This day at Silverstone was an opportunity to shake the cobwebs from some of our greatest British GP cars, while also celebrating the speed and majesty of one of the best, and most historic, grand prix tracks in the world.
Woking, Surrey (PRWEB UK) 28 June 2013
On June 18th 2013, the 1974 M23, the 1988 MP4/4, the 1998 MP4-13 and the 2008 MP4-23 were put through their paces by Formula 1 drivers past and present.
- McLaren-Ford M23
The little Cosworth-powered terrier was one of the most successful and long-lived chassis in F1 history (it raced from 1973 to 1978). It was also the car driven by Emerson Fittipaldi to his second world title in 1974. The M23 was notably a winner at Silverstone; Peter Revson won his first grand prix there in 1973, and Emmo scored his final win there in ’75.
- McLaren-Honda MP4/4
The legendary and iconic pencil-slim Honda rocket-ship that dominated all before it in 1988. The McLaren MP4/4 was a low-slung beast that still looks as mean and purposeful today as it did when it first raced more than a quarter of a century ago. Ayrton Senna walked on water to win at Silverstone in this car in 1988.
- McLaren-Mercedes MP4-13
Fitted with a glorious, wailing 3-litre Mercedes V10, this was the narrow-track, grooved-tyre masterpiece that finally allowed Mika Hakkinen to fully express his artistry behind the wheel. This car won nine races in 1998 – eight taken by Mika alone – although some might (still) argue that he was somewhat robbed of victory at Silverstone that year (he came second).
- McLaren-Mercedes MP4-23
The car that won Lewis Hamilton the world title in the last corner of the last lap of the last race in 2008. In that year, the MP4-23 also won at Silverstone by the significant margin of 1m08s over second place.
Driving this legendary quartet was an inspirational roster of racers: two of McLaren’s most beloved sons David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen and a quartet of British legends – Damon Hill, Martin Brundle, Johnny Herbert and current Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button.
Speaking about the day, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh said:
“Throughout our 50th anniversary year, we wanted to regularly showcase some of our legendary cars. At our launch at MTC in January, we rolled out some of our most iconic machinery, and they will run again at next month’s fabulous Goodwood Festival of Speed weekend.
“But this day at Silverstone was an opportunity to shake the cobwebs from some of our greatest British GP cars, while also celebrating the speed and majesty of one of the best, and most historic, grand prix tracks in the world.
“Additionally, to see them tamed by some of Britain’s most cherished and popular motorsport names, as well as our own dynamic duo of Mika and David, was a sight to treasure.
“Judging by the smiles on the faces of all concerned, it was a thoroughly satisfactory day. And I’m glad to say that all the cars were all given a good thrashing – which is just as it should be.”
The two features will be aired on the BBC and SKY Sports F1. The BBC’s McLaren feature, which was hosted by Mika and David, will be broadcast during the corporation’s coverage of this weekend’s Santander British Grand Prix. SKY Sports F1’s segment will be shown over the Monza weekend, the date closest to McLaren’s actual 50th anniversary on September 2.
As part of McLaren’s 50th anniversary, an infographic has been created, celebrating 50 Years of McLaren F1 Championship Winning Cars.
About Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
New Zealand racing driver Bruce McLaren founded the McLaren team in 1963. It entered its first Formula 1 race in 1966 and won its first Grand Prix in 1968. More than 40 years and 182 Grand Prix victories later, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is still renowned as one of the sport’s most successful teams, and has won eight constructors’ and 12 drivers’ championships with motorsport legends Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton.