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Mika Hakkinen drove for the McLaren team from 1993, two years after he moved into Formula 1. The team is based in Woking, England and was headed by Ron Dennis during Mika's tenure.  The company Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd was formed by Bruce McLaren in 1963 and they made their F1 debut at Monaco in 1966. The death of Bruce McLaren in 1970 was untimely and occurred while he was testing a a CanAm race car.

In 1980 a merger between the Project Four race team and Team McLaren formed the current company, McLaren International.  Ron Dennis, the managing director of Project Four then became Managing Director of the new company. At present there are approximately 325 employees involved in the operations of McLaren International.

The team has won 8 Constructor's World Championship titles and 10 Driver's World Championship titles.

In 1995 McLaren entered into a long term partnership with Mercedes-Benz, who supply badged engines to the team, which are in fact constructed by Ilmor Engineering in the UK.

The team is renowned for its technical developments and attention to detail - even down to extracting performance from the paint on the car! McLaren worked with Akzo Nobel who developed paint for the car, which uses colours of chrome, flourescent red, grey metallic, black and white. Whilst a spray gun might typically lay down a paint layer 25µm-50µm thick, the chrome paint applied to the McLaren is extremely thin - less than 5µm thick. The car's other colours are then painted on top of the chrome. Managing paint thickness is important to keep the car's weight down and can be measured with a paint thickness gauge.

The driver line up for the team from 1995-2001 was Finn Mika Hakkinen and Scot David Coulthard. The drivers, who raced everywhere from the famous casino city of Monte Carlo to down under in Melbourne were considered equal in the team and there were no team orders "whilst it is mathematically possible for either driver to win the driver's championship". This was an often quoted line by Ron Dennis and an unusual arrangement in comparison to other F1 teams.

In 1998 the team won the Constructor's Championship. In 1999 however Ferrari managed to beat them into second place and take it for themselves.

The team has had a range of sponsors throughout its history, including Marlboro, West, Vodafone and Hugo Boss. From the beginning of the 2014 season, it ran with no title sponsor. The phasing out of tobacco sponsorship, as a result of an EU directive, had impacted some teams and narrowed the possibilities for big money deals. This led to a broader range of companies becoming more prominent in their sponsorship of teams (from banks to software companies to casino operators). Casino operators have seen motor racing fans as potential customers that might like to place wagers on races, as their businesses developed on the web, be that a European or an Australian online casino.

Check out the book by a former team member which goes into further detail on the McLaren team. Click on the picture to the right for more information. It provides far more information than we can here!


 

Ron Dennis of McLaren
Ron Dennis CBE
CEO & Chairman
McLaren Group

 

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