Tag Archives: formula one

McLaren Celebrates 50 Years

By   September 4, 2013

McLaren Turns 50 Years Old

McLaren Turns 50 Years Old

1963 was quite a good year for automobiles, the Porsche 911 was introduced, Lamborghini started making sports cars and McLaren started racing. Over this time the British racing and sports car maker has had a lot of success on the track and has made some wonderful road cars.

In Formula One McLaren has been one of the main competitors for Ferrari with many wins over the Prancing Horse. The company has also made some very successful endurance racing cars. They just know how to engineer things to win.

As for their road cars for many years the F1 was the fastest street legal car in the world. This was followed up by the MP4-12C which, while not having as high a top speed, is one of the best supercars available for sale today. To top all of this off their new plug-in hybrid supercar, the P1, will begin production very soon.

For the past 50 years McLaren has become a great car maker and we are looking forward to seeing what the next 50 years brings.

Let us know what you think of McLaren in the comments below.

Press Release

In celebration of the team’s 50 years, McLaren staff joined together at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England, to mark half a century of race winning, by one of the most successful names in motorsport. Mirroring the launch of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 Formula 1™ car from earlier this year, the celebrations saw a parade of some of the most iconic race- and championship-winning McLarens from across the decades.

The celebrations were marked by current Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez, who took part in the display in the two latest models from McLaren Automotive. Perez arrived in the 3,000th production 12C – a 12C Spider finished in striking Volcano Yellow, while 2009 Formula 1™ world champion Jenson Button showcased the McLaren P1™ in front of the entire McLaren Group staff, dressed in Rocket Red t-shirts to honour the landmark occasion.

2 September 1963: the birth of a racing legend

Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Limited was formally incorporated on September 2 1963, when the 26-year-old New Zealander mustered together a small crew of committed individuals to design, build and race cars bearing his own name, operating from a small, cramped workshop in New Malden, Surrey.

From that tiny base, the team migrated through various premises in Colnbrook and Woking before settling upon its current site at the McLaren Technology Centre, home to all of the team’s businesses, and workplace to more than 2000 people.

For any organisation, that’s quite an incredible transformation. Yet the company’s sporting successes have equally blossomed beyond measure since those early days.

Bruce took the team into Formula 1 at the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix – and, since that day, no team in Formula 1 has scored more victories [182] than McLaren. Elsewhere, the team dominated the iconic North American CanAm sports car series, taking 43 wins between 1967 and 1972, won the Indy 500 three times between ’72 and ’76, and took the Le Mans 24 Hours on its first attempt, in 1995.

Our great champions – Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton – are all household names and legends of motorsport.

McLaren’s long-lasting relationships with some of the world best-known brands have also set new standards in the world of commercial and sporting partnerships.

Our lengthy list of blue-riband partners includes the race team’s current title partner, Vodafone, global brands such as ExxonMobil, Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline, Santander, SAP and the Hilton Group, and world-class consumer brands such as TAG Heuer and Hugo Boss, both of whom have partnered with us for more than half our existence – a phenomenal achievement.

The organisation’s current scope is particularly broad: we have grown from a humble racing outfit to encompass McLaren Electronic Systems, which supplies technologies to every team in F1, NASCAR and Indycar, and McLaren Applied Technologies, which applies our expertise to a wide range of industries from elite sport and healthcare to energy and product design.

In 1993, our roadcar division, McLaren Automotive, launched arguably the purest and most focused supercar in history, the F1, perfectly honouring Bruce’s legacy. Even 20 years on, it is still regarded by many as the greatest supercar of all time. More recently, it has successfully launched both the ground-breaking 12C and 12C Spider high-performance sports cars and the superlative McLaren P1TM – our newest and most exciting supercar.

However, our 50th anniversary is merely the starting-point for even more ambitious growth. We are increasingly establishing ourselves as one of the world’s most dynamic high-technology companies.

Following the outstanding acclaim that greeted the arrival of the P1TM, McLaren Automotive is already working busily to extend the line-up, and McLaren Racing’s exciting technical partnership with Japanese manufacturer Honda, which hits the track in 2015, promises a return to the greatness achieved during our previous link-up, which won 44 grands prix and eight world titles in the 1980s and ’90s.

Despite the broadening of the group’s business interests, McLaren’s goal remains singular: we exist to win – and aim to do so in every endeavour we undertake. Less a corporate slogan and more a matter of personal pride, McLaren’s ethos cuts deep into the organisation, creating a workforce unified by the same passion – it’s the quality that ensures McLaren remains such a relentless force in everything it does.

Ron Dennis, McLaren Group chairman, said:

“McLaren started as the dream of one man, and it’s since grown to encompass the hopes and dreams of more than 2000 men and women, who work as tirelessly as Bruce McLaren himself once did to ensure that everything we do reflects well when compared with everything we’ve ever achieved.

“So, our 50th anniversary provides an opportunity for every single McLaren employee to realise that he or she is an utterly crucial part of an organisation with a history and a culture that really mean something.

“Call it McLaren’s DNA, if you like. Call it McLaren’s brand continuity, if you prefer. Call it McLaren’s corporate culture, if you will. Call it McLaren’s undiminished hunger to win in everything we do, and you’d probably be getting closest to what I mean, what I think, and what I feel.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren Group CEO, said:

“Marking McLaren’s 50th anniversary is an extremely proud moment for me, and for every single person who works for this organisation.

“We are a group that thrives on the passion, determination and belief of our employees. We are also grateful to have received outstanding support from all our partners over the decades, whose backing has given our world-class engineers and drivers the tools they need to win races.

“We make no secret of the fact that we are a hugely specialist set of businesses, but far from that being a limiting factor, our adaptability and determination have made us restless, dynamic and inventive.

“To witness the scope and scale of our growth across the past five decades has been truly astonishing. From our humble beginnings, McLaren has not only become a world-renowned sporting force, but also a byword for superlative technical excellence and attention to detail.

“That’s an incredible legacy, and a testament to the consistent adherence to the highest of standards. Everything we do – from racing grand prix cars around the world to developing groundbreaking new medical technologies – is approached with the same mindset: how can we be better? How can we be the best?

“That is the methodology that continually motivates me and still makes me feel incredibly proud to work for McLaren.”

Mike Flewitt, McLaren Automotive CEO, said:

“McLaren is a truly inspirational company which has been synonymous with success for five decades. McLaren Automotive is still young, by comparison to the rest of the group, but we already have a great deal to be proud of.

“When the company was established it was set some very challenging objectives. By bringing three new cars to market, establishing a global sales network and developing a truly world-class manufacturing facility, we have more than met those challenges and laid solid foundations for what, I believe, will be a very bright future.

“We owe a huge thanks to our technical partners Pirelli, ExxonMobil, Akebono, AkzoNobel and TAG Heuer, whose support has been invaluable; and particularly to our staff, who have demonstrated unwavering commitment and enthusiasm. McLaren Automotive is already an important part of the McLaren story and we have an exciting opportunity to play an even greater role in the company’s future.”

Jenson Button said:

“I’ve never hidden my pride at being a McLaren driver. I grew up watching this team achieving great things with Ayrton Senna and my racing hero, Alain Prost. And I firmly believe this team will be great again; this is an organisation you can never discount – their appetite for winning is unlike anything I’ve ever seen and, rest assured, we will be back at the front soon.

“For me, it’s hugely gratifying to not only be at MTC on the actual day of the anniversary, but to spend time with the thousands of people who all work with such skill and enthusiasm to make McLaren great.

“Happy 50th birthday McLaren – you are an inspiration to everyone in motorsport.”

Sergio Perez said:

“Ayrton Senna was my hero when I was growing up and getting into Formula 1. Ever since then, I’ve had huge respect for McLaren – throughout my whole life they have been winning races and championships, and have consistently been one of the best teams in Formula 1.

“To drive for McLaren in their 50th year has been a great personal achievement for me – ever since I first arrived, I’ve found a team utterly hungry for success, yet always friendly and considerate. It’s this human quality that has really struck me about the team – they are completely united, so you always know they are pushing hard for you. In turn, that makes you want to step up and deliver yourself.

“It’s unbelievable to think that McLaren is 50 today – I want to wish the team every success for the next 50 years.”

Ferrari Racing Days Coming At End Of August

By   July 30, 2013

Ferrari Racing Days

Ferrari Racing Days

From August 30th to September 1st Ferrari will be having their Ferrari Racing Days at the Hockenheimring track. The event will celebrate the Italian sports car maker and will especially focus on motor sport. Enzo Ferrari had the philosophy of selling road cars as a way to fund the companies racing efforts and this event celebrates this spirit.

The event will include the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell races, laps of the track by the 599XX and FXX as well as Formula One action. Fernando Alonso is also supposed to be at the event as part of the F1 participation of the event.

There will also be a large collection of Ferraris from various years and models in the paddock. The event is also expected to attract thousands of customer cars, so there should be some great cars wearing the Prancing Horse all over the event.

Let us know what you think of Ferrari Racing Days in the comments below.

Press Release

Only four weeks to go, the Ferrari Racing Days at the Hockenheimring from August 30 to September 1 where it will be all about the myth of Ferrari. To wet appetite’s, watch the video featuring Ferrari’s most famous Formula 1 driver, Fernando Alonso. Link: http://corseclienti.ferrari.com/2013en/video/ferrari-racing-days-august-30-september-1-hockenheimring/

He has great memories of the Hockenheimring as he has won three F1 Grand Prix races here: in 2005 with Renault and in 2010 and 2012 with Ferrari.

The Ferrari Racing Days offer an exciting weekend with the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell races, laps from the 599XX and FXX programmes, Formula One action from the F1 Ferrari Clienti programme and an estimated thousand customer-owned cars in the paddock along with other attractions for young and old. The Ferrari Racing Days are an event highlight for every self-respecting Cavallino Rampante aficionado and sports car enthusiast.

Ferrari Racing Days – inspiring Ferrari drivers and fans since 1996

The Ferrari Racing Days have been synonymous with the passion and  excitement conjured up by the Ferrari brand since 1996; no other manufacturer has been as closely connected with motor racing. Ferrari is still the most successful Formula One team ever and the only existing team to have been racing Formula One from the start. The living legend that is Ferrari has continuously grown recording 221 F1 Grands Prix victories, 207 pole positions, fifteen drivers titles and sixteen constructors titles since its inception in 1950. The Racing Days turn the world of Ferrari into an immediate and live experience for spectators. Racing drivers, collectors and fans from all over Europe come together to celebrate and to share their passion.

Not only die-hard fans will be captivated by this blend of real motorsports, action-filled demonstration runs and the sight of almost a thousand customer vehicles, the audience-friendly concept with access to the paddock and the free entrance  for kids under fourteen will also attract families.

The Ferrari Racing Days will be taking place in Germany for the eleventh time and for the third time at the Hockenheimring; this year will be seeing its revival in Germany and it is the only Ferrari Racing Days in Europe in 2013.

Largest Ferrari exhibition in the paddock with a thousand cars expected

As in previous years, the paddock will be full of a huge collection of Ferrari models in various versions from various years, a thousand cars are expected for the weekend; the cars will be organised according to model for the visitors in an exhibition that Ferrari enthusiasts can otherwise only dream about.

600 Children Energize Fernando Alonso Before Hungarian Grand Prix

By   July 24, 2013

Six Hundred Children Meet Fernando Alonso Before Hungarian Grand Prixg

Six Hundred Children Meet Fernando Alonso Before Hungarian Grand Prix

Six hundred children got a treat when they met their Formula One hero, Fernando Alonso. The children were at the 2013 Junior Summer Formula summer camp that is open to children of employees of Ferrari.

The children weren’t the only ones excited about the event. Fernando was energized by the warm welcome and hopes that it will carry over to a good performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He describes the rush of the event like that he gets when using the KERS system in his F1 car.

Let us know if you think the extra energy from the event might give Ferrari extra incentive to win this weekend in the comments below.

Press Release

What could be more energising than the enthusiasm of six hundred children? Not much, as Luca di Montezemolo and Fernando Alonso could affirm when, this morning, along with the Managing Director Amedeo Felisa and the Director of Human Resources Mario Mairano, they went to visit those taking part in the 2013 Junior Summer Formula, the summer camp for the children of the company’s employees, organised by Ferrari and the Maranello local council.
Everyone received a very warm welcome from the kids and not just metaphorically, given the high temperatures we are seeing at the end of July, at the “Chiaffredo Cassiani” infants school, one of four- three in Maranello and one in Modena – that are involved in the project. There were two special gifts to mark the occasion: from the mothers of some of the children, Montezemolo was given a leather emblem made in the Selleria department as a thank you for making this programme possible, while Fernando was given a parcel containing a large number of letters written to him by the children, obviously singing the praises of their hero in red.

“This is a really great initiative that demonstrates the close links between the company and the area,” said Montezemolo,turning to Lucia Bursi, the Mayor of Maranello. “I wish to thank the local council of Maranello for its support in this project, which is growing ever more popular, year after year.” Indeed, the number of participants is increasing all the time: in the four camps held so far, the numbers have grown from 200 to 600,divided into two groups, the 3 to 6 year olds and 7 to 14. Over fifty teachers are on hand, all involved in the planning and organisation of the event which runs every day from 7.30 to 20.30, to cover all three factory shifts.

“A good energy boost, almost the same as the one you get from KERS at the start,” said Fernando. “Just what was needed before heading off to Budapest!”

Ferrari Looks For Hungarian Grand Prix Before Mandatory Holiday

By   July 23, 2013

Ferrari Looks For Hungarian Grand Prix Before Mandatory Holiday

Ferrari Looks Forward to Hungarian Grand Prix

The Ferrari racing team is looking forward to the mandatory two week holiday that all Formula One racing teams must take. Before they can do that they have to stay focused on the Hungarian Grand Prix that runs this coming weekend. With the F1 season in full force every race matters and the 70 laps at the Hungaroring track could be a difference in the fight for the championship.

With the two weeks off coming up quickly it will be easy for teams to look past the upcoming race and just try to get to their vacation. Ferrari is trying to stay focused on the race and is planning to think about the time off after the race. After all a vacation will be much more fun if you perform well in the race before it.

The Hungarian Grand Prix has been an important one in the past for Ferrari racing. A good finish and the much needed points from the race could end up being the difference in the driver’s and manufactures championships. Formula One fans had better make sure not to miss this one as it will be 28 days until the next race.

Let us know in the comments below if you will be watching the race and who you will be rooting for.

Press Release

The Formula 1 season moves along at such a frantic pace that there is very little time to pause for breath, as team personnel are always looking ahead to the next race, the next technical upgrade and the next flight. However, after this coming Sunday’s race at the Hungaroring, the sport faces a 28 day hiatus until the red lights go out above the race track at Spa-Francorchamps to signal the start of the following Grand Prix. It will be time for the summer break and a two week factory shut-down for all the teams, when no work is allowed. Before then, there’s the small matter of 70 laps of the 4.381 kilometre Hungaroring to deal with.

What was once seen as an exotic trip into the unknown of Eastern Europe is now a very familiar venue, given this will be the twenty eighth year Formula 1 has visited the Magyar track, since its 1986 debut. Only Scuderia Ferrari’s home race at Monza and the Monaco Grand Prix can boast a longer run of consecutive races on the F1 calendar. Just a short drive from the beautiful capital city of Budapest, this event always hosts a large and vocal crowd, much of its support directed at Ferrari’s Felipe Massa. In a bizarre twist of human nature, what was a life threatening incident at the 2009 race here, became a life affirming moment for the Brazilian and made him more popular than ever with the local fans. “The Hungarian Grand Prix is a very special event for me, that brings back a lot of memories” – confirms Felipe. “Naturally, there are some negative memories from my accident, but also positive ones in that I am here today, getting ready for Budapest, healthy and still racing. I love the fans in Hungary, as I actually have a lot more of them since my accident, so it’s somewhere I am always pleased to go back to and of course I hope I can have a good race there this weekend.”

The difficulties and quirks of the Hungaroring are well documented – with 14 corners and a short straight all packed into just over four kilometres, overtaking, even with DRS is never easy, because the corners all run into one another, while dirt off the racing line adds to the risk of making a passing move. However, from a pure driving perspective, it’s great fun for the drivers. “It’s a short track, with a lot of corners one after the other with no long straights” – says Felipe – “Overtaking is difficult, with changes of direction all the time, which make it a fun track. So it’s an old style race track and Sunday afternoon can be tough, but I like going back to these old fashioned venues.”

On paper at least, the Hungaroring might not seem well suited to the F138 and the difficulty in overtaking puts a greater premium than usual on qualifying well and getting a good grid position, a well documented weak point for the Prancing Horse. Felipe is not convinced the pundits are right. “For sure people say the characteristics of our car are not best suited to this circuit and that it will be tough for us to fight for the win here, but I am not sure this is an accurate assessment, because there have been other circuits where we expected our car to be very strong and it was not and vice versa. The important thing will be to get a good understanding of exactly how the car is reacting as quickly as possible. The circuit requires as much downforce as possible, because the speed down the straight is not so important here. You need a car that is very stable and that is kind to the tyres to avoid degradation. I think we can be competitive, so I’m hoping our weekend goes in the opposite way to what people are expecting.”

Last week, Felipe spent a half day at the Silverstone test, his work restricted by the FIA to evaluating the new tyres that Pirelli will supply as from this weekend, which use the 2012 tyre construction with this year’s compounds. It was a useful exercise, as was the two and a half days that Scuderia Ferrari development driver Davide Rigon spent on track, to exploit his “young driver” status, meaning the team could also evaluate different technical settings on the car. Having originally planned to bring their Hard tyre as the Prime, the Italian manufacturer has now nominated the Medium and Soft compounds, a choice which certainly suits the F138 better. “I expect the tyres will be critical again, especially in relation to temperature” – affirms Ferrari’s Brazilian driver. “They will perform very differently in qualifying and the race and I hope we can make the most of the high temperatures.” Indeed, very high temperatures are predicted all week, with the mercury sizzling up to 37 degrees on race day.

Not only does this race signal the start of the summer break, it is also the mid-point of the nineteen race season, a combination of factors that mean a good result on Sunday can be savoured for a while and provide a welcome boost when hostilities resume for the second half of the year. “For a driver, the most important thing is always the race result and I hope this weekend will deliver that for me, as the last couple of races have not been so successful” – admits Felipe. “There was always something happening which meant I couldn’t finish as high up as I should have done. Therefore what I would like most of all is to turn things around, because going on holiday with a good result under my belt would really make the difference.”

Ferrari Gets Ready For Hungarian Grand Prix Formula One Race

By   July 22, 2013

Ferrari gets Ready for Hungarian Grand Prix

This coming weekend is the running of the Hungarian Grand Prix Formula One Race and Ferrari is preparing for the race. The Hungaroring track has seen some of the best performance by the F1 Prancing Horse racing teams. There have also been many heartbreaking races at the track.

One of the high points was back in 2001 when Michael Schumacher and Ferrari won both championships at the end of the race with a one, two finish for the team. Three years later the race gave them the manufactures title as well as a guarantee that one of their drivers would win the driver’s championship.

These are just a few of the highpoints at the track. However, Ferrari has also had their share of heartbreak. One of the most stinging was back in 2008 when the race setup a championship run for Lewis Hamilton driving for McLaren. In that race Felipe Massa was in the lead and probably going to win the race when an engine failure put him out of winning and the 10 points that would have been won was the difference between winning and loosing the championship.

So, will this year’s running of Hungarian Grand Prix be one of joy or heartbreak for Ferrari? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Press Release

Joy, fear, excitement, disappointment are all emotions that can be linked to the Hungarian Grand Prix. It has become something of a high-summer classic on the Formula 1 World Championship calendar and the scene of a range of emotions with contrasting fortunes for Scuderia Ferrari and its fans.

For example, how could one forget that it was at the Hungaroring in 2001 that the Scuderia and Michael Schumacher would claim both championships at the end of a race that finished in a great one-two for the team? Another double top finish three years later brought the Maranello team its sixth consecutive Constructors’ title along with the guarantee that one of its drivers would win the Drivers’ crown, given that the maths indicated that only Schumacher or Barrichello could finish first.

Going further back in time, there are two great victories that stand out: in 1989, Nigel Mansell came from twelfth on the grid to win and then in 1998, Ross Brawn came up with a three stop strategy, considered a very risky choice at the time, with Schumacher playing his part, knocking out a couple of stints at qualifying pace, to take an unexpected win in the F300.

There was disappointment too, such as in 2000, when Hakkinen won from Michael, thus putting the McLaren driver ahead in the classification, after a fightback that a few races earlier seemed impossible. That year, after a win in Canada, Michael had built up a substantial lead, but he then saw it frittered away with three consecutive retirements, in Magny-Cours, Zeltweg and Hockenheim: so when Hakkinen won at the Hungaroring, he led the championship, consolidating his lead a fortnight later in Spa. However, the destiny of this championship would be turned on its head again, as Michael strung together a series of four consecutive wins, which delivered him his first world title with Ferrari, who also won the Constructors’ championship. The disappointment of the 2008 race was very hard to take, especially as there was to be no reversal of fortune. Felipe Massa produced a sensational start to pass both the McLarens right at the first corner to go into the lead. The Brazilian was comfortably in the lead until, with three laps remaining, the engine on his F2008 let him down on the main straight: the ten points that literally went up in smoke that day would cost him and Ferrari dear, given that the title went to Hamilton, only fifth that day, by a single point.

Fear, real fear, the sort that hits you hard was felt by all Ferraristi the following year when a bizarre incident made one fear for Felipe’s life. What are the chances of an incident of this sort taking place, when a damper off fellow-countryman Barrichello’s Brawn GP car hit Felipe on the helmet during Q2? For many of us and of you, there followed anxious days, but fortunately it all ended well, but from then on, it was hard not to think about it on every subsequent visit to Budapest.

Of the 27 Hungarian Grands Prix held to date, Scuderia Ferrari has only won five: apart from those mentioned already (1989, 1998 and 2001,) the roll of honour also features Rubens Barrichello’s 2002 victory and another one for Michael Schumacher in 2004. The Prancing Horse has been on pole seven times, six of them down to the multiple world champion and one courtesy of his team-mate, Rubens Barrichello. There have also been eight fastest race laps, the last from Massa in 2011.

Fernando Alonso’s best memory of the Hungaroring dates back ten years, when the man from Oviedo took his maiden Formula 1 win, the first of 32 to date. In eleven attempts, Fernando has finished a further three times on the podium once in second place and twice in third. He has the same number of other points finishes (two fourths and a fifth.) His team-mate has a more meager tally: Felipe’s best result is a fourth place from nine starts and he has set the race fastest lap in the aforementioned 2011 as well as in 2006.