLaren is best known as a Formula One constructor but has also competed in the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and Canadian-American Challenge Cup. The team is one of the most successful teams in Formula One, having won 164 races, 12 Drivers' Championships and 8 Constructors' Championships. The team was the first to design a car using a carbon fibre monocoque, which is now ubiquitous in its use by all teams.

The current team was formed by the merger of Bruce McLaren Motor Racing with Ron Dennis's Project Four Racing in 1981. Shortly after the merger, Dennis organised a buyout of the original McLaren shareholders to take full control of the team. McLaren is part of McLaren Racing, a member of the McLaren Group. Engines are supplied by McLaren shareholder Mercedes-Benz through Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines. Dennis was team principal from the 1981 merger until March 2009, when he agreed to transfer his position to longtime McLaren employee Martin Whitmarsh. Dennis will continue to work within the McLaren Group. On 29 May 2009 McLaren, along with all other members of Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) submitted their entries for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, despite threatening to pull out at the end of the year. The team's current drivers are 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton and 2009 world champion Jenson Button, who has joined from Brawn GP after the team was bought and renamed Mercedes GP in November 2009.


Racing history



The McLaren M1A sports car of 1964 was the team's first self-designed car.

Bruce McLaren Motor Racing was founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren,[3] to run him and young team mate Timmy Mayer in the 1964 Tasman Series using custom-built Cooper cars. Later that year the McLaren branched out as a builder of sports cars. The team built and raced a series of cars powered by American V8s in various races in Canada and the US. The team was transformed in 1967 when they introduced the Mk6, the first cars in McLaren orange, and completely dominated the 1967 Can-Am season.

The Kiwi made the team’s Grand Prix debut at the 1966 Monaco race.[3] However, Bruce’s race was rather short-lived due to a terminal oil leak on the car. The 1966 programme was hampered by a poor choice of engines—Bruce had selected a short-stroke version of the 4.2 litre Ford Indy engine, which generated a lot of noise but very little power and was big and bulky. Ironically, Jack Brabham had adopted a Repco-developed engine based on a similar Oldsmobile block to the one Bruce was using in his early sports cars and his team took the 1966 and 1967 world championships.

Bruce McLaren driving the McLaren M7C at the Nürburgring in 1969.

Bruce abandoned the Ford in favour of a woefully underpowered but at least reliable Serenissima V8 (a descendant of the old ATS V8) to score the team's first point. In 1967 he initially turned to a slightly enlarged M4 Formula Two car powered by a 2.0 litre BRM V8 before building a similar but slightly larger car called the M5 for the BRM V12. This was quick but had reliability problems and Bruce soon decided that the team had to adopt the Cosworth DFV engine.

Original McLaren kiwi logo; a New Zealand icon.

In 1966 and 1967 the team raced only one car in the Championship with Bruce behind the wheel. In addition to his Grand Prix duties, Bruce contested the Can-Am Championship that year and, alongside team mate Denny Hulme, the pair won five out of the season’s six races.

Bruce McLaren in 1966. Team principal from 1966 to 1970

In 1968 with the Cosworth powered M7 the team consisted of two drivers including reigning Formula One World Champion Denny Hulme who also drove for McLaren in Can-Am that year. Bruce won the non-championship Race of Champions, at the Brands Hatch circuit, then the Belgian Grand Prix was the scene of the team's first Championship win. Hulme won the Italian Grand Prix and Canadian Grand Prix later in the year.

A further three podium finishes followed for Bruce in 1969, but the team's fifth win had to wait until the last race of the 1969 championship when Hulme won the Mexican Grand Prix. In Can-Am the McLaren team won all eleven races. Bruce McLaren won six races, Hulme five, and Bruce won the driver's championship.


As a team, McLaren had a disastrous beginning to the decade. The team entered the Indianapolis 500 for the first time but Hulme was severely burned on the hands in an incident in practice. Peter Revson replaced Hulme but retired from the race. Bruce's business partner Teddy Mayer took over effective control of the team.

On 2 June 1970, Bruce McLaren was killed in a crash at Goodwood while testing the new M8D Can-Am car. While travelling at 170 mph (270 km/h), a fastener for the rear bodywork failed and the entire rear piece detached from the car. The car spun into a concrete marshal post and McLaren was killed instantly. Twelve days after Bruce McLaren's death Dan Gurney won the opening Can-Am race of 1970 at Mosport for McLaren. The McLaren M8D won nine of the ten races in 1970 and Hulme won the championship. In 1971 the team saw off the challenge of 1969 World Champion Jackie Stewart in the Lola T260, winning eight races, with Peter Revson taking the title.

McLaren went winless in Formula 1 in 1970 and 1971, years dominated by Jochen Rindt and Jackie Stewart respectively. Hulme took the team's first F1 win since Bruce's death in the 1972 South African Grand Prix with the M19C. Hulme also won three Can-Am races in 1972 but the McLaren M20 was defeated by the Porsche 917/10s of Mark Donohue and George Follmer. McLaren decided to abandon the Can-Am series at the end of 1972, focussing solely on Formula One and USAC. The original Can-Am series itself ceased at the end of 1974, with McLaren by far the most successful constructor with 43 wins.

In USAC competition Peter Revson had won pole position for the 1971 Indianapolis 500 in a McLaren M16. The M16 introduced to USAC competition the concept of mounting the car's engine entirely ahead of the rear axle, rather than partly over it, as was the standard at the time. The car also wore prominent front and rear wings, another practice not common in American racing. Revson finished second in 1971, and Mark Donohue won the '500' in 1972 driving a McLaren-Offenhauser run by Roger Penske.

The McLaren M23, designed by Gordon Coppuck, was the team's new car for the 1973 Formula One season. It was described by Coppuck as being essentially the front of an M16 and the back of an M19. It was a wedge-shaped car following the same concept as the Lotus 72 but with more conventional suspension and up to date aerodynamics. Hulme won with it in Sweden and Revson took the only Grand Prix wins of his career in Britain and Canada. At Indianapolis, Johnny Rutherford took pole position in the "works" M16C.

In 1974 Emerson Fittipaldi joined McLaren, now under the direction of Teddy Mayer, from Lotus to become their lead driver. The team achieved their first Formula One World Constructors' and World Drivers' Championship (with Fittipaldi) and their first Indianapolis 500 win (with Johnny Rutherford). The year also saw Yardley cosmetics replaced as Formula One sponsor by Marlboro cigarettes (although one Yardley car was run by an ostensibly separate team for the year alongside the two Marlboro entries), a deal that was to last until 1997. 1975 was a less successful year for the team. Fittipaldi was second in the championship behind Niki Lauda. Jochen Mass took his sole GP win in Spain, and Rutherford was second at Indianapolis. At the end of 1975 Fittipaldi left McLaren to join his brother's Fittipaldi/Copersucar team.

The Drivers' Championship would come McLaren's way again in 1976 with Fittipaldi's replacement, James Hunt beating Niki Lauda by a single point. Meanwhile Johnny Rutherford scored McLaren's second Indianapolis 500 victory, with the team becoming the first team to twice accomplish both feats in the same year. Hunt won three times in F1 in 1977, but these would prove to be McLaren's last GP wins of the decade. The M23's replacement, the M26 was a troublesome car, and subsequent models were even less successful. McLaren ended their American involvement at the end of the 1979 CART season after increasingly poor returns from the series.

1980s and early 1990s dominance

Alain Prost in his McLaren MP4/2B at the 1985 German Grand Prix.

The current McLaren F1 team resulted from a merger of the McLaren team and Ron Dennis' personal Formula 2 team, called Project Four Racing, in 1980. Project Four was also backed by Marlboro, and had designer John Barnard and an innovative carbon-fibre F1 chassis design but no money and inadequate facilities for F1; McLaren had the facilities but were at the end of a long losing streak. John Hogan, a Philip Morris executive, forced McLaren chairman Teddy Mayer to accept the merger with Dennis' team. This was in effect a reverse takeover with the Formula One constructor becoming McLaren International.[4]

In 1981 Dennis and his business partners bought out the other McLaren shareholders, Mayer and Tyler Alexander. In 1983 Dennis persuaded then Williams backer, Mansour Ojjeh to become a partner in McLaren International. Ojjeh invested in Porsche built turbocharged engines which carried the name of his company, Techniques d'Avant Garde (TAG).[5]

The nomenclature for McLaren's F1 cars since the merger has caused some confusion among fans of the sport, as all McLaren cars since 1981 have carried designations of the form "MP4/x", or since 2001 "MP4-x",[6] where x is the generation of the chassis (e.g. MP4/1, MP4-22). In fact, "MP4" stood initially for "Marlboro Project 4",[7] so that the full title of the cars (McLaren MP4/x) reflected not only the historical name of the team, but also the names of the team's major sponsor and its new component part. The team's cars still use the same nomenclature, but since the change of title sponsor for the 1997 season, MP4 is now, rather conveniently, said to stand for McLaren-Project 4.[8] At no time has the "MP4" prefix reflected the particular generation of the chassis.

Equipped with Honda power and the driving strength of Prost and Ayrton Senna for 1988, McLaren dominated the season, winning all but one race. Senna won his first world championship after a season-long battle with Prost.

The most successful period in McLaren's history came under the early leadership of Ron Dennis. John Barnard designed the revolutionary McLaren MP4/2 chassis, the first F1 chassis made entirely of carbon-fibre composites, which proved very strong when mated to the TAG/Porsche turbo engine, designed and built to Barnard's specifications. A succession of strong drivers helped, with Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Keke Rosberg, and Stefan Johansson driving for the team in this period. McLaren-Porsche won the Constructors' title in 1984 (with Lauda taking the Drivers' crown), and 1985 (with Prost winning his first world title). McLaren did not win the Constructors' Championship in 1986, although Prost took the drivers' title again.

After losing the previous two Constructors titles to Williams in 1986 and 1987, McLaren was able to convince Honda to switch its backing from Williams starting in 1988. The McLaren-Honda MP4/4 won an amazing 15 of 16 races that year and leading all but 27 laps, achieving a staggering and unbeaten record to this date. (Senna had been leading comfortably at Monza, but collided with back-marker Jean-Louis Schlesser's Williams.) Ayrton Senna took the driver's title that season, his first with the Woking marque.

The next year, using a new 3.5 L naturally-aspirated engine designed by Honda, McLaren again won both titles with the McLaren MP4/5, with Alain Prost clinching it at the Japanese Grand Prix after a highly controversial collision with his teammate Senna. This was the culmination of a vitriolic feud between the two men. Believing that Honda and Ron Dennis viewed Senna as the future of the team, Prost announced on July 1989 that he would not remain with the team. By Suzuka, the Brazilian had two cars and 20 people around him, while the Frenchman had one car with maybe four or five mechanics.[9] In support of Senna, who had finished the race first but was subsequently disqualified, McLaren appealed unsuccessfully.

Alain Prost left to join the Ferrari team in 1990. Nevertheless, McLaren continued to top Formula One for the next two seasons. Despite stiff challenges from Prost and Nigel Mansell in the Ferraris, Senna won the World Drivers' Championship in 1990 using the MP4/5 and again in 1991 using the V12 MP4/6. McLaren also won the constructors title in both of those years. New teammate Gerhard Berger helped to ensure this double success and the McLaren drivers often played pranks on each other to lighten the atmosphere.

Mid-1990s decline

By 1993, Honda had withdrawn from F1 and the team used underpowered Ford V8 engines to power the MP4/8. Although Ayrton Senna (pictured at the German GP) won five races, McLaren was not a match for the dominant Williams team. After the 1993 Australian Grand Prix, the team failed to win a race until 1997.

Beginning in 1992, McLaren's dominance began to be eroded by the ascendant Renault-powered Williams, a drop in form that was compounded by the departure of Honda from Formula One at the end of that season.

McLaren switched to customer Ford engines for the 1993 season. While these proved competitive in the hands of Senna, American Michael Andretti's season was a disaster, scoring only a handful of points. He was replaced before the end of the year by Finnish youngster Mika Häkkinen after scoring his solitary podium at Monza. Senna had played a game of brinkmanship with Dennis over his contract at the start of the season, but as it became obvious that the MP4/8 was competitive he agreed to complete the season. During 1993 McLaren experimented with a Lamborghini V12 which Senna reckoned was worth racing; Dennis chose a works deal with Peugeot instead, Lamborghini's owners Chrysler pulled the plug on the F1 programme and Senna departed for Williams at the end of the season after winning the final two races of the year. Concluding the season on a high, McLaren announced they were to begin a challenge for the land speed record. However, as results began to decline in the following seasons the plan was quietly shelved.

At the end of the 1993 season, McLaren took part in a seven part BBC Two series called A Season With McLaren, detailing the teams 1993 season.

For 1994 Martin Brundle joined Häkkinen in new Peugeot-powered cars. The results and the engine were unimpressive, and Peugeot was dropped after a single year in favour of the promising new Mercedes-Benz (Ilmor) engine. But 1995 was even worse, with the radical MP4/10 proving to be too heavy and slow. Former world-champion Nigel Mansell came to the team, but had a torrid time — he was unable to fit into the car at first—and retired after just two races with Mark Blundell taking his place.

1996 was the end of an era for McLaren, as they parted company with long-term sponsors Marlboro, and the famous red and white McLaren livery disappeared from Formula One to be replaced with Reemtsma's West branding and a silver Mercedes livery in 1997.

Late 1990s return to form

While Williams dominated F1 in 1996 and 1997, McLaren made slow, careful strides with its Mercedes-Ilmor engine and drivers Häkkinen and David Coulthard. Coulthard made a promising start to the 1997 season by winning the Australian Grand Prix, and Coulthard and Häkkinen won another race each before the end of the year. Despite the car's improved pace, unreliability proved costly throughout the season, with retirements at Britain and Luxembourg occurring whilst leading the race.

Mika Häkkinen won the 1998 and 1999 world drivers' championships for McLaren, with the team also taking the constructors' crown in 1998. He is shown here at the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix, an event which he won.

At the 1997 Austrian Grand Prix, Darren Heath, an F1 Racing photographer, noticed in some of his shots that one of the rear brakes of the McLarens were glowing red in an acceleration zone of the track. The magazine discovered through investigation that McLaren had installed a second brake pedal, selectable by the driver, to act on one of the rear wheels depending on the direction of the corner. This allowed the driver to reduce wheelspin when exiting slow corners and more usefully eliminate understeer by turning the car into the corner while entering it, giving him the ability to brake later into the apex of the turn. Though the car passed scrutineering this system was not entirely legal, but was an innovation, and hence gave McLaren an advantage. As the system allowed one side of the car to be retarded compared to the other the system was considered a type of four-wheel steering which was banned in F1. One notable backer of this complaint was Jackie Stewart; on the grid at Brazil in 1998 he aired this view in an interview with ITV. While F1 Racing suspected what McLaren were doing, they required proof to publish the story. At the Luxembourg Grand Prix the two McLarens retired from the race. This allowed Heath to take a picture of the footwell of Häkkinen's car and the second brake pedal. The story was run in the November issue of F1 Racing and led to the system being dubbed the "fiddle brake". Ferrari's protestations to the FIA lead to the system being banned at the 1998 Brazilian Grand Prix.[10]

During 1997 McLaren poached Williams' talented designer, Adrian Newey. Then Mika Häkkinen offered a taste of things to come with his victory in the final race of the 1997 season, the European Grand Prix.

The fact that McLaren now had Adrian Newey on board,along with the withdrawal of Renault at the end of 1997 and the new regulations allowed McLaren to mount a strong challenge in 1998, with one source[11] even stating that McLaren had built such a strong team that the only way to increase their championship hopes was to hire double world champion Michael Schumacher. In 1998 the McLaren was once again able to regularly challenge for Grand Prix victories, winning nine grands prix that year. Häkkinen won the Drivers' Championship in 1998, scoring 100 points, and McLaren took the Constructors' Championship in 1998. Häkkinen took the title again in 1999, but the season was more difficult for the team who lost the Constructors' Championship to Ferrari despite an injured Schumacher.


Members of the McLaren Formula One team push driver Kimi Räikkönen's MP4-19 into the garage during qualifying for the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis in 2004.

2000 was another closely-fought season, but ultimately Ferrari's Michael Schumacher prevailed.

Ron Dennis, team principal 1980–2009, at the 2000 Monaco Grand Prix

In 2001, Mika Häkkinen dropped off the pace in comparison with Coulthard, although neither driver could compete with the now dominant combination of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari. In 2002 Häkkinen took a sabbatical (which turned into retirement), opening the way for promising compatriot Kimi Räikkönen to take his place. McLaren only captured four wins over the following three seasons. 2002 saw just a single win at Monaco for Coulthard while rivals Ferrari won all but two races.

2003 started very promisingly, with wins at the two first grands prix of the year, one each for Coulthard and Räikkönen. However, rival teams soon caught up as McLaren was severely hampered in by the development of the MP4-18, a radical new design which due to reliability problems never raced. This forced the team to use the year-old MP4-17D, a very severe handicap in modern Formula One racing. However, despite this, Räikkönen finished in the points consistently and challenged Michael Schumacher for the championship all the way up to the very last race, eventually losing the title by only two points.

The team began the 2004 Formula One season with the MP4-19, which technical director Adrian Newey described as a "debugged version of the MP4-18." This proved to be anything but the case, and a new car was required by mid-season. The MP4-19B was basically an all new car with a radically redesigned aerodynamic package. The fact that Coulthard qualified third for its first race, the French Grand Prix, gave the team hope of a better end to the season. This was realised when Räikkönen won the 2004 Belgian Grand Prix ahead of the seemingly unstoppable Ferrari of Michael Schumacher, who won 13 of the 18 races that year, currently the record for most wins in a single season.

Kimi Räikkönen nearly won the Drivers' Championship in 2005.

Colombian driver and former CART champion Juan Pablo Montoya was named as Coulthard's replacement for the 2005 season, partnering Räikkönen. Montoya had to be replaced for two races by test drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Alexander Wurz after sustaining a shoulder injury while allegedly playing tennis. The general unreliability of the car cost McLaren a number of race victories when Räikkönen had been leading or in contention to win. Renault (and Fernando Alonso in particular) were able to capitalise on the McLarens' breakdowns and win both titles. Reflecting on an competitive but ultimately unsuccessful season for the team, Ron Dennis remarked that "We feel our championship efforts were thwarted by our conservative approach to the first four races."[12]

On 19 December 2005, the team announced the signing of the 2005 World Drivers' Champion Fernando Alonso to drive for the team from the 2007 Formula One season.[13]


The 2006 McLaren-Mercedes car, the MP4-21, proved to be less successful than its predecessor.

The 2006 season saw McLaren introduce a new, chrome livery for their MP4-21. The team was positive about its chances in the upcoming championship after the performances in the latter half of 2005. However, in winter testing it became clear that the Mercedes engine was lacking in power. Mercedes responded by introducing a new spec engine which offered far improved performance.

Juan Pablo Montoya parted company acrimoniously with the team after the United States Grand Prix, in which he ended both his and team mate Räikkönen's hopes for the race by crashing into him at the start. He announced he was departing to race NASCAR for Chip Ganassi Racing, and was replaced by test driver Pedro de la Rosa for the remainder of the season.

Following the 2006 Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari confirmed that they had signed Räikkönen as a replacement for the retiring Michael Schumacher. The season continued with the McLarens being near the top of the field, but the superior reliability and speed of the Ferraris and Renaults prevented the team from gaining any race victories from 2006, something not seen for a decade at McLaren.

In 2007, Steve Matchett argued that the poor reliability of McLaren in 2006 and recent previous years was due to a lack of team continuity and stability.[14] His cited examples of instability are logistical challenges related to the move to the McLaren Technology Centre, Adrian Newey's aborted move to Jaguar and later move to Red Bull and the subsequent move of Newey's deputy to Red Bull. He also cites major upheavals at Ilmor which may have contributed to the "lamentable string of engine failures"; the piecemeal buyout by Mercedes-Benz, the resultant departure of co-founder Mario Illien, the appointment of Mercedes-Benz engineer Markus Deusmann to head the renamed Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines and the departure of Deusmann a year later to BMW.[14]


In Malaysia, Fernando Alonso scored his first victory for McLaren.

The 2007 season saw Fernando Alonso join the team alongside F1 rookie Lewis Hamilton. Vodafone became the new title sponsor. Alonso and Hamilton scored four race wins each over the course of the season, with Hamilton finishing on the podium for his first 9 races (up to/including Silverstone) including his maiden win at the Canadian Grand Prix. Over the course of the year, he only failed to make the podium in 5 of the 17 races. The team were also involved in a number of controversies during the season. Alonso was judged to have deliberately impeded his team-mate during qualifying at the Hungarian Grand Prix, and the FIA ruled that the team should not be allowed to score constructors points at the event. More seriously, the team were found guilty of obtaining a rival team's technical information and after two hearings by the governing body, the team were disqualified from the constructors championship.

The drivers were allowed to continue without penalty, and Hamilton led the drivers' championship heading into the final race in Brazil, with Alonso also still in contention, four points adrift. In the end, neither driver was able to clinch the title. Alonso finished third, but admitted he simply did not have the pace to match the two dominant Ferraris, with Massa ceding the race win to Räikkönen, who subsequently clinched the title. Hamilton's chances were thwarted at the start when he ran wide and lost a few places. After briefly recovering, his car then hit electronic problems, dropping him down to 18th. He managed to fight his way back up, but the 7th place finish in the end was not enough, since he needed 5th to clinch the title. On November 2, Alonso and McLaren agreed to terminate the contract of the Spaniard by mutual consent with neither party paying a financial penalty.[15]


Hamilton won the 2008 Australian Grand Prix for McLaren, before winning the title.

On 14 December 2007, it was confirmed that Heikki Kovalainen would drive the second car for McLaren Mercedes for the 2008 Formula One season[16] alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes started the year with both drivers scoring in the points at the 2008 Australian Grand Prix. Hamilton started from pole and ended up winning the Grand Prix, while Kovalainen started 3rd and dropped two spots by the finish. McLaren's 14 points saw them lead the Formula One Constructors' World Championship standings after the first race, as well as the driver's championship with Hamilton. After a mixed continuation to the season post-Melbourne, Hamilton then recorded victories at Monaco, Britain (his first on home soil) and Germany.

At the inaugural 2008 European Grand Prix, McLaren ran a relatively low key race, with Hamilton taking 2nd place and Kovalainen taking 4th. Hamilton stated after the race that he was happy to play the long game, picking up as many points as possible in order to boost his championship lead.[17] Following the European Grand Prix, Hamilton led the championship by 6 points from Felipe Massa, and McLaren held 113 points, which put them in second place behind Ferrari (121 points).

At the following race, the Belgian Grand Prix, Hamilton crossed the finish line in first position but was deemed to have gained an illegal advantage cutting a chicane during an overtake, and a 25 second penalty was given to him at the end of the race, demoted him to third in the classification.

Hamilton re-passes Räikkönen in the closing stages of the Belgian Grand Prix, having cut the previous corner.

The next race at Monza saw Kovalainen qualify second, and Hamilton 15th after a poor tyre choice during the second qualifying session, choosing to stay out on intermediate tyres rather than the full extreme-wets. The race saw Kovalainen finish second, while Hamilton managed to recover to 7th place.

At the inaugural Singapore night race, Hamilton qualified second with Kovalainen in fifth. During the race, both of Hamilton's main championship rivals Massa and Räikkönen failed to finish in the points. Hamilton managed to finish third, with Kovalainen tenth.

After qualifying in pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix, Hamilton could only finish 12th. Kovalainen qualified third, but retired in the race with engine problems. After a miserable weekend the previous year, Hamilton won from pole in the Chinese Grand Prix. Kovalainen qualified fifth, but again retired with a hydraulics/engine failure.

Going into the final round of the season in Brazil, Hamilton had a seven point lead over Massa. As long as he finished in the top five, he would win the championship regardless of where Massa finished. With Massa taking pole, Hamilton could only qualify 4th and Kovalainen 5th. By the final lap of the race, Hamilton had been overtaken by Sebastian Vettel and with Massa having already won the race, his sixth position would mean that Hamilton would finish runner-up. However Toyota's Timo Glock, who had stayed out on dry tyres despite the falling rain, was driving slowly enough for Hamilton to overtake him at the final few corners. Crossing the line in the required fifth, Hamilton became the youngest ever, the first black man and the first McLaren driver in 9 years to win the Formula One Driver's Championship.


Lewis Hamilton driving for McLaren at the 2009 Turkish Grand Prix.

At McLaren's team launch for the 2009 Formula One season Ron Dennis announced that he will retire from his position as team principal for McLaren.[18] Martin Whitmarsh succeeded Dennis in this position.

McLaren's new car, the MP4-24 was unveiled at the McLaren Technical Centre, Woking, England, on Friday 16 January 2009. McLaren test driver, Pedro de la Rosa was surprised at the initial pace of the MP4-24, given the lack of aerodynamic grip available under the new regulations.

McLaren made a poor start to the 2009 season, with Kovalainen failing to finish either of the opening two races. Hamilton originally finished fourth in the opening race, before being promoted to third position by a stewards decision following the race. However it subsequently transpired that the evidence provided by McLaren and Hamilton as part of that decision wasn't correct and Hamilton was disqualified. He scored McLaren's first points of the season with a seventh place finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix. On 29 April 2009, the FIA issued a three-race suspended ban to McLaren for bringing the sport into disrepute after lying to stewards at the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix.[19] Their fortunes turned around later in the year with Hamilton taking victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix and the Singapore Grand Prix.


Lewis Hamilton driving for McLaren at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix.

The team has a contract with 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and 2009 World Champion Jenson Button for the 2010 season. This gives them the distinction of having signed the two most-recent World Champions, and the sport's first double-champion driver line-up since Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost - also driving for McLaren - in 1989.

Following Mercedes' acquisition of a 75.1% stake in Brawn GP, which is being re-branded as Mercedes GP for the 2010 Formula One season, the McLaren Group will rebuy the 40% stake owned by Daimler in phases that will be completed in 2011. Mercedes will continue as a sponsor and engine supplier to McLaren until 2015. One of the reasons for the split was McLaren's plan to increase its share in the roadcar market with the McLaren MP4-12C which will be launched in 2011.[20]

The 2010 car was launched on 29 January 2010 in Vodafone's Headquarters in Newbury. The 2010 car will be called MP4-25.[21]


The team has had title sponsorship from four brands in its history: Yardley (1971–1973), Marlboro (1974–1996), West (1997–2005) and Vodafone (2007–present).

It was originally called Bruce McLaren Motor Racing, although it had early title sponsorship from Yardley cosmetics. McLaren had one of the longest standing title sponsorship arrangements in sport with Philip Morris through their Marlboro brand. The relationship dated back to 1974 and was continuous from 1981 to 1996, after which (from the 1997 season on) Marlboro chose to exclusively sponsor Ferrari.

Reemtsma (through its West brand) was the title sponsor of McLaren from 1997 until 29 July 2005, after which McLaren were obliged to seek a new principal sponsor due to a European Union directive banning tobacco advertising. The team was therefore known as Team McLaren Mercedes until the end of 2006.

The current title sponsor is Vodafone, with the official team name for the 2007, 2008, and 2009 season being Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, as announced in December 2005.[22]

Aside from title sponsors, other current sponsors and suppliers include Diageo (Johnnie Walker whisky brand), Aigo, FedEx, Hugo Boss, H&R, Hilton Hotels, Mobil 1, Santander, SAP, Lenovo, Sparco and Reebok.[23][24][25]

Formula One results

(italics indicates non-works entries; bold indicates championships won)

Season Name Car Tyres Engine Oil Drivers WCC Position
2010 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-25 B Mercedes-Benz Mobil Jenson Button
Lewis Hamilton
2nd (21 pts)*
2009 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 B Mercedes-Benz Mobil Lewis Hamilton
Heikki Kovalainen
3rd (71 pts)
2008 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 B Mercedes-Benz Mobil Lewis Hamilton
Heikki Kovalainen
2nd (151 pts)
2007 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-22 B Mercedes-Benz Mobil Fernando Alonso
Lewis Hamilton
(203/218 pts) (2nd/1st)
2006 Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-21 M Mercedes-Benz Mobil Kimi Räikkönen
Juan Pablo Montoya
Pedro de la Rosa
3rd (110 pts)
2005 Team McLaren Mercedes /
West McLaren Mercedes
MP4-20 M Mercedes-Benz Mobil Kimi Räikkönen
Juan Pablo Montoya
Pedro de la Rosa
Alexander Wurz
2nd (182 pts)
2004 West McLaren Mercedes MP4-19
M Mercedes-Benz Mobil David Coulthard
Kimi Räikkönen
5th (69 pts)
2003 West McLaren Mercedes MP4-17D M Mercedes-Benz Mobil David Coulthard
Kimi Räikkönen
3rd (142 pts)
2002 West McLaren Mercedes MP4-17 M Mercedes-Benz Mobil David Coulthard
Kimi Räikkönen
3rd (65 pts)
2001 West McLaren Mercedes MP4-16 B Mercedes-Benz Mobil Mika Häkkinen
David Coulthard
2nd (102 pts)
2000 West McLaren Mercedes MP4/15 B Mercedes-Benz Mobil Mika Häkkinen
David Coulthard
2nd (152 pts)
1999 West McLaren Mercedes MP4/14 B Mercedes-Benz Mobil Mika Häkkinen
David Coulthard
2nd (124 pts)
1998 West McLaren Mercedes MP4/13 B Mercedes-Benz Mobil Mika Häkkinen
David Coulthard
Champion (156 pts)
1997 West McLaren Mercedes MP4/12 G Mercedes-Benz Mobil Mika Häkkinen
David Coulthard
4th (63 pts)
1996 Marlboro McLaren Mercedes MP4/11 G Mercedes-Benz Mobil Mika Häkkinen
David Coulthard
4th (49 pts)
1995 Marlboro McLaren Mercedes MP4/10
G Mercedes-Benz Mobil Mika Häkkinen
Nigel Mansell
Mark Blundell
Jan Magnussen
4th (30 pts)
1994 Marlboro McLaren Peugeot MP4/9 G Peugeot Shell Mika Häkkinen
Martin Brundle
Philippe Alliot
4th (42 pts)
1993 Marlboro McLaren MP4/8 G Ford Shell Ayrton Senna
Michael Andretti
Mika Häkkinen
2nd (84 pts)
1992 Honda Marlboro McLaren MP4/6B
G Honda Shell Ayrton Senna
Gerhard Berger
2nd (99 pts)
1991 Honda Marlboro McLaren MP4/6 G Honda Shell Ayrton Senna
Gerhard Berger
Champion (139 pts)
1990 Honda Marlboro McLaren MP4/5B G Honda Shell Ayrton Senna
Gerhard Berger
Champion (121 pts)
1989 Honda Marlboro McLaren MP4/5 G Honda Shell Ayrton Senna
Alain Prost
Champion (141 pts)
1988 Honda Marlboro McLaren MP4/4 G Honda Shell Alain Prost
Ayrton Senna
Champion (199 pts)
1987 Marlboro McLaren International MP4/3 G TAG (Porsche) Shell Alain Prost
Stefan Johansson
2nd (76 pts)
1986 Marlboro McLaren International MP4/2C G TAG (Porsche) Shell Alain Prost
Keke Rosberg
2nd (96 pts)
1985 Marlboro McLaren International MP4/2B G TAG (Porsche) Shell Niki Lauda
Alain Prost
John Watson
Champion (90 pts)
1984 Marlboro McLaren International MP4/2 M TAG (Porsche) Shell Niki Lauda
Alain Prost
Champion (143.5 pts)
1983 Marlboro McLaren International MP4/1C
M Ford
TAG (Porsche)
Unipart Niki Lauda
John Watson
5th (43 pts)
1982 Marlboro McLaren International MP4/1B M Ford Unipart Niki Lauda
John Watson
2nd (69 pts)
1981 Marlboro McLaren International M29C
M Ford Unipart John Watson
Andrea de Cesaris
6th (28 pts)
1980 Marlboro Team McLaren M29B
G Ford Castrol John Watson
Alain Prost
Stephen South
8th (11 pts)
1979 Marlboro Team McLaren
Löwenbräu Team McLaren
G Ford Castrol John Watson
Patrick Tambay
7th (15 pts)
1978 Marlboro Team McLaren
Liggett Group/BS Fabrications
Centro Asegurador F1
Melchester Racing
G Ford Texaco James Hunt
Patrick Tambay
Bruno Giacomelli
Brett Lunger
Nelson Piquet
Emilio de Villota
Tony Trimmer
8th (15 pts)
1977 Marlboro Team McLaren
Chesterfield Racing
Iberia Airlines
G Ford Texaco James Hunt
Jochen Mass
Gilles Villeneuve
Bruno Giacomelli
Brett Lunger
Emilio de Villota
3rd (60 pts)
1976 Marlboro Team McLaren M23 G Ford Texaco James Hunt
Jochen Mass
2nd (75 pts)
1975 Marlboro Team Texaco
Lucky Strike Racing
M23 G Ford Texaco Emerson Fittipaldi
Jochen Mass
Dave Charlton
3rd (63 pts)
1974 Marlboro Team Texaco
Yardley Team McLaren
Scribante Lucky Strike Racing
M23 G Ford Texaco
Emerson Fittipaldi
Denny Hulme
Mike Hailwood
Jochen Mass
David Hobbs
Dave Charlton
Champion (73 pts)
1973 Yardley Team McLaren M19A
G Ford Gulf Denny Hulme
Peter Revson
Jody Scheckter
Jacky Ickx
3rd (58 pts)
1972 Yardley Team McLaren M19A
G Ford Gulf Denny Hulme
Peter Revson
Jody Scheckter
Brian Redman
3rd (47 pts)
1971 Bruce McLaren Motor Racing
Ecurie Bonnier
Penske-White Racing
G Ford Gulf Denny Hulme
Peter Gethin
Jackie Oliver
Jo Bonnier
Helmut Marko
Mark Donohue
6th (10 pts)
1970 Bruce McLaren Motor Racing
Team Surtees
Ecurie Bonnier


Alfa Romeo
Gulf Denny Hulme
Bruce McLaren
Peter Gethin
Dan Gurney
Andrea de Adamich
Nanni Galli
John Surtees
Jo Bonnier
4th (34 pts)
1969 Bruce McLaren Motor Racing
Team Lawson
Antique Automobiles / Colin Crabbe Racing


Ford Shell
Denny Hulme
Bruce McLaren
Derek Bell
Basil van Rooyen
Vic Elford
4th (38 pts)
1968 Bruce McLaren Motor Racing
Joakim Bonnier Racing Team
Anglo American Racers
G Ford
Shell Denny Hulme
Bruce McLaren
Jo Bonnier
Dan Gurney
2nd (49 pts)
10th (3 pts)
1967 Bruce McLaren Motor Racing M4B
G BRM Shell Bruce McLaren 8th (3 pts)
1966 Bruce McLaren Motor Racing M2B F Ford
Europa Bruce McLaren 9th (2 pts)
11th (1 pt)

* Season in progress.
Excluded due to breach of Article 151(c) of the International Sporting Code.
Not awarded points for 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix.

51°20′45″N 0°32′52″W / 51.34583°N 0.54778°W / 51.34583; -0.54778Coordinates: 51°20′45″N 0°32′52″W / 51.34583°N 0.54778°W / 51.34583; -0.54778

See also


  1. ^ "McLaren Mercedes Team Profile". 
  2. ^ Includes John Surtees' fastest lap in the 1970 South African Grand Prix in a non-works McLaren.
  3. ^ a b "McLAREN IN FORMULA 1". Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  4. ^ Henry, Alan (2003-02-25). "Motor Racing: Jaguar land Crocodile's brother". The Guardian (Guardian Newspapers): p. 31. 
  5. ^ Blundsden, John (1988-07-07). "Dennis confronts the difficulties of his own success". The Times (Times Newspapers). 
  6. ^ McLaren's official website; Historic timeline of cars. Retrieved on 2007-12-29.
  7. ^ McLaren Formula 1 by Rainer W. Schlegelmilch & Hartmut Lehbrink, 1999 Könemann, ISBN 3-8290-0945-3 (Page 98)
  8. ^ "Formula One Teams Profile: McLaren". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  9. ^ - Ayrton Senna by Alain Prost
  10. ^ Bishop, Matt. "Pedal to Metal". The Best of F1 Racing 1996–2006 (Haymarket Magazines): p. 66. 
  11. ^ F1 Racing Magazine - December 1997 Issue
  12. ^ "Briatore says team spirit was key". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 2005-10-16. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  13. ^ Moffitt, Alastair (2005-12-20). "Alonso to make shock switch from Renault to McLaren". The Independent (Independent News and Media Limited). Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  14. ^ a b Matchett, Steve (June 2007). "No-catch 22". F1 Racing (Haymarket Publishing): pp. 58–63. 
  15. ^ "Alonso secures exit from McLaren". 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  16. ^ "Kovalainen to partner Hamilton at McLaren for 2008". 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2007-12-14. 
  17. ^ "Hamilton: I'm playing a long game - F1 | ITV Sport". 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  18. ^ Eason, Kevin (2009-01-16). "Ron Dennis leaves McLaren in safe hands". TimesOnline. 
  19. ^ Noble, Jonathan (2009-04-29). "McLaren handed suspended ban". (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  20. ^ Benson, Andrew (2009-11-16). "BBC SPORT | Motorsport | Formula 1 | Mercedes takes over Brawn F1 team". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-11-23. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "McLaren seal deal with Vodafone". BBC News (BBC). 2005-12-14. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  23. ^ "Whisky brand to sponsor McLaren". BBC News (BBC). 2005-02-22. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  24. ^ "Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Corporate Partners". Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  25. ^ "UpdateF1 >> Formula 1 News > Emirates Airline to sponsor Mclaren". 2006-03-08. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Formula One Constructors' Champion
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Formula One Constructors' Champion
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Formula One Constructors' Champion
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Formula One Constructors' Champion
Succeeded by


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