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MAY 25, 2006

Forty years of McLaren

In May 1966 Bruce McLaren arrived at Monaco with the first McLaren Formula 1 car. Designed by Robin Herd, it featured innovative aerospace materials called Mallite and an Indianapolis 500-winning four-cam Ford V8 which had been modified from 4.1-litres to 3-litres. The car arrived in Monaco on a trailer behind an American station wagon and the team featured five people: Bruce McLaren, Herd and mechanics John Muller, Howden Ganley and Tyler Alexander. The engine was horribly overweight (the engine and gearbox weighed almost as much as the entire Brabham F1 car) and the race ended early with an oil leak.

Since that inauspicious debut the team has competed in 602 Grands Prix and won a total of 148 of them. It has collected 11 Drivers' titles and eight Constructors' Championships. In addition the team has won the Indianapolis 500 three times, five CanAm titles and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

This year there will be 137 McLaren employees at Monaco including Tyler Alexander, who today works as a systems engineer with Kimi Raikkonen.