McLaren To Celebrate 50th Anniversary
Posted By:   |  22 Jan 2013   |  12:16 pm GMT  |  53 comments

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.

Featured Video
Sign up for Jenson’s Triathlon today!
Featured News in mclaren
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

McLaren (Bruce):

First impressions are lasting impressions (in no particular order).

– 1960’s

– “The Glen”

– Orange cars

– Can-Am

– A man with a limp (Kiwi) &

– Denny “Bear” Hulme (fellow Kiwi)

– Peter Revson

All “died with their boots on”.


McLaren, happy 50th.


Adrian Newey Jnr

Its a shame not more of a reference is made to McLaren’s participation in the Can-Am series. That was a truly epic period of almost unlimited “anything goes” motorsport history.


They need to give Hamilton a drive to commemorate their 50th! He’s their last world champion.


Congrats to Mclaren for reaching 50 years when so many struggle for 50months.

Always had a massive fascination with the design of Mclaren cars – more so than any other F1- they build truly beautiful cars past and present. It’s difficult though to support them because alot of the spirit that Bruce Mclaren raced with- seems lost now behind those modern and clinical walls at the MTC and more importantly how they seem to deplete the passion of the great racers that enter the team through operational and strategic decisions.


oops sorry that should be away


McLaren are one of those companies that is fighting for the preservation of England as a technology power. It is more than just F1 – or rather, F1 in England is more than just cars going round a track – it is a serious economic engine that builds a very nice high-tech skills base.

Well done to McLaren on reaching 50 – something I will do a mere two weeks before they do. I know which of us is in better shape… (I didn’t just lose my prized tech director!)

Robert in San Diego

What a beautiful ’60’s F1 car. Now I know why, as a very young man, I fell in love with F1. You had the likes of Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Ferrari and Mclaren just making magic in a young boy’s mind.

I am still a fanatic for F1 but that pure enthusiasm that was expressed in early Mclaren and Lotus cars is gone.


I can see Hamilton setting up his own team when he retires. He strikes me as someone for whom motor racing is in the blood . Still his retirement is at least 7-8 years yet.

Adrian Newey Jnr

I think a more likely step for him is a Beckham-esque reality show or rap album-Yo!


Beautiful car, not as nice as old Lotus 49 in Gold Leaf livery, but that’s a personal opinion

It took real old fashioned “balls” to drive an aluminum chassis made of fuel tanks around the driver with wings mounted on the suspension struts, around the old Nurburgring just to make it more exciting


With their current points per race advantage it will only take McLaren 63 years on 20 race season to catch up Ferrari!


Actually, this is where the move to the Win25-Top10 points system could speed up the time in which McLaren could bridge the gap.

Since the move to the new points system, McLaren has scored 1329 pts, to Ferrari’s 1171. So they’ve taken 158 pts out of Ferrari’s points lead in the space of 3 seasons (finishing ahead in 2010 & 2011; behind in 2012).

So the gap is 504 pts. In the era of the new points system, McLaren’s points per race (PPR) is 22.91/GP; Ferrari’s is 20.19/GP.

If those PPR rates held, it would take 186 GP’s for McLaren to edge ahead. Figuring 20 GP’s a season, McLaren would take the lead around the time of the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix. Better pencil it in now! 🙂


I’m not a fan of McLaren, they feel far too corporate for my liking. But I think it’s brilliant than an independent like McLaren have managed to last so long in a sport where it’s peers have fallen by the wayside (Tyrrell, Arrows etc).

As it is 50 years, wouldn’t it also be fitting for them to carry some sort of reference to New Zealand, as that is the country where it’s founder Bruce McLaren was born?


The McLaren story is as much if not more about Ron Dennis than Bruce McLaren in so far as McLaren was formed from a merger with Ron’s Project Four Racing and it is questionable whether the McLaren racing team would have progressed with the degree of success it has achieved without Ron Dennis.


Old orange Macs had a Kiwi (bird) silouette near the bulkhead (that is where the body ended and tied to the engine for you young lads)


The current logo is still (believe it or not) supposed to resemble a stylised kiwi.

And while we’re all bemoaning the current livery, let’s not forget that NZ’s sporting colours are black and silver. Granted, McLarens are more silver than black, so you really have to know both of these references or you probably won’t notice them, but Ron’s no fool. He might have had the original form of the current livery more or less forced on him back in 1997, but he chose not to drop it even after losing West as a sponsor and Mercedes as part-owner. While the orange was distinctive, I think he knows what he’s doing. (I’d still like to see it make a return though. 🙂 )


Thanks as well for info, maybe drivers should do a Maori dance before races for luck


A stylised version of Bruce’s McLaren’s “racing kiwi” logo is part of the livery of all modern McLaren racing and road cars, as well as the drivers’ helmets (usually on both sides at the top of the visor). And it’s prominent in the McLaren Automotive company logo too. Ron D is fastidious to a fault about maintaining the links to the company’s proud racing traditions.


Thanks for opening my eyes, I was completely lost in translation

When I first noticed the symbol on the West sponsored cars I assumed it had to do with West not Mac

As soon as I read your reply and saw a photo of a road car with the proper badge on the nose it made perfect sense


As much as I love the current McLaren livery, it would be nice if they had one race, to coincide with the 50th anniversary as close as possible, where they raced in their original orange. Although, I imagine it’s unlikely the sponsors would consent to that.


Not much to celebrate as they have lost their star driver and worse still there star technical director.


I just love that picture for this story. That is really great picture. So much better to have the old car with no logos that can show the beauty of the car! Forgot how great those old F1 cars looked!

Scuderia McLaren

Yeah for sure. That picture is really cool.

Val from montreal

I always liked the McLaren cars more so than the Williams cars …. McLaren’s stock for me has gone up now that Hamilton is out of there …. McLaren is supposed to be a professional racing team , not a day-care for children …. Go Button !


WOW!!!!!!!!! It’s been 50 years already.

First and foremost, I want to say happy birthday to Mclaren on reaching this milestone for many teams have come and gone but here’s Mclaren going from strength to strength as shown by the successful road car division.

And also a big thank you to Mclaren and it’s culture of recruiting the best drivers and giving them equal opportunities to compete.

Although this maybe a misguided way of achieving success, one can’t deny that Mclaren’s way has given the sport numerous memorable moments that have been the stuff of legends, the biggest of course being the Prost-Senna love story.

Having said that, it will be interesting to see how Mclaren’s near future pans out for right now, Mclaren isn’t fighting against just the Ferraris and Williams like the old days.

No, in these modern times, Mclaren has to live with the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes and all these being formidable opponents.

So once again, happy birthday to Mclaren and here’s to the next 50 years!


One has to wonder though, could the difference between Mclaren and Williams’ fortunes lie in the fact that Sir Frank Williams is a mechanic whilst the likes of Ron Dennis is an engineer.

As a reminder, Mclaren hadn’t won a race since 1977, till Ron Dennis joined the party ironically in September >>> 1980.


Yes…..Ron has been instrumental in shaping the team. Perhaps the team’s name should have been called “Dennis McLaren” 🙂


I may have my facts wrong, but Ron Dennis started as a mechanic. I’m certain he was a mechanic for Jack Brabham.


Yep, he was a Brabham mechanic, even though he tries to obscure that fact these days, for whatever odd reason.


Nicely said Ron.

I wonder if the Retro orange livery will ever make a comeback. It would look pretty good doing this for the 50th aniversary.

Congratulations Mclaren, I hope you have all the success in this coming year and its about time the team had the constructors title again.

Tornillo Amarillo

Could be a dark year for McLaren…


…But more likely a golden year…they had the one lap pace most of last year, they’ve rectified their operational issues & the tyres look to be better suited to JB re. warm up.

If their reliability is as good as Ferrari’s then I expect them to be in the hunt for both championship’s.

Taking both titles would be a good way to celebrate their 50th anniversary!


Respect for the toughest rival.

Scuderia McLaren

Forza McLaren!


How about a knighthood for Ron Dennis….for his contribution to F1 and British industry and the jobs he has created!

Congratulations to Ron Dennis and all at McLaren who have made it one of the best F1 racing teams and also a great British success.


Can I ask, is there any Italian in your family?

Just seems a little strange seeing Scuderia and Forza in the same sentence as Mclaren.

Scuderia McLaren

Hi Hero Was Senna, no there is no Italian blood in my family.

My name is a tribute to the two giants of F1. I am a rare breed of fan in that I support both Ferrari and McLaren. I am a bit bi-polar like that so the name reflects my dual support of both great teams. Shame I don’t really like either teams drivers much.

Strangely, with age, I have become a fan of F1 as a whole, not just of a single team or driver. I also root for a few other teams and drivers. I just enjoy the show now.

Scuderia McLaren

Yes I have to admit that in the past I too was a blinkered Ferrari fan. I they could not win, then the best thing was for anyone else bar their direct rivals to win. This of course meant not supporting (hating even) either McLaren or Williams or both. As time has gone on, and the black and white of the world transitions to grey in my eyes, I see significant failings and change (for the worse) at Ferrari yet also positives and strengths I now admire in McLaren with their sporting approach and some other teams. I will always be a fan of Ferrari, I love the prancing horse, but I no longer see them as infallible or beyond reproach. They have changed too much in their approach to competition. Conversely I find myself occasionally applauding a McLaren or Lotus win or even have a smile when Vettel teaches Alonso some humility. I am now just a fan of F1. I think I am getting old. Probably the only driver I tend not to enjoy winning is Mark Webber. I find myself rolling my eyes at his demeanour. These are just my opinions.


Lol, rare breed is quite an understatement!! I’ve seen more dodo’s flying past accompanied by pigs than I’ve ever heard of anyone supporting Ferrari and Mclaren..

In the past, if Ferrari couldn’t win, I’d love anybody but Mclaren to win, but RBR and Vettel have changed all that. I respect them but I find something quite unsavoury about their whole set up.

So in the past 2 years I have been applauding Button and Hamilton also, certain I need some form of medication


Congrats to McLaren!

8 WCC’s does look a puny haul though, given their points/GP average since they came into F1. Red Bull’s got 3, on their way to 4!

It seems a looooong time ago since McLaren won four in a row ’88-’91.


This was what I thought, too.

Only eight WCC! and, Williams has nine in a shorter span of time. Wow, McLaren has really missed some opportunities over time, especially recently, despite typically being at/near the front of the grid.


Well, if you only take the Ron Dennis P4 era, then they have the same number of WCC’s (7) as Williams in that period.


Yes, but looking at the late 90s and 2000s in particular, it sure seems like McLaren missed some big opportunities in there (excepting the dominant Ferrari year, of course).


Could we see a livery change on the Mclaren this year. No more mercedes support (no need to be a silver arrow anymore) and the 50th anniversary????

Adrian Newey Jnr

The more important issue is for how long the Vodafone logo will be on the car.


Yeah, bring back the white-and-orange! There is some rule that prevents them from going full orange, right? Something to do with the full red of Ferrari.


We have seen alot of photos of Sergio Perez in front of the old orange and white Mclarens. But im guessing this sort of thing would be hard to keep quite, sure there would have been a leak by now.

But I think Mclaren should try and differentiate themselves from works mercedes.


That’s interesting, didn’t know that, can someone expand and confirm on this? Smart though the silver McLarens are, I actually love the look of that orange!


Arrows had an all oragne car when they were sponsored by the mobile phone network!

Surprised if that’s a rule, James can you confirm?


Looks like a paste of a McLaren press release… where’s the comment or insight?

No thoughts re: Lowe?


It is news


Well done to the team

(still comes across as a good article to bury bad news behind? James what’s the story with a certain Technical director?)


Read the Wolff story today

Top Tags