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McLaren MP4/7A
McLaren MP4/7A
Category Formula One
Constructor McLaren International
Designer(s) Neil Oatley
Technical specifications
Chassis Carbon fibre monocoque
Suspension (front) Unequal-length wishbones, pushrod pushrod-operated horizontal spring/dampers
Suspension (rear) As front.
Engine Honda RA122E/B 3500cc V12 Normally aspirated Mid-engined, longitudinally mounted.
Transmission McLaren 6-speed Semi-automatic, transversely mounted
Fuel Shell
Tyres Goodyear
Competition history
Notable entrants Marlboro McLaren International
Notable drivers Brazil Ayrton Senna,
Austria Gerhard Berger
Debut 1992 Brazilian Grand Prix
Races Wins Poles Fastest laps
14 5 1 0
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0

The McLaren MP4/7A was McLaren International's Formula One entry for 1992, and a follow-up to their successful MP4/6 from the previous season. The Williams-Renault combination was getting faster and more reliable, and became a formidable challenger to McLaren's dominance. McLaren used the McLaren MP4/6 chassis, designated MP4/6B for the slightly modified Honda RA122E engine, for the first two races of the 1992 season. The all-new MP4/7A was expected for the Spanish Grand Prix, the fourth race of the year. Due to Williams' speed in pre-season testing, Ron Dennis made the decision to bring the car out one race early, at the Brazilian Grand Prix. However, this was one month earlier than expected.

This was the first McLaren to use a semi-automatic transmission; it was a McLaren-designed electro-hydraulic unit with semi-automatic activation. TAG Electronic Systems (a technology partner with McLaren) helped with development. This system allowed the driver to keep his foot on the pedal, without lifting from it, since the throttle cable was replaced with an electronic sensor. It also controlled engine speed automatically during gear changes. [1]

Success

For the first time since 1987, McLaren failed to capture the Constructors' or Drivers' Championship title. It was therefore the first time the team had failed to win the championships with Honda power, as the years 1988 to 1991 had all been successful in this respect. However, five Grand Prix victories were recorded by the drivers: three for Ayrton Senna, in his fifth season for the team, and two for Gerhard Berger in his third and final season for McLaren before switching back to Ferrari for 1993. [2]

Race Wins

Footnotes

  1. ^ Source: Autocourse 1992-93, Hazelton Publishing, page 40.
  2. ^ Source: Autocourse 1992-93, Hazelton Publishing, page 238.
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