This year will see the 50th anniversary of the McLaren racing team, and the Woking-based squad has announced that it will host a number of events throughout the year leading up to its celebration half a century on from the inauguration of Bruce McLaren Motor Racing, on September 2nd 1963.
The eight-time Constructors’ Championship winners will display a special ‘McLaren 50’ logo on this years MP4-28 and on their team shirts, whilst a heritage video is also in the making to mark the achievement.
Ron Dennis CBE, executive chairman, McLaren Group and McLaren Automotive, said: “McLaren’s history is long and storied, but McLaren’s legacy is harder to define – and that’s because it’s still being vividly written every day by the dedicated men and women who work at the McLaren Technology Centre.”
Bruce McLaren began his motor racing team in 1963, and they competed in their first Formula One race at the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix, which Bruce was unable to finish due to an oil leak. Since that date they have won 182 races, more than any other constructor during that time and are ranked second, behind Ferrari, in the all-time points scoring list with 5217.5 and 4713.5 points respectively. However, during their time in the sport McLaren have a higher average points per race with 6.5/GP, compared to 6.1/GP for Ferrari.
McLaren are often compared, due to their time in the Formula One and their British-base, to the Williams F1 team. Frank Williams’ squad took part in its first GP eleven years after McLaren, in the 1977 Spanish Grand Prix. Since then the two British favourites have been closely matched with Williams winning the team battle, with nine Constructors’ Championships to their name. However, their form has dropped since the early 2000s and they have been unable to match the growth of McLaren. Due to this drop off in performance they have a lesser average points per race, which stands at 4.6 per GP.
Away from the race track, McLaren will be celebrating other branches of the company which have become a success in the automotive and engineering world. McLaren Automotive, which creates the MP4-12C and is to launch a new hyper-car, the P1, this year. Meanwhile McLaren Applied Technologies have helped in the development of British cyclists, rowers, sailors and canoeists to win fifteen Olympic Gold medals at London 2012.
“Bruce McLaren wrote the beginning of the story, and the legend is going to continue for many years to come. I’m only a chapter, not the book, and I want other people to come in and write their own chapters as time goes by.
“This is a book that’s still being written, and that, perhaps, is the greatest legacy of McLaren,” added Dennis.