As the 2018 formula one season starts again it is pleasing to see the McLaren team returned to their orange livery. This was the colour scheme they had when they were first in Formula one in 1968. Started by Bruce McLaren they are the second oldest grid team after Ferrari. They have had many decades of success and can boast some of the greatest drivers never known and some of the most famous and iconic Formula one cars ever built. They make beautiful cars and if your looking to partake of some Car Leasing Cheltenham way then try http://www.mphvehiclesolutions.co.uk/ for a sweet deal.
It was in 1966 at the Monaco Grand Prix that the first proper McLaren car competed. Bruce McLaren and Teddy Mayer had come from success in Australia with an American built Penske car. The team based itself in Feltham in the UK so as to be a British based team. Bruce drove the cars himself in whatwas a less than safety conscious environment. He was partnered by a fellow New Zealander Denny Hulme. Both would go forward to have moderate success securing the first Grand Prix win in 1968 and second in the constructor’s championship in June 1970. Bruce was killed during testing and it was left to Teddy Mayer to carry on the team and recruit new drivers to compliment Hume. It wasn’t until 1972 that the team got back to winning ways and came third in the constructor’s championship.
The wind of change was coming including the recruitment of a young Jodi Shecktor. The McLaren M23 was the standard for the 1973 car and so good it was the basis for the next four years. It was Hume’s last season for the team and they took on the first-class Emerson Fittipaldi who went onto win drivers and constructor’s championship in 1974. There was a liveried change to the car this was the famous iconic red and white livery as the team’s sponsors were cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris responsible for Marlboro, and this was the packets colours.
The rest of the 1970s were lean times apart from a drivers’ championship for the ‘dubious reputation’ James Hunt, the team’s cars were underpowered and underperforming. The sponsor, Philip Morris, were not happy so as the 1980s loomed and was results stayed the same Teddy Mayer joined forces with the legendary Ron Dennis and his project four race team. Project four was developing a strong carbon fibre chassis that would move away from aluminium ones. The team were using a TAG Porsche engine which was fruitful for them winning in 1984 and 1985. The drivers were Niki Lauda and Alain Prost two of Formula one’s true greats.
It was in 1988 that their true dominance began. With the coming of Honda engines and the team won for the next four years on the trot. They did have Ayrton Senna, arguably the greatest driver ever in Formula one history to help and guide them. So ends the first age of McLaren. What next for the team? That’s another article.