Next to Ferrari, the most successful Formula one team in the history of the sport is McLaren. However, they’ve not been going as long as the Maranello concern, starting in 1963. They began as the dream of the New Zealander driver Bruce McLaren. It only took five years to gain their first win in 1968 at the notoriously difficult Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps.
However, the F1 stage was just a sideshow to the massive success they were having on the North American circuit. McLaren himself continued to race, and it was this that was going to be his downfall. Bruce McLaren was killed in an accident during testing in 1970. This might have spelt the end for the team, but it was saved by Teddy Mayer, who went on to lead them to their first of many constructors’ success in 1974. This was with the great Brazilian driver Emerson Fittipaldi and then again in 1976 with the legendary playboy driver James Hunt. It was also around this time that the orange livery of the team was ditched for the evocative design of classic red and white chevron. As impressive as this was, it has to be remembered it was mainly to advertise the Marlboro cigarette brand. This was to end with a silver livery to match the Mercedes partnership until a return to the orange over the last few seasons.
The real turning point came in 1981 when the team merged with Ron Dennis Project Four Racing. Ron Dennis took over the team as principal and turned it into a winning machine. Securing the talents of drivers like Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, they came to dominate the mid to early nineties. They did briefly win again with Mika Haikkinen in the late nineties, before years of Ferrari dominance, and continued to be competitive throughout the Nineties and Noughties. Still, they would not find the same level of success until the arrival of protege Lewis Hamilton (who had told Ron Dennis when he was in karting at the age of 6 that he would drive for the team one day) in the early 2010s.
In addition to the F1 success, they have also produced a cracking set of road cars, the F1 and P1. These are not the sort of vehicles you leave out on the side of the road, and they should be in a good-sized garage; Garage Doors Bath based company www.upandoverdoorsltd.co.uk/garage-doors/garage-doors-bath/ can make sure they have a good home.