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McLaren Heritage – Photo genesis of an F1 icon

Submitted by on October 2, 2013

McLaren Heritage

McLaren’s 50th birthday celebrations continue, with this collection of profile shots recalling 20 of the marques most significant F1 race cars. Here’s each of the vehicles in chronological order, how often they won, and for what they will be best remembered.


McLaren Heritage

1968 – M7A

3 wins from 11 races

Famous for: McLaren’s first GP victory (driven by Bruce McLaren).

McLaren Heritage

1974 – M23

4 wins from 15 races

Famous for: Carrying Emerson Fittipaldi to his 2nd (and final) F1 World Championship

McLaren Heritage

1976 – M23

6 wins from 16 races

Famous for: James Hunt’s first Formula 1 World Championship, as depicted in RUSH.

McLaren Heritage

1977 – M26

3 wins from 17 races

Famous for: The beginning of the end for McLaren’s earlier success. The team’s last win until 1981.

McLaren Heritage

1981 – MP4/1

1 win from 13 races

Famous for: Taking John Watson to victory in Great Britain, putting McLaren back on the map.

McLaren Heritage

1984 – MP4/2

12 wins from 16 races

Famous for: Collecting the most wins a single season car had seen yet, taking first and second place in the 1984 F1 World Championship with Niki Lauda and Alain Prost respectively.

McLaren Heritage

1985 – MP4/2B

6 wins from 16 races

Famous for: Taking Alain Prost to the first of two consecutive Formula 1 world championships by a commanding margin, and collecting the Constructor’s trophy for McLaren in the process.

McLaren Heritage

1986 – McLaren MP4/2C

4 wins from 16 races

Famous for: Part two of the above, Alain Prost’s second consecutive F1 World Championship win for McLaren.

McLaren Heritage

1988 – MP4/4

15 wins from 16 races

Famous for: The most dominant car Formula 1 has yet seen – won the championship with Ayrton Senna and claimed second with Prost. Fell just two points short of collecting more Constructor points than every other team which entered the 1988 season, combined. The last of the turbocharged McLarens.

McLaren Heritage

1989 – MP4/5

10 wins from 16 races

Famous for: Seeing the inversion of the previous season result, with Alain Prost placing first and Senna second. Collecting McLarens second consecutive Constructor Championship. The return of natural aspiration in the form of a Honda V10.

McLaren Heritage

1991 – MP4/6

8 wins from 16 races

Famous for: Rounding out Senna’s third victory from four seasons, and collecting another Constructor Championship for McLaren. The scream of the V12 Honda.

McLaren Heritage

1992 – MP4/7

5 wins from 14 races

Famous for: The introduction of the semi-automatic transmission for McLaren, and the first time they’d lost the Constructor title since 1987.

McLaren Heritage

1993 – MP4/8

5 wins from 16 races

Famous for: The last car Ayrton Senna would drive to a Formula 1 Grand Prix victory.

McLaren Heritage

1997 – MP4/12

3 wins from 17 races

Famous for: The arrival of West and Adrian Newey, the exit of the iconic Marlboro livery. The first time McLaren would clinch an F1 GP victory since losing Senna.

McLaren Heritage

1998 – MP4/13

9 wins from 16 races

Famous for: Bringing the Constructors title back to McLaren for the first time in seven years, when Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard placed first and third overall respectively.

McLaren Heritage

1999 – MP4/14

7 wins from 16 races

Famous for: Seeing the second of Mika Hakkinen’s two straight overall Championship wins.

McLaren Heritage

2003 – MP4-17D

2 wins from 16 races

Famous for: Winning the first two rounds of the 2003 season, then missing out on the next 14. Originally the MP4-18 was supposed to compete in the 2003 season, however the MP4-17D was used after the MP4-18 suffered considerable teething issues. The MP4-17D placed 2nd on seven separate occasions.

McLaren Heritage

2005 – MP4-20A

10 wins from 19 races

Famous for: Bouncing back after the failure of the MP4-19, being the fastest car on the grid (when it worked!)

McLaren Heritage

2008 – MP4-23

6 wins from 18 races

Famous for: Helping Lewis Hamilton become the youngest F1 World Champion in history .

McLaren Heritage

2012 – MP4-27

7 wins from 20 races

Famous for: The most modern McLaren to take a Formula 1 GP victory. The team has not yet made the podium in 2013.


Images: McLaren Heritage

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