Tag Archives: McLaren

The P1







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The not so secret test


In a car with no livery on it, Ayrton tested a Lamborghini V12 in his McLaren. He loved the way the car felt with this motor in it. So much that he asked Ron Dennis if they could run it in the upcoming race. Unfortunately Ron said no to this idea. It’s held with great certainty that if Ron had allowed this motor to be ran in the McLaren car for the next season Ayrton might have stayed with them. Which meant the possibility of more championships and Ayrton still leaving and breathing today. It could have changed everything.



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McLaren’s Unit 2


Welcome to McLaren’s Area 51 skunkwerkes facility called Unit 2. A nondescript warehouse in the south of England. A select few of the employees have been taken here to see the history of McLaren. After the merging in 1981, Ron Dennis sorted to never sell McLaren’s race cars, spares, or rather anything from the McLaren Formula 1 team. Everything is stored here, cars, spare cars, wings, wheels, outdated computers for the ECUs, and even tools!




You can see plenty of everything is stored here, even a nose cone from a testing livery McLaren F1 car. That is probably a nose can used in testing that didn’t carry over to the racing season. It stands out quite nicely against the bright white and day glow red cars of the Marlboro era of the McLaren team.






What you can see here is the evolution of the McLaren liveries over time. The bright white and day glow red of the Marlboro era to the dull silver and black of the short lived West era and to the present. The almost chrome bright silver and day glow red of the Vodafone era. Ron Dennis has the utmost attention to detail to his cars. It reflects that he loves that silver finish so much he had his private jet painted in that particular finish.


I can only imagine what kind of stories this warehouse could tell. You have a long history of cars stored in there. Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Lewis Hamilton, Mika Hakkinen, and Kimi Raikkonen all have cars in here. I don’t think you could spend a week in here in order to take in the provenance this warehouse holds in it’s interior. To see Ayrton’s MP4/6 that he took his first Brazilian GP win in. Or the car Kimi Raikkonen took around Giancarlo Fisichella into turn 1 of Suzuka. Or even get a sight of the MP4/13 and MP4/14. The two cars used by Mika Hakkinen to take the fight to Michael Schumacher who claimed Mika was his greatest foe.

While I am a huge Ferrari and Lotus fan, I applaud McLaren’s efforts to keep a running history of their team in a warehouse like this. A place where days gone by can be revisited. Where the spirits of our past live on quite nicely and are taken care of.

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