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To teams

McLaren Racing

Daniel Ricciardo & Lando Norris
Nationality gbr Brittish
Home base Woking, Groot-Brittannië
Active since 1966
Teamboss Andreas Seidl

F1 season 2021

WC Position 3
WC points 240.0
Podiums 5
Pole positions 1

F1 history

World titles 8
WC Points 5448.5
Podiums 493
Pole positions 156

After finishing third in the 2020 standings, McLaren will be hoping to build on their momentum for 2021. With Daniel Ricciardo joining the team to partner Lando Norris and a switch to Mercedes power, a lot is expected of the team.

Origins

Bruce McLaren Motor Racing was founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren. Having raced for Cooper, winning three races and finishing second in the 1960 championship. Bruce wanted to race in the Australasian Tasman Series and approached his employers, but following a disagreement on the type of engine to use, he decided to set up his own team for him and protective teammate Timmy Mayer to run in.

While Bruce won the 1964 Tasman Series, Mayer was killed during practice for the final race. Bruce drove for his team in sports race cars while still driving for Cooper in Grand Prix. However following the team's dip in form, he decided in race his own cars in 1966.

Early days in Formula 1

The team made their Grand Prix but at the 1966 race in Monaco, making them the second oldest current F1 team after Ferrari. Unfortunately the debut lasted just nine laps, as McLaren retired with an oil leak. The British outfit scored their first points at the British Grand Prix, but the team struggled due to unreliable and underpowered engines.

McLaren switched to British Racing Motors V12 engines in 1967, however delays forced the team to initially use a modified Formula Two car called the M4B before creating a slightly larger car called the M5A. The best result was a fourth in Monaco.

After driving McLaren's sole entry up to that point, 1968 saw Bruce joined by 1967 champion Denny Hulme who raced for the team in Can-Am. Now powered by Cosworth, the team saw an upswing in form and won their first Grand Prix in Belgium thanks to Bruce. Hulme won races in Italy and Canada later in the year, with McLaren finishing the season second in the Constructors' Championship. The team would win their next race the following year in Mexico.

The 1970 season saw Hulme and Bruce both finish second at the opening two Grand Prix before tragedy hit. Bruce was killed in a crash while testing the new M8D Can-Am car at Goodwood, with Teddy Mayer taking over control of the team. Hulme continued on with Dan Gurney, though the latter was replaced by Peter Gethin mid-season.

No wins came in 1971, though Hulme ended a run of two-and-a-half years without victory at the 1972 South African Grand Prix as McLaren finished the season third in the Constructors' Championship. The McLaren M23 was the team's new car for the 1973 season and was used for the next four years, with the team once again finishing third.

Fittipaldi leads McLaren to glory and Hunt follows soon after

Emerson Fittipaldi joined the team in 1974, two years after winning the title with Lotus. Hulme, in what was his final F1 season, won the season-opener in Argentina. However it was the Brazilian who took the title, beating out Ferrari's Clay Regazzoni by four points after finishing fourth at the season-ending United States Grand Prix. Fittipaldi, Hulme and multiple motorcycle World Champion Mike Hailwood helped McLaren win their first Constructors' Championship.

There was no repeat in 1975 as Fittipaldi had to settle for second behind Niki Lauda. The Brazilian left McLaren for his brother's team soon after, and as a result Mayer turned to James Hunt as his replacement.

The British driver trailed Lauda by 30 points midway through the season despite wins in Spain and France. However the Austrian crashed and was nearly killed at the German Grand Prix, and while he only missed two races, Hunt quickly caught him in the standings.

Hunt won four more races and trailed by three points heading into the season finale in Japan. Heavy rain pushed Lauda to retire due to safety concerns, allowing the Briton to take the championship following a third-place finish, though Ferrari beat McLaren to the Constructors' title.

The M23 was gradually replaced by the M26 in 1977, with the car making it's final appearance in Gilles Villeneuve's F1 debut and lone race for McLaren at the British Grand Prix. While Hunt managed to win three races that year, results worsened from there with the Briton dropped in favour of Lotus' Ronnie Peterson. However the Swede was killed in a crash at the Italian Grand Prix, and as a result John Watson was signed instead.

Slow start to the 1980s

Alain Prost took over from Patrick Tambay to start the 1980s, however both he and Watson rarely scored points. Under pressure from principal sponsor Philip Morris and their executive John Hogan, Mayer merged McLaren with Ron Dennis' Project Four Formula 2 team, who were also sponsored by Philip Morris.

Dennis and designer John Barnard had plans for an innovative F1 chassis made from carbon-fibre rather than aluminum alloy. With help from investors that came via the merger, the McLaren MP4 of 1981 was created, driven by Watson and Andrea de Cesaris.

Soon after McLaren moved from Colnbrook to Woking. While Dennis and Mayer initially shared managing directorship of the company, by 1982 Mayer had left and Tyler Alexander and his shareholding's had been bought by the new owners as well.

TAG-Porsche and Honda engines

In need of a turbo engine of their own to match the likes of Renault, Ferrari and Brabham, Dennis convinced Williams backer Techniques d'Avant Garde (TAG) to fund Porsche-built, TAG-branded turbo engines made to Barnard's specifications. TAG founder Mansour Ojjeh would later become a McLaren shareholder.

In the meantime the team continued with Cosworth engines, with Lauda joining after coming out of retirement in 1982. Wins followed but no real sustained success, but that all changed in 1984.

Prost rejoined McLaren after being fired by Renault, and now with TAG engines, the team dominated. The Frenchman and Lauda won a combined 12 wins and two-and-a-half-times more points than nearest rivals Ferrari.

Lauda won the title by just half a point, the narrowest margin ever in F1 history. McLaren's dominance continued the following year as they once again took the Constructors' Championship while Prost won his first Drivers' title, winning five races and finishing ahead of Ferrari's Michele Alboreto.

Williams and McLaren battled it out in 1986 with Keke Rosberg stepping in for Lauda after the Austrian brought a definitive end to his career. Williams were resurgent with their Honda engines and took the Constructors' Championship thanks to the performance of Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet.

However with both of their drivers in the hunt for the Drivers' Championship they took points off one another, while Prost was largely on his own as Rosberg failed to come to terms with his new car. Mansell, Piquet and Prost headed into the season-ending Australian Grand Prix with a chance at the title, however a puncture for the Briton and a precautionary stop for the Brazilian opened the door for the Frenchman.

Prost took the win and his second title, making him the first driver to win back-to-back titles since Jack Brabham in 1959 and 1960.

McLaren teams up with Honda

While the 1987 season saw McLaren unable to challenge Williams-Honda, things changed in 1988. McLaren teamed up with the Japanese engine supplier and encouraged by Prost, Dennis signed Ayrton Senna to partner the Frenchman.

The season was dominated by the Woking outfit, with McLaren winning 15 of the 16 races. The lone failure came at Monza when Senna had been leading comfortably, only to collide with back marker Jean-Louis Schlesser which handed the win to Ferrari's Gerhard Berger.

Although McLaren enjoyed unprecedented success, the relationship between Senna and Prost began to turn sour at the Portuguese Grand Prix. The Brazilian squeezed Prost against the pitfall, and although the Frenchman took victory, he was less than pleased his teammate. In the end Prost scored more points than Senna that season, however the Brazilian took his first Drivers' Championship given only the best 11 results counted.

The success continued in 1989 as McLaren took both titles thanks to the MP4/5, however the relationship between Senna and Prost continued to worsen. At the San Marino Grand Prix, Prost felt that Senna went back on an agreement not to pass each other at Turn 1. This, and his belief that Honda and Dennis were favouring Senna, resulted in Prost announcing he would be leaving for Ferrari at the end of the season.

The battle between the two for the Drivers' Championship was decided at the Japanese Grand Prix. With Senna needing to win, the two came together in the closing laps of the race. While Prost was forced to retire, Senna rejoined the track after a push start and took the chequered flag. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, he was later disqualified after it was deemed he rejoined the track incorrectly, thereby handing Prost his third title.

Prost and Ferrari pushed McLaren hard in 1990, with the title once again decided in Japan. This time Senna and Prost collided at the first corner, with the Brazilian admitting the following year that the collision had been deliberate given his rival had been able to start on the clean side of the grid. As a result Senna took his second title while McLaren took the Constructors' Championship.

The 1991 season saw Senna win his third and final title, finishing 24 points ahead of Williams' Nigel Mansell while Prost dismissed from Ferrari during the season after criticising the team. However the success would end there as the Williams-Renault partnership continued their ascent in 1992, with Mansell winning the world title handily over teammate Riccardo Patrese while McLaren finished the year with five wins.

Honda withdrawal and dip in form

Honda opted to leave F1 at the end of the 1992 season in order to enter the CART PPG Indy Car World Series, forcing McLaren to find a new engine supplier. While the team had a deal with Renault, the move fell through and McLaren switched to customer Ford engines. Senna won five races that year but teammate Michael Andretti struggled, scoring just seven points before being replaced by test driver Mika Hakkinen. With Williams taking both titles and a class above the rest of the grid, Senna opted to join them for the 1994 season.

McLaren tested a Lamborghini V12 engine prior to the start of the 1994 campaign but ultimately decided to use Peugeot engines. The pairing of Hakkinen and Martin Brundle finished on the podium eight times but failed to take a win. As a result McLaren dropped Peugeot at the end of the year due to several failures that cost the team potential victories, switching to Mercedes-Benz-branded Ilmor-designed engines.

Return to glory with Mercedes power

The 1995 season started off with Mansell replacing Martin Brundle, however the latter was unable to into the car at first and only took part in two races. Mark Blundell took his place as a result, with McLaren far away from the front runners all season.

David Coulthard joined the team in 1996 and with Williams still dominant, McLaren went a third consecutive season without a win. That streak ended at the opening race in 1997, with Coulthard taking the chequered flag. The Scotsman and Hakkinen would each win another race before the end of the campaign, while Adrian Newey joined the team from Williams in August that year.

The addition of Newey and Williams losing their Renault engines saw a shift at the front, as McLaren battled it out with Michael Schumacher and Ferrari for the title. McLaren won five of the opening six races, however Hakkinen found himself level on points with the German with two races to go. In the end the Finn won the Luxembourg and Japanese Grand Prix to take the Drivers' Championship while McLaren took the Constructors' Championship.

Hakkinen added a second title the following year, beating out the other Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine after Schumacher's title bid ended after breaking his leg at the British Grand Prix, however McLaren were unable to retain the Constructors' crown due to a series of driver errors and mechanical failures.

Ferrari rise while McLaren fall back

McLaren won seven races in 2000 but in the end it wasn't enough to prevent Ferrari and Schumacher from taking both titles. The 2001 season saw Coulthard outscore Hakkinen for the first time since 1997, with the Finn retiring at the end of the season and replaced by compatriot Kimi Raikkonen. McLaren's only victory in 2002 came thanks to Coulthard's win in Monaco, as Ferrari matched their 1988 feat of 15 wins.

The 2003 season started strongly with Coulthard and Raikkonen taking wins at the opening two races, however the MP4-18 suffered with crash test and reliability issues. As a result the team were forced to continue using the 'D' development of the old MP4-17 for longer than planned. Despite the issues Raikkonen battled it out with Schumacher for the title, losing the title by two points.

Although the team started 2004 with the MP4-19, it was replaced by the MP4-19B mid-season as Raikkonen scored the team's only win in Belgium. McLaren finished the year fifth in the Constructors' Championship, their worst result since 1983.

Coulthard left for Red Bull and was replaced by CART Champions Juan Pablo Montoya in 2005, and McLaren finished the season with 10 wins. However early season issues with heating their tyres properly and the unreliability of the MP4-20 cost Raikkonen several races and grid positions in qualifying, resulting in Renault and Fernando Alonso taking the Constructors' and Drivers' Championships.

The 2006 season was less successful with McLaren failing to register a win for the first time in a decade. Montoya left for NASCAR after crashing with Raikkonen at the United States GP, with test driver Pedro de la Rosa filling in for the rest of the campaign. It wasn't the only departure as Raikkonen left for Ferrari at the end of the year.

Hamilton and Alonso era ends almost immediately

McLaren brought in two-time F1 champion Alonso to driver alongside rookie Lewis Hamilton in 2007, with both drivers experiencing success on track. Both drivers won four races each and led the Drivers' Championship for most of the year. However the relationship between the two began to detoriate, with an incident at the Hungarian GP only adding to the problems.

Alonso was judged to have deliberately impeded Hamilton in qualifying. As a result the Spaniard was handed a five-position grid penalty, while McLaren were told they would not score any Constructors' points or be handed a trophy should one of their drivers win, which Hamilton ended up doing. The team had initially planned to appeal the decision, however they ultimately withdrew it due to the Spygate scandal that rocked the team.

McLaren were investigated for being in possession of proprietary blueprints of the Ferrari car. Although the team denied knowledge of the matter and blamed it on a rogue engineer early on, they were eventually found guilty, excluded fro the Constructors' Championship and fined $100 million. Hamilton and Alonso were both allowed to continue racing without penalty, with the Briton heading into the final race of the season four points up on his teammate and seven points ahead of Ferrari's Raikkonen. In the end Raikkonen won in Brazil and took the Drivers' Championship by a single point.

The issues that popped up during the season resulted in McLaren terminating Alonso's contract at the end of the campaign, with Heikki Kovalainen brought in as his replacement.

Hamilton leaves it late

The 2008 season saw Hamilton battle it out with the Ferrari duo of Raikkonen and Felipe Massa. Just like the previous campaign, the Briton headed into the final race of the season in Brazil atop the standings.

Massa took the chequered flag, and initially it looked like it would be enough to take the title as well, however Hamilton captured the championship by passing Timo Glock on the final corner of the final lap, finishing the race in fifth. However with Kovalainen only able to finish seventh in the overall standings, Ferrari took the Constructors' Championship.

Dennies retired before the start of the 2009 season, with Martin Whitmarsh taking over. The MP4-24 proved to be off the pace, though Hamilton managed to win races later in the season in Hungary and Singapore. Nevertheless the Briton could only manage a fifth-place finish in the standings, with Kovalainen down in 12th. As a result the team brought in that year's champion, Jenson Button, to replace the Finn in 2010.

Red Bull proved too strong that season, though Button and Hamilton finished the season with five wins between them. They increased their tally to six the following campaign, with Button finishing the championship second behind Sebastian Vettel.

Button won the opening race in 2012 and Hamilton took the chequered flag in Canada, however by the mid-way point of the season the team were well behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the championship. Hamilton led in Singapore and Abu Dhabi but was forced to retire due to reliability problems. At the end of the season the Briton left for Mercedes, with Sergio Perez replacing him.

McLaren failed to finish on the podium in 2013, the first time they had failed to do since 1980. Magnussen replaced Perez for 2014 while Dennis returned as CEO, however the team's best result was a second-place finish in Australia.

Honda engines

McLaren ended their engine deal with Mercedes in 2015, buying back the 40 percent stake the German manufacturer had in the team as well, and returned to Honda power. Alonso was brought back to partner Button, however the season started poorly for the Spaniard after suffering a concussion during testing in Spain.

As a result he missed the season-opener in Australia, with Magnussen stepping in for him. McLaren's poor pace saw Button finish two laps down in 11th, and while the Honda engine appeared to make some gains later in the season, the team finished ninth in the Constructors' Championship with 27 points, their worst performance since 1980.

Both drivers and Honda returned for 2016, but once again Alonso's season started off on the wrong foot as he suffered rib fractures and a collapsed lung after colliding with Esteban Gutierrez in Australia, forcing him to miss the second race of the season. While the team performed better than the previous season, McLaren ended the year sixth in the standings with 76 points. Meanwhile the 2017 campaign saw Button retire with Stoffel Vandoorne replacing him, as McLaren slumped to a ninth-place finish.

Renault power

During the 2017 Singapore GP, McLaren announced they would split from Honda and bring in Renault engines for the next three years.

The partnership proved to be a step forward after Eric Boullier described their performance with Honda as a "proper disaster". Nevertheless Alonso announced he would not be returning for the 2019 season, while McLaren finished the 2018 campaign sixth with 62 points.

Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz were named the driver line-up for 2019 and the team established itself as a consistent presence on the grid behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. The Spaniard brought home McLaren's first podium since the 2014 Australian GP after finishing fourth in Brazil, however he was promoted to third following Hamilton's post-race penalty. At the end of the season McLaren finished fourth with 145 points, their best result since 2014.

Two more podiums followed in 2020 as Norris finished third in Austria and Sainz came home second in Italy. That helped McLaren to an impressive third place in the Constructors' Standings behind Mercedes and Red Bull, but ahead of Ferrari.

Return to Mercedes power

Despite an upturn in fortunes with Renault power, McLaren announced they would be resuming their relationship with Mercedes. Norris was retained however Sainz left to join Ferrari, with Daniel Ricciardo replacing him after making the move from Renault.

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