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McLaren F1 Team

McLaren F1 Team

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The McLaren F1 team has been apart of Formula 1 since 1966 making it the second oldest team that is still active in F1.

McLaren is also the second most successful Formula 1 team after Ferrari with 12 Drivers’ Championships and 8 Constructor’s Championship. The majority of the team is owned by the McLaren Group and it was founded in 1963 by Bruce McLaren. Teddy Mayer took over the team in 1970 after the tragic death of Bruce McLaren during a test driving incident. Four years later, Mayer led McLaren to their first Constructors’ Championship in 1974.

The same year McLaren began their well established sponsorship with Marlboro cigarette brand. The mid 80’s and early 90’s were dominated by McLaren with their most successful drivers Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Niki Lauda winning seven Drivers’ Championships between them and six Constructors’ Championship. Zak Brown is currently the chief executive officer of McLaren Racing. He was appointed in 2018.

For many years there has been a very strong rivalry between McLaren and Ferrari. With the two teams being the longest standing teams in Formula One they have raced against one another in every season since 1966. Many drivers have driven for both McLaren and Ferrari, for example Niki Lauda won Drivers’ Championships and Constructors’ Championships with both Ferrari and McLaren. Although the big teams of today, Mercedes and Red Bull Racing have taken the focus and also have a very big rivalry, Ferrari and McLaren are making there ways up the ranks again and fighting for that third position between them.

McLaren F1 Team
The McLaren F1 team are the second oldest team in Formula One.

McLaren 2022 F1 Drivers

Lando Norris

Lando Norris has climbed up the ranks to become one of the top drivers in Formula One in 2022. Before F1, Lando Norris had many accolades to his name, he won the Super One Series’  ‘O’ Plate in 2010, then in 2012 he became Formula Kart Stars champion and runner-up in the MSA Super One British Championship. The British driver also won titles in CIK-FIA KFJ European, CIK-FIA KFJ Super Cup, WSK Euro Series KFJ, CIK-FIA International Super Cup and World Karting Championship. At aged 14, Norris became the youngest karting world champion when he won the CIK-FIA KF World Championship title. 

2016 saw Norris take home many single-seater championship titles, including  Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and the Toyota Racing Series Championship. That same year Lando Norris won the  McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award, a huge award for any upcoming racing driver. From an early age, McLaren could spot the young driver’s potential. Every year Norris progressed more and more. Lando Norris went on to win the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship which opened McLarens doors for him.

In 2018, Norris was named the official test and reserve driver for the McLaren F1 team and that same year his success in Formula 3 also promoted Norris up to the Formula 2 Carlin team. Norris had a very successful season driving in F2, placing second in the F2 European Championship. Lando Norris winning streaks and high performances lead him to progress into Formula 1. After a year of brilliant driving, McLaren announced in 2018 that Lando Norris would join the team and partner with Carlos Sainz for the 2019 season.

In his debut season for McLaren, the rookie performed very well, although he did fall short of points with 49 points compared to his teammate Carlos Sainz Jr’s 96. This was due to mechanical issues and engine failures for the British driver. Lando finished the season with three consecutive finishes gaining points and his performance was rewarded with a multi-year contract for McLaren. This contract would last until 2022. Lando Norris’ first season with McLaren was a good indication of what was to come of the young driver and his second season with McLaren didn’t disappoint. 

At the first race of the 2020 season, Norris got his first ever podium in Formula 1 and with McLaren, finishing third at the Austrian Grand Prix after a grid penalty for Hamilton pushed him up. Lando finished the season with 97 points and alongside teammate Sainz Jr. helped McLaren to P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.

2021 saw a new partnership with Daniel Ricciardo replacing Carlos Sainz Jr. Lando Norris had another good season with McLaren ending the season on 160 points, ahead of teammate Ricciardo who finished on 115 points. Norris got four podium finishes and placed 6th in the drivers standings, the best finish in his F1 career. Although Ricciardo and Norris’ points failed to put McLaren in the top three for Constructors, they did give McLaren their first 1-2 podium finish in over 10 years at the Italian Grand Prix.

Although the 2022 season isn’t finished yet, it has been revealed that Lando Norris has signed a contract extension with McLaren until 2025. At the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola, Lando Norris placed third with his best finish of the 2022 season. This finish was surprising considering that McLarens MCL36 car performance hasn’t been on par with the other cars in Formula one this year.

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, self-acclaimed “Honey Badger” has had a career in Formula 1 for over 10 years. Ricciardo, like many other Formula 1 drivers, began his career with karting. At 15 years of age, Ricciardo joined Formula Ford and through this he won a scholarship into the 2006 Formula BMW Asia series. In his debut season, Daniel won two races and a pole position, ending the year in third place. The Australian driver made the big move to Europe in 2007 to race in Formula  Renault 2.0 Italy.

The following year Daniel Ricciardo won the Formula Renault 2.0 WEC title and in 2009 he won the British Formula 3 title. After winning the F3 title, Ricciardo made his F1 testing debut at the Circuito de Jerez, testing for Red Bull Racing. Ricciardo topped the timesheets, clocking the fastest time of the test. Daniels driving at Jerez led him to be noticed and go on to take the test and reserve seat at Toro Rosso for 2010 and the Aussie also made the move to Formula Renault 3.5.

After an impressive performance at the World Series, Toro Rosso rewarded Ricciardo with regular FP1 appearances in 2011, for the first half of the season. For the second half of that same year Ricciardo was contracted to HR.In 2012 Daniel moved to Toro Rosso, where he made his place in F1 clear with many great performances throughout his two seasons with the team, scoring 13 out of the 39 races he took part in. In 2014, Daniel Ricciardo was promoted to the Red Bull Racing team for the 2014 season.

In his debut season with Red Bull Racing, the Aussie produced outstanding performances throughout, with three victories, including his first F1 win at the Canadian Grand Prix. Daniel Ricciardo finished an incredible third in the Drivers’ Championship. Over the course of Daniels 4 years with Red Bull Racing, he won many races and finished third in the Drivers’ Championship twice.

In 2016, Ricciardo took his first pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix and two years later he won the Monaco Grand Prix after battling with a car that was down on power and failing breaks. After a successful career with Red Bull Racing, Ricciardo moved to Renault where he scored a couple of podiums during his two seasons with the team.

In Daniels first season with the McLaren F1 team in 2021, the Aussie driver finished 8th in teh drivers’ standings with 115 points. Daniel has become the most experienced Australian F1 driver in the history of Formula 1. During his debut season with McLaren, Ricciardo gave McLaren their first victory since 2012 with his amazing victory at the Italian Grand Prix. This made it his 8th career win and during his first season his also took fastest lap at Monza, the 16th of his career.

In 2022, it was revealed that Daniel Ricciardo would no longer be a part of the McLaren F1 team with 2021 Formula 2 Champion, Oscar Piastri. As of now, it is unknown whether or not Daniel Ricciardo will be racing in Formula 1 for 2023 with no F1 teams having signed him on.

McLaren F1 Car 2022

At the beginning for 2022, the McLaren F1 team released their F1 car for the coming season, the MCL36. The new car has not only a new colour but a new style. The MCL36 has the bright papaya orange of McLaren dominating the exteriors with light blue compliment it. All F1 cars have seen significant changes this year due to regulations that were put in place, this is no different for the MCL36. In an attempt to climb back up the ranks of Formula one the MCL36 has pull rod front suspension and rear push rod design.

McLaren F1 Drivers

Seven drivers have won 12 Drivers’ Championship titles with McLaren; Emerson Fittipaldi (1974), James Hunt (1976), Niki Lauda (1984), Alain Prost (1985, 1986, 1989), Ayrton Senna (1988, 1990, 1991), Mika Häkkinen (1998, 1999), Lewis Hamilton (2008). Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Mika Häkkinen have won the most Drivers’ titles for the team with seven wins between the three of them.

Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna was a Brazilian racing driver who drove in Formula One for ten years. During his career, Senna won 41 Grand Prix, winning the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix a total of six times, which includes five consecutive wins. This record has yet to be beaten by any other Formula 1 driver.

In 1983 Senna won the British Formula 3 Championship and a year later he made his Formula One debut with Toleman-Hart. The following year the Brazilian driver moved to Lotus-Renault, where he won six Grand Prix during his time with the team. His success with Lotus-Renault got him recognised and in 1988 he joined McLaren-Honda.

Senna Ayrton was one of the greatest drivers to have ever sat in a McLaren seat, winning more Drivers’ Championships for the team than any other driver. During his time with McLaren, Ayrton took three Drivers’ Championship and won 35 races over a six year period with the British team. In his debut season with McLaren, Senna won eight out of the 15 wins that McLaren took that year with his teammate, Alain Prost winning seven. 1988 marked Senna’s first ever Drivers’ Championship.

In 1990, after losing the championship title to teammate Alain Prost the previous year, Senna came back fighting and claimed back the Drivers’ Championship title, making it his second win in the space of three years. In 1991, Ayrton made his dominance in Formula 1 even clearer by winning his third Drivers’ Championship title with a season full of outstanding performances. Senna drove for successfully for McLaren for another two years after this, finishing second in the Drivers’ Championship in his final year with the British team.

With Williams making moves in Formula 1, Senna signed with the team in 1994. This would be Senna’s final year driving in Formula One. In a tragic accident on May 1, 1994, during the San Marino Grand Prix, Senna Ayrton, who was leading the race crashed into the concrete wall at Tamburello corner on the Imola track.The impact of the horrific crash caused severe head trauma to the Brazilian driver who died as a result of his injuries. The crash shocked the Formula One world.

Alain Prost

Alain Prost is a former French Formula One driver who won the Drivers’ Championship an impressive four times during his career. During his time with the McLaren F1 team, Alain Prost had huge competition with teammate Senna Ayrton. The duo achieved great success during their time

Alain Prost is a former French Formula One driver who won the Drivers’ Championship an impressive four times during his career.  In 1978 and 1979 he won both the French and European F3 championships. After a successful career in F3, Prost decided to join McLaren to make his Formula 1 debut. In his six seasons with McLaren Alain Prost won 30 races and three Drivers’ Championship titles. He was runner up twice to his teammate Ayrton. In 1985 Prost, nicknamed “The Professor” made history by becoming the first French World Champion. In 1988, Prost contributed seven wins out of the 15 the McLaren F1 team won.

James Hunt

James Hunt joined McLaren in 1976 after Fittipaldi announced his departure from the team and that same year took home the World Drivers’ Championship title for the British team. The 1976 World Championship was surrounded by controversy and drama with close competition between McLarens’ James Hunt and Ferrari’s Niki Lauda throughout the season.The first half of Hunt’s season was impacted with a disqualification from the British Grand Prix but in the last three races of the season Hunt regained enough points to put him in the running for the Championship title.

After a serious crash at the German Grand Prix, Lauda was out of the race, and James took the lead. With his biggest competition out of the Championship for two races, Hunt was able to close the gap in the race to the championship title.When Lauda returned to racing, Hunt was only three points behind the Austrian driver, making the final race at the Japanese Grand Prix even more intense. When Lauda pulled out of the race due to the conditions, James Hunt finished in third place to gain four points, winning the Drivers’ Championship by a single point.

Mika Häkkinen

One of the most respected drivers in McLaren, Mika Häkkinen is the only Finnish driver to have won the Drivers’ Championship more than once. Häkkinen joined McLaren as a test driver in 1993 and that same year was given a seat with McLaren in Formula 1 after Michael Andretti left the team. In 1995 Mika Häkkinen suffered from a serious accident when practising for the 1995 Australian Grand Prix. His life was saved when a doctor had to administer an emergency tracheotomy at the trackside.

Mika went on to win the 1998 and 1999 World Championship and drove for McLaren for another two years. Mika was a much loved figure in the McLaren team.

McLaren Through The Years

The McLaren F1 team has quite the history in Formula One with many Drivers’ Championships and Constructors’ Championships to their name. Let’s have a look at their journey throughout the years and the biggest moments that have impacted the British team.

1968

The McLaren F1 team got their first big win in Belgium thanks to Bruce McLaren who gets the team its first Grand Prix victory. McLaren finished second in the constructors’ championship that same year.

1974

McLaren won their first Constructors’ Championship and their first Drivers’ title with Emerson Fittipaldi winning  the Drivers’ Championship.

1976

The McLaren F1 team won their second Drivers’ title this time with British driver, James Hunt. McLaren’s Hunt beats Ferrari driver Niki Lauda by one point, but fail to take the Constructors’ Championship title.

1984

McLaren teammates Alain Prost and Niki Lauda became quite the dynamic duo winning 12 out of 16 of the season races. In the end it is Lauda that takes home the Drivers’ title and McLaren gain their second Constructors’ Championship.

1985 – 1986

Between 1985 and 1986, Alain Prost dominated  the Formula One track with two consecutive Drivers’ Championships for the McLaren F1 team and won the them their third Constructors’ Championship in 1985.

1988 – 1991

Four years of complete McLaren superiority. In 1988, Ayrton Senna and teammate Alain Prost made the season their own battle with Senna winning the Drivers’ title by just three points. 1989 sees roles reverse with Prost taking home the Drivers’ Championship title and teammate Senna placing second. In 1990, Senna took back the Drivers’ title in a season that was dominated once again by McLaren’s two main drivers. Senna held onto this title in 1991 and won the McLaren F1 team their seventh Constructors’ Championship title and fourth consecutive win.

1998 – 1999

After a few years of no wins, McLarens Mika Hakkinen brings the team back and gives them their last win of the 90’s. The Finnish driver won two drivers’ championships in a row and helped get McLaren their eight Constructors’ Championship. The last time McLaren held the title.

2000 – 2001

McLaren drivers Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard have two very strong seasons but fail to beat Ferrar’s Schumacher who dominates Formula 1 for the next five years. The McLaren F1 team finished second in both the Constructors’ Championship and Drivers’ Championship during the two seasons.

2005

After a few years of poor finishes, the McLaren F1 team had a successful 2005 season with 10 wins throughout the season. They are runners up in both the Constructors’ Championship and driver Kimi Raikkonen comes second in the Drivers’ Championship.

2007

The 2007 season was one which ended in controversy for the McLaren F1 team. Although the team lost the Drivers’ Championship to Ferrari, they won the Constructors’ Championship. Shortly after the season has ended, McLaren are stripped of their points and heavily fined for benefiting from access to confidential Ferrari data. Teammates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso come second and third in standings behind former McLaren driver Raikkonen.

2008

Lewis Hamilton won the McLaren F1 team their first Drivers’ Championship since 1999. As of 2022, McLaren have yet to win another Drivers’ Championship. Although Hamilton had a very successful season his points combined with teammate Heikki Kovalainen still wasn’t enough to beat rivals Ferrari of the Constructors’ crown. McLaren are once again runners-up.

2009-2012

McLaren failed to win either a Constructors’ Championship or Drivers’ Championship over the four seasons but managed to stay ahead of rivals Ferrari for three years running. In 2009, the team finished in third and 2010 and 2011 saw McLaren place second behind Red Bull Racing. 2012 saw the team drop back down to third below Red Bull and Ferrari.

2019

After a couple of years of poor performances and an engine change from Honda to Renault, McLaren finally have something to show for with duo Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr. At the Brazilian Grand Prix, Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr. got the McLaren F1 team their first podium in five years, finishing in 3rd place.

2020

The McLaren F1 team agreed to a deal to use Mercedes power from 2021. The teams duo are showing their worth against the big three in Formula 1 by placing third in the Constructors standings in the 2020 season.

2021

Rivalry with Ferrari livened up with former teammate Carlos Sainz Jr signing to the Italian team. McLaren got their first win since 2012 with Daniel Ricciardo ending the nearly 10 year drought. The Aussie driver and teammate Norris had an outstanding race which resulted in a one-two victory for the team at the Ferrari home race, Monza. It was also the only one-two of the season.

2022

Although the 2022 season is still in progress, the McLaren F1 team hasn’t had the success it hoped for. Rivals Ferrari are proving themselves big contenders in second place at this time in the competition while McLaren are at fifth place in the constructors’ championship so far.

McLaren Merchandise

For any McLaren fans there is plenty of merchandise available to have you kitted out in the colours of the McLarens papaya and blue. McLaren have their own store online in which you can buy jumpers, t-shirts, hats, hoodies and even lego. The Formula One store also has McLaren racing t-shirt and jackets for sale.

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