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United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes
McLaren Racing logo.svg
Full name McLaren F1 Team
Base McLaren Technology Centre
Woking, Surrey, England, UK
Team principal(s) Zak Brown
(Chief Executive Officer)
Andrea Stella
(Team Principal)
Technical director James Key
Founder(s) Bruce McLaren
2023 Formula One World Championship
Race drivers 04. United Kingdom Lando Norris
81. Australia Oscar Piastri
Test drivers Spain Alex Palou
Chassis MCL37
Engine Mercedes
Tyres Pirelli
Formula One World Championship career
First entry 1966 Monaco Grand Prix
Last entry 2019 Monaco Grand Prix
Races entered 884 (880 starts)
Engines Ford, Serenissima, BRM, Alfa Romeo, TAG, Honda, Peugeot, Mercedes, Renault
8 (1974, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1998)
12 (1974, 1976, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1998, 1999, 2008)
Race victories 182
Podiums 488
Points 5555.5
Pole positions 155
Fastest laps 158
2022 position 5th (159 pts)

McLaren Racing Limited is a British motor racing team based at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey, England. McLaren is best known as a Formula One constructor, the second oldest active team, and the second most successful Formula One team after Ferrari, having won 182 races, 12 Drivers' Championships and 8 Constructors' Championships. McLaren also has a history of competing in American open wheel racing, as both an entrant and a chassis constructor, and has won the Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) sports car racing championship. The team is a subsidiary of the McLaren Group, which owns a majority of the team.

Founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren, the team won its first Grand Prix at the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix, but their greatest initial success was in Can-Am, which they dominated from 1967 to 1971. Further American triumph followed, with Indianapolis 500 wins in McLaren cars for Mark Donohue in 1972 and Johnny Rutherford in 1974 and 1976. After Bruce McLaren died in a testing accident in 1970, Teddy Mayer took over and led the team to their first Formula One Constructors' Championship in 1974, with Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt winning the Drivers' Championship in 1974 and 1976 respectively. 1974 also marked the start of a long-standing sponsorship by the Marlboro cigarette brand.

In 1981, McLaren merged with Ron Dennis' Project Four Racing; Dennis took over as team principal, and shortly afterwards organised a buyout of the original McLaren shareholders to take full control of the team. This began the team's most successful era; with Porsche and Honda engines, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, and Ayrton Senna won seven Drivers' Championships between them and the team took six Constructors' Championships. The combination of Prost and Senna was particularly dominant—together they won all but one race in 1988—but later their rivalry soured and Prost left for Ferrari. Fellow English team Williams offered the most consistent challenge during this period, the two winning every constructors' title between 1984 and 1994. By the mid-1990s, Honda had withdrawn from Formula One, Senna had moved to Williams, and the team went three seasons without a win. With Mercedes-Benz engines, West sponsorship, and former Williams designer Adrian Newey, further championships came in 1998 and 1999 with driver Mika Häkkinen, and during the 2000s the team were consistent front-runners, with driver Lewis Hamilton taking their latest title in 2008.

Ron Dennis retired as McLaren team principal in 2009, handing over to long-time McLaren employee Martin Whitmarsh. At the end of 2013, after the team's worst season since 2004, Whitmarsh was ousted. McLaren announced in 2013 that they would be using Honda engines from 2015 onwards, replacing Mercedes-Benz. The team raced as McLaren Honda for the first time since 1992 at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix. In September 2017, McLaren announced they had agreed on an engine supply with Renault from 2018 to 2020. McLaren is using Mercedes-Benz engines from the 2021 season until at least 2024.

After initially returning to the Indianapolis 500 in 2017 as a backer of Andretti Autosport to run Fernando Alonso and then in 2019 as an independent entry, McLaren announced in August 2019 that they would run in conjunction with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports starting in 2020 to run the full IndyCar Series, the combined entry being named Arrow McLaren SP. Initially having no ownership interest in the team, McLaren would purchase 75% of the operation in 2021.

McLaren entered the electric off-road racing series Extreme E in 2022 and will join Formula E in the 2022-23 season.


The McLaren Racing team's founder Bruce McLaren

Bruce McLaren Motor Racing was founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren. Bruce was a works driver for the British Formula One team Cooper with whom he had won three Grands Prix and come second in the 1960 World Championship. Wanting to compete in the Australasian Tasman Series, Bruce approached his employers, but when team owner Charles Cooper insisted on using 1.5-litre Formula One-specification engines instead of the 2.5-litre motors permitted by the Tasman rules, Bruce decided to set up his own team to run him and his prospective Formula One teammate Timmy Mayer with custom-built Cooper cars.

Bruce won the 1964 series, but Mayer was killed in practice for the final race at the Longford Circuit in Tasmania. When Bruce McLaren approached Teddy Mayer to help him with the purchase of the Zerex sports car from Roger Penske, Teddy Mayer and Bruce McLaren began discussing a business partnership resulting in Teddy Mayer buying in to Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Limited (BMMR) ultimately becoming its largest shareholder. The team was based in Feltham in 1963–1964, and from 1965 until 1981 in Colnbrook, England. The team also held a British licence. Despite this, Bruce never used the traditional British racing green on his cars. Instead, he used colour schemes that were not based on national principles (e.g. his first car, the McLaren M2B, was painted white with a green stripe, to represent a fictional Yamura team in John Frankenheimer's film Grand Prix).

During this period, Bruce drove for his team in sports car races in the United Kingdom and North America and also entered the 1965 Tasman Series with Phil Hill, but did not win it. He continued to drive in Grands Prix for Cooper, but judging that team's form to be waning, decided to race his own cars in 1966.

Racing history: Formula One

Early days (1966–1967)

McLaren M2B Donington
The McLaren M2B, the team's first Formula One car
The McLaren M7A of 1968 gave McLaren their first Formula One wins. It is driven here by Bruce McLaren at the Nürburgring in 1969.

Bruce McLaren made the team's Grand Prix debut at the 1966 Monaco race (of the current Formula One teams only Ferrari is older ). His race ended after nine laps due to a terminal oil leak. The 1966 car was the M2B designed by Robin Herd, but the programme was hampered by a poor choice of engines: a 3.0-litre version of Ford's Indianapolis 500 engine and a Serenissima V8 were used, the latter scoring the team's first point in Britain, but both were underpowered and unreliable. For 1967 Bruce decided to use a British Racing Motors (BRM) V12 engine, but due to delays with the engine, was forced initially to use a modified Formula Two car called the M4B powered by a 2.1-litre BRM V8, later building a similar but slightly larger car called the M5A for the V12. Neither car brought great success, the best result being a fourth at Monaco.

McLaren logo (original)
McLaren's original logo was designed by Michael Turner and featured a kiwi bird, a New Zealand icon.

Ford-Cosworth DFV engines (1968–1982)

For 1968, after driving McLaren's sole entry for the previous two years, Bruce was joined by 1967 champion and fellow New Zealander Denny Hulme, who was already racing for McLaren in Can-Am. That year's new M7A car, Herd's final design for the team, was powered by Cosworth's new and soon to be ubiquitous DFV engine (the DFV would go on to be used by McLaren until 1983) and with it a major upturn in form proceeded. Bruce won the Race of Champions at the Brands Hatch circuit and Hulme won the International Trophy at Silverstone, both non-championship races, before Bruce took the team's first championship win at the Belgian Grand Prix. Hulme also won the Italian and Canadian Grands Prix later in the year, helping the team to second in the Constructors' Championship. Using an updated 'C' version on the M7, a further three podium finishes followed for Bruce in 1969, but the team's fifth win had to wait until the last race of the 1969 championship when Hulme won the Mexican Grand Prix. That year, McLaren experimented with four-wheel drive in the M9A, but the car had only a single outing driven by Derek Bell at the British Grand Prix; Bruce described driving it as like "trying to write your signature with somebody jogging your elbow".

The year 1970 started with a second-place each for Hulme and Bruce in the first two Grands Prix, but in June, Bruce was killed in a crash at Goodwood while testing the new M8D Can-Am car. After his death, Teddy Mayer took over effective control of the team; Hulme continued with Dan Gurney and Peter Gethin partnering him. Gurney won the first two Can-Am events at Mosport and St. Jovite and placed ninth in the third, but left the team mid-season, and Gethin took over from there. While 1971 began promisingly when Hulme led the opening round in South Africa before retiring with broken suspension, ultimately Hulme, Gethin (who left for BRM mid-season,) and Jackie Oliver again failed to score a win. The 1972 season saw improvements though: Hulme won the team's first Grand Prix for two-and-a-half years in South Africa and he and Peter Revson scored ten other podiums, the team finishing third in the Constructors' Championship. McLaren gave Jody Scheckter his Formula One debut at the final race at Watkins Glen. All McLaren drivers used the Ford-Cosworth engines, except for Andrea de Adamich and Nanni Galli who used engines from Alfa Romeo in 1970.

Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren M23 1974 Britain
Emerson Fittipaldi won the 1974 Drivers' Championship with McLaren.

The McLaren M23, designed by Gordon Coppuck, was the team's new car for the 1973 season. Sharing parts of the design of both McLaren's Formula One M19 and Indianapolis M16 cars (itself inspired by Lotus's 72), it was a mainstay for four years. Hulme won with it in Sweden and Revson took the only Grand Prix wins of his career in Britain and Canada. In 1974, Emerson Fittipaldi, world champion with Lotus two years earlier, joined McLaren. Hulme, in his final Formula One campaign, won the Argentinian season-opener; Fittipaldi, with wins in Brazil, Belgium and Canada, took the Drivers' Championship. It was a close fight for Fittipaldi, who secured the title with a fourth at the season-ending United States Grand Prix, putting him three points ahead of Ferrari's Clay Regazzoni. With Hulme and multiple motorcycle world champion Mike Hailwood, he also sealed McLaren's first Constructors' Championship. The year 1975 was less successful for the team: Fittipaldi was second in the championship behind Niki Lauda. Hulme's replacement Jochen Mass took his sole GP win in Spain.

At the end of 1975, Fittipaldi left to join his brother's Fittipaldi/Copersucar team. With the top drivers already signed to other teams, Mayer turned to James Hunt, a driver on whom biographer Gerald Donaldson reflected as having "a dubious reputation". In 1976, Lauda was again strong in his Ferrari; at midseason, he led the championship with 56 points whilst Hunt had only 26 despite wins in Spain (a race from which he was initially disqualified) and France. At the German Grand Prix, though, Lauda crashed heavily, was nearly killed, and missed the next two races. Hunt capitalised by winning four more Grands Prix giving him a three-point deficit going into the finale in Japan. Here it rained torentially, Lauda retired because of safety concerns, and Hunt sealed the Drivers' Championship by finishing third. McLaren, though, lost the Constructors' Championship to Ferrari.

In 1977, the M23 was gradually replaced with the M26, the M23's final works outing being Gilles Villeneuve's Formula One debut with the team in a one-off appearance at the British Grand Prix. Hunt won on three occasions that year, but the Lauda and Ferrari combination proved too strong, Hunt and McLaren managing just fifth and third in the respective championships. From there, results continued to worsen. Lotus and Mario Andretti took the 1978 titles with their 78 and 79 ground-effect cars and neither Hunt nor Mass's replacement Patrick Tambay were able to seriously challenge with the nonground-effect M26. Hunt was dropped at the end of 1978 in favour of Lotus's Ronnie Peterson, but when Peterson was killed by a crash at the Italian Grand Prix, John Watson was signed, instead. No improvement occurred in 1979; Coppuck's M28 design was described by Mayer as "ghastly, a disaster" and "quite diabolical" and the M29 did little to change the situation. Tambay scored no points and Watson only 15 to place the team eighth at the end of the year.

Lauda McLaren MP4-2 1984 Dallas F1
Five years after his first retirement, Lauda won his third title driving a McLaren MP4/2.
ProstAlain McLarenMP4-2B 1985
Alain Prost, pictured here at the 1985 German Grand Prix, won three Drivers' Championships with McLaren.
Ayrton Senna 1988 Canada
Equipped with Honda engines and the driving strength of Prost and Ayrton Senna for 1988, McLaren dominated the season, winning all but one race. Senna won his first world championship after a season-long battle with Prost.

The 1980s started much as the 1970s had ended: Alain Prost took over from Tambay but Watson and he rarely scored points. Under increasing pressure since the previous year from principal sponsor Philip Morris and their executive John Hogan, Mayer was coerced into merging McLaren with Ron Dennis's Project Four Formula Two team, also sponsored by Philip Morris. Dennis had designer John Barnard who, inspired by the carbon-fibre rear wings of the BMW M1 race cars that Project Four was preparing, had ideas for an innovative Formula One chassis constructed from carbon-fibre instead of conventional aluminium alloy. On their own, they lacked the money to build it, but with investment that came with the merger it became the McLaren MP4 (later called MP4/1) of 1981, driven by Watson and Andrea de Cesaris. In the MP4, Watson won the British Grand Prix and had three other podium finishes. Soon after the merger, McLaren moved from Colnbrook to a new base in Woking and Dennis and Mayer initially shared the managing directorship of the company; by 1982, Mayer had departed and Tyler Alexander's and his shareholdings had been bought by the new owners.

TAG-Porsche and Honda engines (1983–1992)

In the early 1980s, teams like Renault, Ferrari and Brabham were using 1.5-litre turbocharged engines in favour of the 3.0-litre naturally aspirated engines that had been standard since 1966. Having seen in 1982 the need for a turbo engine of their own, Dennis had convinced Williams backer Techniques d'Avant Garde (TAG) to fund Porsche-built, TAG-branded turbo engines made to Barnard's specifications; TAG's founder Mansour Ojjeh would later become a McLaren shareholder. In the meantime, they continued with Cosworth engines as old rival Lauda came out of retirement in 1982 to drive alongside Watson in that year's 1B development of the MP4. They each won two races, Watson notably from 17th place on the grid in Detroit, and at one stage of the season McLaren were second in the constructors' championship. As part of a dispute with FISA, they boycotted the San Marino Grand Prix. Although 1983 was not so fruitful, Watson did win again in the United States, this time from 22nd on the grid at Long Beach.

Having been fired by Renault, Prost returned to McLaren once again for 1984. Now using the TAG engines, the team dominated, scoring 12 wins and two-and-a-half times as many constructors' points as nearest rival Ferrari. In the Drivers' Championship, Lauda prevailed over Prost by half a point, the narrowest margin ever. The McLaren-TAGs were again strong in 1985; a third Constructors' Championship came their way while this time Prost won the Drivers' Championship. In 1986, the Williams team were resurgent with their Honda engine and drivers Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet, while at McLaren, Lauda's replacement, 1982 champion Keke Rosberg could not gel with the car. Williams took the Constructors' Championship, but for Prost, wins in San Marino, Monaco, and Austria combined with the fact that the Williams drivers were taking points from each other meant that he retained a chance going into the last race, the Australian Grand Prix. There, a puncture for Mansell and a precautionary pit stop for Piquet gave Prost the race win and his second title, making him the first driver to win back-to-back championships since Jack Brabham in 1959 and 1960. In 1987 Barnard departed for Ferrari to be replaced by Steve Nichols (who himself joined Ferrari in 1989). In the hands of Prost and Stefan Johansson, though, Nichols's MP4/3 and the TAG engine could not match the Williams-Honda.

For 1988, Honda switched their supply to McLaren and, encouraged by Prost, Dennis signed Ayrton Senna to drive. Despite regulations reducing the boost pressure and fuel capacity (and therefore, power) of the turbo cars, Honda persisted with a turbocharged engine. In the MP4/4, Senna and Prost engaged in a season-long battle, winning 15 of the 16 races (at the other race at Monza, Senna had been leading comfortably, but collided with back-marker Jean-Louis Schlesser). At the Portuguese Grand Prix, their relationship soured when Senna squeezed Prost against the pit wall; Prost won, but afterwards said, "It was dangerous. If he wants the world championship that badly he can have it." Prost scored more points that year, but because only the best 11 results counted, Senna took the title at the penultimate race in Japan.

The next year, with turbos banned, Honda supplied a new 3.5-L naturally aspirated V10 engine and McLaren again won both titles with the MP4/5. Their drivers' relationship continued to deteriorate, though, especially when, at the San Marino Grand Prix, Prost felt that Senna had reneged on an agreement not to pass each other at the first corner. Believing that Honda and Dennis were favouring Senna, Prost announced mid-season that he would leave to drive at Ferrari the following year. For the second year in succession, the Drivers' Championship was decided at the Japanese Grand Prix, this time in Prost's favour after Senna and he collided (Senna initially recovered and won the race, but was later disqualified).

By 1993, Honda had withdrawn from F1 and the team used underpowered Ford V8 engines to power the MP4/8. Although Ayrton Senna (pictured at the German GP) won five races, McLaren was not a match for the dominant Williams team. After the 1993 Australian Grand Prix, the team failed to win a race until 1997.
Mika Hakkinen 1999 Canada
Mika Häkkinen won the 1998 and 1999 Drivers' Championships with McLaren. He is shown here at the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix, an event which he won.

With former McLaren men Nichols and Prost (Barnard had moved to the Benetton team), Ferrari pushed the British team more closely in 1990. McLaren, in turn, brought in Ferrari's Gerhard Berger, but like the two seasons before, the Drivers' Championship was led by Prost and Senna and settled at the penultimate race in Japan. Here, Senna collided with Prost at the first corner, forcing both to retire, but this time Senna escaped punishment and took the title; McLaren also won the Constructors' Championship. The 1991 year was another for McLaren and Senna, with the ascendant Renault-powered Williams team their closest challengers. By 1992, Williams, with their advanced FW14B car, had overtaken McLaren, breaking their four-year run as champions, despite the latter winning five races that year.

Ford, Lamborghini and Peugeot engines (1993–1994)

As Honda withdrew from the sport at end of 1992 due to the burst of the Japanese asset price bubble, McLaren sought a new engine supplier. A deal to secure Renault engines fell through, subsequently McLaren switched to customer Ford engines for the 1993 season. Senna—who initially agreed only to a race-by-race contract before later signing for the whole year—won five races, including a record-breaking sixth victory at Monaco and a win at the European Grand Prix, where he went from fifth to first on the opening lap. His teammate, 1991 CART champion Michael Andretti, fared much worse; he scored only seven points, and was replaced by test driver Mika Häkkinen for the final three rounds of the season. Williams ultimately won both titles and Senna—who had flirted with moving there for 1993—signed with them for the 1994 season. During the 1993 season McLaren took part in a seven part BBC Television documentary called A Season With McLaren.

McLaren tested a Lamborghini V12 engine ahead of the 1994 season, as part of a potential deal with the then-Lamborghini owner Chrysler, before eventually deciding to use Peugeot engines. With Peugeot power, the MP4/9 was driven by Häkkinen and Martin Brundle, despite achieving eight podiums over the season no wins were achieved. Peugeot was dropped after a single year due to multiple engine failures/unreliability which cost McLaren potential race victories and they switched to a Mercedes-Benz-branded, Ilmor-designed engine.

Mercedes partnership (1995–2014)

1995–2009: Works Mercedes partnership

For 1995 season onwards, McLaren ended their engine deal with Peugeot Sport and started an engine full-works partnership with Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines for the first time, after the German manufacturer spent one year in partnership with the Sauber team. The partnership included free engines from Mercedes-Benz that built and assembled by Ilmor Engineering, Mercedes-Benz official team vehicles, financial support, also earned full-factory support from Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz and also Mercedes-Benz and Ilmor staff would work with the team at their Woking base.

McLaren's Formula One car for the 1995 season, the MP4/10, was not a front-runner and Brundle's replacement, former champion Nigel Mansell, was unable to fit into the car at first and departed after just two races, with Mark Blundell taking his place.

While Williams dominated in 1996, McLaren, now with David Coulthard alongside Häkkinen, went a third successive season without a win. In 1997, however, Coulthard broke this run by winning the season-opening Australian Grand Prix; Häkkinen and he would each win another race before the end of the season, and highly rated designer Adrian Newey joined the team from Williams in August that year. Despite the car's improved pace, unreliability proved costly throughout the season, with retirements at the British and Luxembourg Grands Prix occurring whilst Häkkinen was in the lead.

With Newey able to take advantage of new technical regulations for 1998, and with Williams losing their works Renault engines following Renault's temporary withdrawal from the sport, McLaren were once again able to challenge for the championship. Häkkinen and Coulthard won five of the first six races despite the banning of the team's "brake steer" system, which allowed the rear brakes to be operated individually to reduce understeer, after a protest by Ferrari at the second race in Brazil. Schumacher and Ferrari provided the greatest competition, the former levelled on points with Häkkinen with two races to go, but wins for Häkkinen at the Luxembourg and Japanese Grands Prix gave both him the Drivers' Championship and McLaren the Constructors' Championship. Häkkinen won his second Drivers' Championship the following season, but due to a combination of driver errors and mechanical failures, the team lost the constructors' title to Ferrari.

Mclaren racing usgp 2004
Mechanics push Kimi Räikkönen's MP4-19 into the garage during qualifying for the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis in 2004.

In 2000 McLaren won seven races in a close fight with Ferrari, but ultimately Ferrari and Schumacher prevailed in both competitions. This marked the start of a decline in form as Ferrari cemented their dominance of Formula One and also beryllium engine material banned in Formula One that affected Mercedes engine performance. In 2001, Häkkinen was outscored by Coulthard for the first time since 1997 and retired (ending Formula One's longest ever driver partnership), his place taken by Kimi Räikkönen, then in 2002, Coulthard took their solitary win at Monaco while Ferrari repeated McLaren's 1988 feat of 15 wins in a season.

The year 2003 started promisingly, with one win each for Coulthard and Räikkönen at the first two Grands Prix. However, they were hampered when the MP4-18 car designed for that year suffered crash test and reliability problems, forcing them to continue using a 'D' development of the year-old MP4-17 for longer than they had initially planned. Despite this, Räikkönen scored points consistently and challenged for the championship up to the final race, eventually losing by two points. The team began 2004 with the MP4-19, which technical director Adrian Newey described as "a debugged version of [the MP4-18]". It was not a success, though, and was replaced mid-season by the MP4-19B. With this, Räikkönen scored the team's and his only win of the year at the Belgian Grand Prix, as McLaren finished fifth in the Constructors' Championship, their worst ranking since 1983.

Coulthard left for Red Bull Racing in 2005 to be replaced by former CART champion Juan Pablo Montoya for what was McLaren's most successful season in several years as he and Räikkönen won ten races. However, both the team not being able to work out why the car could not heat its tyres properly in the early stages of the season and the overall unreliability of the MP4-20 cost several race victories when Räikkönen had been leading or in contention to win and also costing him grid positions in some qualifying sessions, which allowed Renault and their driver Fernando Alonso to capitalise and win both titles.

Lap4 Canada2005 Raikkonen
Kimi Räikkönen challenged for the Drivers' Championship in 2005.

In 2006, the superior reliability and speed of the Ferraris and Renaults prevented the team from gaining any victories for the first time in a decade. Montoya parted company acrimoniously with the team to race in NASCAR after the United States Grand Prix, where he crashed into Räikkönen at the start; test driver Pedro de la Rosa deputised for the remainder of the season. The team also lost Räikkönen to Ferrari at the end of the year.

Steve Matchett argued that the poor reliability of McLaren in 2006 and recent previous years was due to a lack of team continuity and stability. His cited examples of instability are logistical challenges related to the move to the McLaren Technology Centre, Adrian Newey's aborted move to Jaguar and later move to Red Bull, the subsequent move of Newey's deputy to Red Bull, and personnel changes at Ilmor.

Fernando Alonso 2007 2
Fernando Alonso had a difficult and controversial year with McLaren in 2007.

After scoring no victories in 2006, the team returned to competitve status in 2007. That year saw Fernando Alonso race alongside Formula One debutant and long-time McLaren protégé Lewis Hamilton. The pair scored four wins each and led the Drivers' Championship for much of the year, but tensions arose within the team, BBC Sport claimed that Alonso was unable to cope with Hamilton's competitiveness. At the Hungarian Grand Prix, Alonso was judged to have deliberately impeded his teammate during qualifying, so the team were not allowed to score Constructors' points at the event. An internal agreement within the McLaren team stated that drivers would alternatively have an extra lap for qualifying, however, Lewis Hamilton refused to accept for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Subsequently, the McLaren team was investigated by the FIA for having proprietary technical blueprints of Ferrari's car – the so-called "Spygate" controversy. At the first hearing, McLaren management consistently denied all knowledge, blaming a single "rogue engineer". However, in the final hearing, McLaren was found guilty and the team was excluded from the Constructors' Championship and fined $100 million. The drivers were allowed to continue without penalty, and whilst Hamilton led the Drivers' Championship heading into the final race in Brazil, Räikkönen in the Ferrari won the race and the Drivers' Championship, a single point ahead of both McLaren drivers. In November, Alonso and McLaren agreed to terminate their contract by mutual consent, Heikki Kovalainen filling the vacant seat alongside Hamilton.

Lewis hamilton - 2008 Melb GP
Lewis Hamilton won 2008's season-opening race in Australia and went on to win the title.

In 2008, a close fight ensued between Hamilton and the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Räikkönen; Hamilton won five times and despite also crossing the finish line first at the Belgian Grand Prix, he was deemed to have gained an illegal advantage by cutting a chicane during an overtake and was controversially demoted to third. Going into the final race in Brazil, Hamilton had a seven-point lead over Massa. Massa won there, but Hamilton dramatically clinched his first Drivers' Championship by moving into the necessary fifth position at the final corner of the final lap of the race. Despite winning his first Grand Prix in Hungary, Kovalainen finished the season only seventh in the overall standings, allowing Ferrari to take the constructors' title.

Before the start of the 2009 season, Dennis retired as team principal, handing responsibility to Martin Whitmarsh, but the year started badly: the MP4-24 car was off the pace and the team was given a three-race suspended ban for misleading stewards at the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix. Despite these early problems, a late revival had Hamilton win at the Hungarian and Singapore Grands Prix.

2010–2014: Customer Mercedes engines

Sergio Perez 2013 Malaysia FP2
Sergio Pérez driving for McLaren at the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix
Mclaren MP4-29 Jenson Button 2014 F1 Chinese GP
Jenson Button driving at the 2014 Chinese Grand Prix

For the 2010 season, McLaren lost its status as the Mercedes works team; Mercedes decided to buy the Brackley-based Brawn team that had won the 2009 titles with its customer engines, Whitmarsh having chosen to abandon their exclusive rights to the Mercedes engines to help Brawn run. Mercedes still continued providing engines to McLaren, albeit under a supplier-customer relationship rather than the works partnership as before, while it sold its 40 percent shares of McLaren over two years. McLaren signed 2009 champion, Jenson Button, to replace Kovalainen alongside Hamilton in 2010. Button won twice (in Australia and China) and Hamilton three times (in Turkey, Canada, and Belgium), but they and McLaren failed to win their respective championships, that year's MP4-25 largely outpaced by Red Bull's RB6.

Hamilton and Button remained with the team into 2011, with Hamilton winning three races – China, Germany, and Abu Dhabi and Button also winning three races – Canada, Hungary, and Japan. Button finished the Drivers' Championship in second place with 270 points behind 2011 Drivers' Champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing, ahead of Hamilton's 227 points. McLaren was second in the Constructors' Championship to Red Bull Racing. Throughout the season, Hamilton was involved in several incidents with other drivers including – most notably – multiple collisions with 2008 title rival Massa.

In 2012, McLaren won the first race of the year in Australia with a dominant victory by Button and a 3rd place from pole for Hamilton, while Hamilton went on to win in Canada, but by the mid-way mark of the season at the team's home race at Silverstone, the McLaren cars managed only eighth place (Hamilton) and 10th place (Button), while the drivers' and Constructors' Championships were being dominated by Red Bull Racing and Ferrari, whose cars occupied the first four places of the British Grand Prix, this was partially due to pit stop problems and Button's temporary dip in form after not adapting as well as Hamilton to the new Pirelli tyres. The car also suffered reliability problems which cost the team and its drivers numerous potential points, most notably in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, where Hamilton had been leading from the front in both races and in Italy where the team lost a 1-2 finish when Button's car failed with fuel problems on lap 33.

Sergio Pérez replaced Hamilton for 2013, after Hamilton decided to leave for Mercedes. The team's car for the season, the MP4-28, was launched on 31 January 2013. The car struggled to compete with the other top teams and the season had McLaren fail to produce a podium finish for the first time since 1980.

Kevin Magnussen replaced Pérez for 2014, and Ron Dennis, who had remained at arm's length since stepping down from the team principal role, returned as CEO of the operation. McLaren was the first team to officially launch their 2014 car, the MP4-29, which was revealed on 24 January 2014. They had a largely unsuccessful 2014; their best result was in Australia where – after Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification from second place – Magnussen finished second and Button third. Button subsequently finished fourth in Canada, Britain, and Russia. Their highest grid position was in Britain with Button's third place on the grid.

Honda engines (2015–2017)

McLaren duo 2015 Malaysia Race
Alonso (no.14) and Button (no.22) line astern at the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix
Fernando Alonso 2016 Malaysia Q1
Fernando Alonso during qualifying for the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix

For 2015, McLaren ended their engine deal with Mercedes which included buying back the 40% stake that Mercedes held in the team and reforging their historical partnership with Honda. The Honda deal not only meant they would supply engines, but that Honda staff would work with the team at their Woking base as well as received full-factory support from Honda including official team vehicles and free engines. The team announced Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button as their race drivers, with Kevin Magnussen demoted to test driver. During pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in February, Alonso suffered a concussion and, as a result, Kevin Magnussen replaced him for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in March. At that inaugural race of the season, Jenson Button finished 11th, but was lapped twice and finished last of the finishing cars. Following considerable unreliability and initial suggestions that the Honda engine was underpowered relative to its competitors, steady performance gains eventually resulted in Button managing to score the team's first (four) points of the season at the sixth round in Monaco. By contrast, Alonso scored his first point three races later at the British Grand Prix.

The Hungarian Grand Prix saw the team score their best result of the season with Alonso and Button finishing fifth and ninth, respectively. However, McLaren did not score points in the next four races until Button finished ninth at the Russian Grand Prix. At the following United States Grand Prix, Button scored his best result of the season with sixth place. The team finished ninth in the constructors' standings with 27 points, McLaren's worst performance since 1980.

Stoffel Vandoorne 2017 Catalonia test (27 Feb-2 Mar) Day 4
Stoffel Vandoorne in the MCL32, showing the new orange and black livery

McLaren retained the Alonso - Button pairing for the 2016 season. The second year of the Honda partnership was better than the first, with the team being able to challenge for top 10 positions on a more regular basis. However, the season started with a massive crash at the Australian Grand Prix in which Fernando Alonso sustained rib fractures and a collapsed lung after colliding with Esteban Gutiérrez and somersaulting into the crash barriers. Alonso, as a result of his injuries, was forced to miss the second round of the Championship, the Bahrain Grand Prix, and was replaced by reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne. Vandoorne produced an impressive performance in his first race to score the team's first point of the season with 10th place. The next points for McLaren came at the Russian Grand Prix with Alonso and Button finishing sixth and 10th respectively. The rain-affected Monaco Grand Prix was one of best races of the season for the team. Alonso finished fifth, having kept Nico Rosberg's Mercedes behind him for 46 laps, while Button scored two points with ninth. At the Austrian Grand Prix, Button recorded his best result of the season with a sixth-place after qualifying third in a wet/dry session. After a disappointing display at their home race, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the team scored points at the next three rounds with six points in Hungary, four in Germany, and six points again thanks to an impressive seventh-place finish from Alonso at the Belgian Grand Prix. At the United States Grand Prix, McLaren matched their Monaco result with 12 points after an attacking race from Alonso saw him claim fifth position while Button once again finished ninth. After a season of significant progress compared to 2015, Alonso and Button finished the championship in 10th and 15th places respectively with the team ending the season in sixth place in the Constructors' Championship with 76 points. On 3 September 2016, Jenson Button announced he would take a sabbatical from Formula One for the 2017 season. He then confirmed on 25 November that he would retire from F1 altogether with Vandoorne being Alonso's new Teammate for 2017.

In February 2017, McLaren signed Lando Norris to their Young Driver Programme.

Alonso did not take part in the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix as he was participating in the Indianapolis 500. Instead Jenson Button returned for the one race as his replacement. McLaren finished 2017 9th with 30 points in total.

Renault engines (2018–2020)

2018 Chinese Grand Prix FP3 Fernando Alonso (40970600574) (cropped)
Fernando Alonso driving in the McLaren MCL33 at the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix
Carlos Sainz-Mclaren-2019 (1)
Carlos Sainz Jr. driving the McLaren MCL34 at a test day around the Circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona

McLaren announced during the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix weekend that they would split from engine supplier Honda at the end of the 2017 season and had agreed on a three-year customer deal to be supplied with Mecachrome-assembled Renault engines. Team boss Éric Boullier described their performance between 2015 and 2017 as a "proper disaster" for the team's credibility. 2018 was the first season in McLaren's history when their cars were powered by Renault engines. McLaren also announced that Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne would remain with the team for the 2018 season. On 6 November 2017, the team announced that Lando Norris would be the team's test and reserve driver.

Lando Norris 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix - race day
Lando Norris driving the McLaren MCL35 at the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix

At the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso scored the team's best finish since the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix with fifth, Alonso said that the team's target would be Red Bull Racing. McLaren had a relatively good start to the season with points finishes in the next four races, but in the next 16 races after Spain, McLaren only scored 22 points, 8 points less than in the same period in 2017. On 14 August 2018, Fernando Alonso announced he would not compete in Formula One in 2019, ending his four-year spell at the team. Carlos Sainz Jr. was signed as his replacement on a multi-year deal. On 3 September 2018, it was announced that Stoffel Vandoorne would be leaving the team at the end of the season, with Lando Norris being promoted from reserve driver to replace him in 2019. McLaren struggled with performance throughout the season, with the McLaren drivers being knocked out 21 times in the first qualifying session, and McLaren having the second-worst average qualifying ranking of any team, only ahead of Williams. The team finished the disappointing season – after being helped by the exclusion of Force India's points from the first 12 races – in 6th place with 62 points, 357 points behind their target, Red Bull Racing, with the same engine.

The 2019 season was much more positive for McLaren, with the team securely establishing themselves as the best constructor behind Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull. At the Brazilian Grand Prix, Sainz recorded the team's first podium since the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, finishing fourth on the road but later promoted to third after Lewis Hamilton received a post-race penalty, meaning that the team missed out on the official podium ceremony. McLaren ended the season in 4th place with 145 points, their best result since 2014 and 54 points ahead of their nearest competitor, Renault.

McLaren retained Norris and Sainz for the 2020 season. The season was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The season was shortened to 18 races, with the season opener to take place in Austria. At the Austrian Grand Prix, Norris achieved his first ever podium, finishing in third. Sainz achieved the teams second podium in 2020 at the Italian Grand Prix, where he finished second. The team finished the 2020 season third in the constructors' championship with 202 points. Sainz finished the driver's championship sixth with 105 points and Norris ninth with 97 points.

Return to Mercedes engines (2021–)

2021 British Grand Prix (51350004859)
Lando Norris driving the McLaren MCL35M at the 2021 British Grand Prix

McLaren again used Mercedes engines in 2021 after their deal with Renault ended. McLaren had previously collaborated with Mercedes from 1995 through 2014 (1995 to 2009 was a works partner and later 2010 to 2014 was a customer partner) but this time a customer role system. Daniel Ricciardo moved from Renault to partner Lando Norris for the 2021 Formula One World Championship on a multi-year deal. Ricciardo replaced Carlos Sainz, who moved to Ferrari. In the season's first nine races, the team scored three podiums with Mercedes power, in Italy, Monaco and Austria, all courtesy of Norris.

Daniel Ricciardo 2022 Emilia Romagna
Daniel Ricciardo driving the McLaren MCL36 at the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. His teammate scored a podium, while Ricciardo finished 18th and last, leading some to question his future.

At the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, Ricciardo scored his first win since the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix, and McLaren's first win since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. A second-place finish for Norris also meant that McLaren achieved their first one-two finish since the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix and the only one-two finish for the 2021 season. Norris secured the team's first pole position in the hybrid era at the 2021 Russian Grand Prix but was unable to convert it to a win, finishing in 7th place due to the sudden drastic change in weather conditions and team strategy in the last two laps of the race. A subsequent drop in form in the latter part of the season saw McLaren ending up fourth in the constructors' championship behind Ferrari.

For the 2022 season, McLaren retained both Norris and Ricciardo. Ricciardo tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the pre-season tests in Bahrain, which meant Norris was required to do all the remaining running for the test, though a brake problem limited the testing he was able to conduct. Both drivers struggled at the first race in Bahrain, with neither driving reaching Q3 – the first time since the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix – and finishing 14th and 15th in the race. Norris achieved third at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. After Norris missed the first day at the track during the São Paulo Grand Prix weekend, McLaren suffered their first double DNF finish since Monaco 2017, as Norris had an electrical fault and Ricciardo was involved in a collision with the Haas of Kevin Magnussen. Compared to his teammate, Ricciardo struggled and many were critical of his performance, with some suggesting that McLaren would drop him. This forced Ricciardo into releasing a statement on Instagram, confirming he would stay through to 2023. In August 2022, Riccardo's contract for 2023 was terminated by mutual agreement. Oscar Piastri is due to replace Ricciardo, after a contract dispute with Alpine F1 Team was resolved in McLaren's favour by the FIA Contract Recognition Board. McLaren finished the season in fifth place in the constructors' championship behind Alpine.

Racing history: Other series


McLaren M1A at Silverstone
The McLaren M1A sports car of 1964 was the team's first self-designed car. The 'B' version raced in Can-Am in the 1966 season.

McLaren's first sports-racing car was the Group 7 M1 – with a small-block Chevrolet engine in a modified Elva chassis. The car was raced in North America and Europe in 1963 and 1964 in various G7 and United States Road Racing Championship events. For the Can-Am Series, which started in 1966, McLaren created the M3 which Bruce and Chris Amon drove – customer cars also appeared in several races in the 1966 season. With the M3, they led two races but scored no wins, and the inaugural title was taken by John Surtees in a Lola T70. The following year, Robin Herd purpose-designed the Chevrolet V8-powered M6A, delays with the Formula One programme allowing the team to spend extra resources on developing the Can-Am car which was the first to be painted in McLaren orange. With Denny Hulme now partnering Bruce, they won five of six races and Bruce won the championship, setting the pattern for the next four years. In the 1968 season, they used a new car, the M8, to win four races; non-works McLarens took the other two, but this time Hulme was victorious overall. In the 1969 season, McLaren domination became total as they won all 11 races with the M8B; Hulme won five, and Bruce won six and the Drivers' Championship. From 1969 onwards, McLaren M12 – the customer "variant" of the M8 – was driven by several entrants, including a version modified by Jim Hall of Chaparral fame. McLaren's success in Can-Am brought with it financial rewards, both prize money and money from selling cars to other teams, that helped to support the team and fund the nascent and relatively poor-paying Formula One programme.

Bruce McLaren was killed testing a McLaren M8D at Goodwood in 1970.

When Bruce was killed testing the 1970 season's M8D, he was at first replaced by Dan Gurney, then later by Peter Gethin. They won two and one races, respectively, while Hulme won six on the way to the championship. Private teams competing in the 1970 Can-Am series included older M3Bs as well as the M12 – the customer version of the team's M8B. In the 1971 season, the team held off the challenge of 1969 world champion Jackie Stewart in the Lola T260, winning eight races, with Peter Revson taking the title. Hulme also won three Can-Am races in the 1972 season, but the McLaren M20 was defeated by the Porsche 917/10s of Mark Donohue and George Follmer. Faced by the greater resources of Porsche, McLaren decided to abandon Can-Am at the end of 1972 and focus solely on open-wheel racing. When the original Can-Am series ceased at the end of the 1974 season, McLaren was by far the most successful constructor with 43 wins.

Indianapolis 500

The McLaren M16C was driven by Peter Revson in the 1972 Indianapolis 500.

McLaren first contested the United States Auto Club's (USAC) Indianapolis 500 race in 1970, encouraged by their tyre supplier Goodyear, which wanted to break competitor Firestone's stranglehold on the event. With the M15 car, Bruce, Chris Amon, and Denny Hulme entered, but after Amon withdrew and Hulme was severely burned on the hands in an incident in practice, Peter Revson and Carl Williams took their places in the race to retire and finish seventh, respectively. The team also contested some of the more prestigious races in the USAC championship that year, as they would do in subsequent years. For 1971 they had a new car, the M16, which driver Mark Donohue said: "...obsoleted every other car on track..." At that year's Indianapolis 500, Revson qualified on pole and finished second, whilst in 1972, Donohue won in privateer Team Penske's M16B. The 1973 event had Johnny Rutherford join the team; he qualified on pole, but finished ninth, Revson crashed out. McLaren won their first Indianapolis 500 in 1974 with Rutherford. The McLaren and Rutherford combination was second in 1975 and won again in 1976. Developments of the M16 had been used throughout this period until the new M24 car was introduced in 1977. The team did not reproduce their recent success at Indianapolis in 1977, 1978, or 1979, and although they continued to win other USAC races, by the end of 1979, they decided to end their involvement.

Dallara DW12 (Fernando Alonso) 2017 Indianapolis 500
The car backed by McLaren at the 2017 Indianapolis 500, which was driven by Fernando Alonso

On 12 April 2017, McLaren revealed they would participate in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 with their current Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso at the wheel of a Honda-powered McLaren-branded Andretti Autosport IndyCar. In qualifying, Alonso secured a second-row start from fifth. During the race Alonso led 27 laps in his first Indy 500 start. With 21 laps remaining Alonso was running seventh when his Honda engine failed. He was classified 24th. After his retirement he received a standing ovation from the grandstands. Alonso was praised for his strong debut.

On 10 November 2018, McLaren announced that they would participate in the 2019 Indianapolis 500 with Fernando Alonso and using Chevrolet engines. However, after mechanical difficulties and a severe crash in practice, the team failed to qualify for the race (as did two other Carlin-associated entries, one with another former F1 driver (Max Chilton) driving).


In August 2019, it was announced McLaren would contest the championship full-time in 2020, collaborating with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to form Arrow McLaren SP.

Zak Brown stated in an interview with Leigh Diffey that McLaren joining the IndyCar Series full time was spurred by two different objectives. The first was to market the McLaren brand and some of the McLaren Formula One team's prominent American based sponsors in a primarily North America centric racing series, as Formula One only had three races in North America in 2021 and only one of those races was in the United States. The second was to branch McLaren's engineering expertise into a racing series that the other Formula One teams were not involved in, as Brown thought McLaren would stand out more amongst its competitors in IndyCar than it would in other racing series. Brown also stated that McLaren chose to partner with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports because their previous efforts fielding their team with assistance from Andretti Autosport and Carlin exclusively for the Indianapolis 500 had not been successful and that the purchase of the IndyCar Series by Penske Entertainment gave McLaren more confidence in the long term viability and stability of the series compared to the previous ownership under Tony George.

In August 2021, it was announced that McLaren Racing will acquire a majority stake in the IndyCar Team. The transaction will close by the end of the year and will see McLaren Racing take a 75% share of the team. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

Electric motorsport

NEOM will be McLaren's title partner into their new endeavour to electric motorsport as NEOM McLaren Electric Racing.

Formula E

United Kingdom NEOM McLaren Formula E Team
McLaren Formula E logo.svg
Base McLaren Technology Centre
Woking, Surrey, England, UK
Current series Formula E
Current drivers 05. United Kingdom Jake Hughes
58. Germany René Rast

In December 2020, Zak Brown announced McLaren's interest in entering Formula E once the company's battery supplier contract has expired. In January the following year, McLaren signed an option to enter the championship for 2022.

McLaren announced the acquisition of Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team in May 2022 and will debut in the 2022-23 season as NEOM McLaren Formula E Team using a Nissan EV powertrain with René Rast, who last raced in the 2020-21 season with Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, and Jake Hughes as drivers for the team.

Extreme E

United Kingdom NEOM McLaren Extreme E
McLaren Extreme E logo.png
Founded June 2021; 2 years ago (2021-06)
Base McLaren Technology Centre
Woking, Surrey, England, UK
Current series Extreme E
Current drivers United States Tanner Foust
New Zealand Emma Gilmour

In June 2021, McLaren announced it would enter Extreme E in the 2022 season using existing personnel from outside the Formula One program with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour (becoming the first woman factory driver for McLaren) as drivers for the team. Entering as McLaren XE, the team was rebranded for their second race and is known as NEOM McLaren Extreme E for sponsorship reasons. The team won its first podium by finishing second in the Energy X-Prix. In the process, Gilmour became the first woman podium winner for McLaren. The team finished in fifth place in the Team's Championship standings.

Other series

McLaren is reviewing the LMDh regulations for a possible entry into the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Customer racing

Paul Ricard-1995-03-12-008
The McLaren F1 GTR, competing during the 1995 BPR Global GT Series season

Besides the cars raced by the works team, a variety of McLaren racing cars have also been used by customer teams. In their formative years, McLaren built Formula Two, hillclimbing, Formula 5000 and sports racing cars that were sold to customers. Lacking the capacity to build the desired numbers, Trojan was subcontracted to construct some of them. In Can-Am, Trojan built customer versions of the M6 and M8 cars and ex-works cars were sold to privateers when new models arrived; half of the field was McLarens at some races. Author Mark Hughes says, "over 220" McLarens were built by Trojan. In USAC competition and Formula One, too, many teams used McLarens during the late 1960s and 1970s. A 1972 M8F was rebuilt as the C8 for use in Group C racing in 1982, but had little success.

In the mid-1990s, McLaren Racing's sister company, McLaren Cars (now McLaren Automotive) built a racing version of their F1 road car, the F1 GTR which won the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1995 and 1996 BPR Global GT Series. In 2011, a GT3 version of the MP4-12C road car was developed in partnership with CRS Racing, making it's competetive debut at the VLN and ADAC GT Masters in 2012. The MP4-12C was succeeded by the McLaren 650S and then the McLaren 720S for GT3 racing, while a GT4 version of the McLaren 570S was also developed as well.

In 2022, McLaren Automotive announced a new GT4 model based on the McLaren Artura, along with an unrestricted version named the Artura Trophy, which is to be used in McLaren's planned one-make series.


McLaren Racing is a wholly owned subsidiary of the McLaren Group, which currently includes another subsidiary McLaren Automotive, with the group having centralised many branches of the company since 2010. As of 2021, the group has over 4000 employees, having had only around 1300 in 2009.

Ownership and management

Ron dennis 2000Monaco
Ron Dennis, here pictured at the 2000 Monaco Grand Prix, was team principal from 1980 to 2009 and was chairman of the McLaren Group until 2017.

After Bruce McLaren died in a testing accident in 1970, Teddy Mayer took over the team. In 1981, McLaren merged with Ron Dennis' Project Four Racing; Dennis took over as team principal and shortly after organised a buyout of the original McLaren shareholders to take full control of the team. Dennis offered Mansour Ojjeh the chance to purchase 50% of the team in 1983, with McLaren becoming a joint venture with Ojjeh's TAG Group. In 2000, after supplying engines to the team through its Mercedes subsidiary for 5 years, DaimlerChrysler (now Daimler AG) exercised an option to buy 40% of the TAG McLaren Group. Dennis and Ojjeh each retained a 30% share, and each sold half of their stake to the Mumtalakat Holding Company (the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Bahrain) in 2007. Although Daimler were reportedly considering acquiring the remaining 60% from Dennis and Ojjeh, they instead bought Brawn GP (renaming it Mercedes GP) in November 2009; their McLaren shares were sold back to Mumtalakat, Dennis, and Ojjeh in 2010.

Dennis stepped down as both CEO and team principal of McLaren in 2009, handing both roles over to Martin Whitmarsh. However, following the uncompetitive 2013 season, Dennis retook the role in January 2014; Whitmarsh formally left the team later that year. Dennis sought to take a controlling interest in the company, but his relationship with Ojjeh had deteriorated, perhaps as early as 2013. In 2016, Dennis was forced out of his role as CEO by Ojjeh;. he sold his remaining shares in the company the next year. As of December 2020, Mumtalakat owns 56.3% of McLaren Group, TAG Automotive Ltd. owned 14.3%, Michael Latifi's Nidala (BVI) Ltd. owned 10%, and minor shareholders held the rest.

After Dennis' 2014 return, he had abolished the position of team principal at McLaren, saying it was an 'outdated' position. Éric Boullier was instead named racing director in January 2014, becoming responsible for the F1 team. After Dennis' exit, Zak Brown was chosen for the post of executive director, with the post of CEO being left vacant. The increasing awareness of the mediocrity of the car prompted a reshuffle in 2018: Brown was promoted to CEO in April, and when Boullier resigned in July, his position was divided between Gil de Ferran as sporting director and Andrea Stella as performance director. In May 2019, Andreas Seidl was appointed as a new team principal. In December 2022, Seidl left McLaren to join Sauber as CEO with Stella promoted to team principal.

Since 2004 the team has been based at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England. Facilities there include a wind tunnel and a driving simulator which is said to be the most sophisticated in the sport. The team has also created the McLaren Young Driver Programme, which currently has one driver signed to it.


McLaren has had an uneasy relationship with Formula One's governing body, the FIA, and its predecessor FISA, as well as with the commercial rights holders of the sport. McLaren was involved, along with the other teams of the Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA), in a dispute with FISA and Alfa Romeo, Renault, and Ferrari over control of the sport in the early 1980s. During this dispute, known as the FISA-FOCA war, a breakaway series was threatened, FISA refused to sanction one race, and FOCA boycotted another. It was eventually resolved by a revenue-sharing deal called the Concorde Agreement.

Subsequent Concorde Agreements were signed in 1987 and 1992, but in 1996, McLaren was again one of the teams which disputed the terms of a new agreement, this time with former FOCA president Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Promotions and Administration organisation; a new 10-year agreement was eventually signed in 1998. Similar arguments restarted in the mid-2000s, with McLaren and their part-owner Mercedes again threatening to start a rival series, before another Concorde Agreement was signed in 2009. In 2007, McLaren were involved in an espionage controversy after their chief designer Mike Coughlan obtained confidential technical information from Ferrari. McLaren was excluded from the Constructors' Championship for one year, and the team was fined US$100 million. Although the terms of the most recent agreements, in 2013 and 2021, have been extensively negotiated on, McLaren have not taken as openly hostile a stance as in the past.

Sponsorship, naming, and livery

Marlboro McLarens Donington
McLaren's Formula One team was sponsored for 23 years by Philip Morris's Marlboro cigarette brand.

McLaren's Formula One team was originally called Bruce McLaren Motor Racing, and for their first season ran white-and-green coloured cars, which came about as a result of a deal with the makers of the film Grand Prix. Between 1968 and 1971, the team used an orange design, which was also applied to cars competing in the Indianapolis 500 and Can-Am series, and was used as an interim testing livery in later years.

In 1968, the Royal Automobile Club and the FIA relaxed the rules regarding commercial sponsorship of Formula One cars, and in 1972, the Yardley of London cosmetics company became McLaren's first title sponsor. As a result, the livery was changed to a predominantly white one to reflect the sponsor's colours. This changed in 1974, when Philip Morris joined as title sponsor through their Marlboro cigarette brand, whilst one car continued to run—ostensibly by a separate team—with Yardley livery for the year. Marlboro's red-and-white branding lasted until 1996, during which time the team went by various names incorporating the word "Marlboro", making it the then longest-running Formula One sponsorship (and still the longest title sponsorship, which has since been surpassed by Hugo Boss' sponsorship of the team, which ran from 1981 to 2014).

In 1997, Philip Morris moved its Marlboro sponsorship to Ferrari and was replaced by Reemtsma's West cigarette branding, with the team entering under the name West McLaren Mercedes. As a result, McLaren adopted a silver and black livery. By mid-2005, a European Union directive banned tobacco advertising in sport, which forced McLaren to end its association with West. In 2006, the team competed without a title sponsor, entering under the name Team McLaren Mercedes. McLaren altered their livery to introduce red into the design, and changed the silver to chrome.

In 2007, McLaren signed a seven-year contract with telecommunications company Vodafone, and became known as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. The arrangement was due to last until 2014, although the team announced at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix that their partnership would conclude at the end of the 2013 season. Despite explaining the decision to conclude the sponsorship as being a result of Vodafone's desire to reconsider its commercial opportunities, it was later reported that the decision to run the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix despite an ongoing civil uprising and protests against the race, and Vodafone's inability to remove their logos from the McLaren cars during the race as being a key factor in the decision to terminate the sponsorship. Diageo-owned whisky brand Johnnie Walker, an associate sponsor since 2005, offered to take over as title sponsor at the end of 2013, but their offer of £43m was turned down by McLaren chairman Ron Dennis, who believed it to be "too small."

At the end of 2015, it was announced that McLaren was due to lose sponsor TAG Heuer to Red Bull Racing. McLaren chief Ron Dennis later admitted to falling out with TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver. In 2015 McLaren was without a title sponsor, and set to lose a further £20m in sponsorship in 2016. Between 2015 and 2017 the team competed as McLaren Honda due to their partnership with that engine manufacturer. The team has competed as McLaren F1 Team since 2018.

McLaren's cars were originally named with the letter M followed by a number, sometimes also followed by a letter denoting the model. After the 1981 merger with Project Four, the cars were called "MP4/x", or since 2001 "MP4-x", where x is the generation of the chassis (e.g. MP4/1, MP4-22). "MP4" stood initially for "Marlboro Project 4", so that the full title of the cars (McLaren MP4/x) reflected not only the historical name of the team, but also the names of the team's major sponsor and its new component part. Since the change of title sponsor in 1997, "MP4" was said to stand for "McLaren Project 4". From 2017, following Ron Dennis' departure from the team, the naming scheme of the cars changed to "MCL" followed by a number. Since 2017, McLaren have increasingly adopted orange colours, designed to recall Bruce McLaren's liveries.

In 2019, British American Tobacco (BAT) agreed a global partnership with McLaren under its A Better Tomorrow campaign to promote BAT's alternative smoking products Vuse (previously Vype) and Velo (previously Lyft). The agreement has enticed a similar controversy to the Mission Winnow sponsorship with Scuderia Ferrari due to the association with tobacco companies. In July 2020, McLaren announced a multi-year strategic partnership with long time sponsor Gulf Oil International, which includes Gulf being the preferred lubricant supplier to McLaren Automotive and a special Gulf livery for the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix.

Racing results

Formula One results

  • Constructors' Championships winning percentage: 14%
  • Drivers' Championships winning percentage: 21.1%
  • Winning percentage: 20.6%

Drivers' champions

Seven drivers have won a total of twelve Drivers' Championships with McLaren:

American open-wheel racing results


  1. In conjunction with Andretti Autosport.
  2. In conjunction with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Race wins

# Season Date Sanction Track / Race No. Winning Driver Chassis Engine Tire Grid Laps Led
1 1973 26 August USAC Ontario 500 Qualification Heat 2 (O) 7 United States Johnny Rutherford McLaren M16C Offenhauser Goodyear Pole 21
2 16 September USAC Michigan Speedway Twin 125s #2 (O) 7 United States Johnny Rutherford (2) McLaren M16C Offenhauser Goodyear 2 49
3 1974 3 March USAC Ontario 500 Qualification Heat 2 (O) 3 United States Johnny Rutherford (3) McLaren M16C Offenhauser Goodyear Pole 4
4 26 May USAC Indianapolis 500 (O) 3 United States Johnny Rutherford (4) McLaren M16C Offenhauser Goodyear 25 122
5 9 June USAC Milwaukee Mile (O) 3 United States Johnny Rutherford (5) McLaren M16C Offenhauser Goodyear 2 58
6 30 June USAC Pocono 500 (O) 3 United States Johnny Rutherford (6) McLaren M16C Offenhauser Goodyear 25 122
7 1975 16 March USAC Phoenix International Raceway (O) 2 United States Johnny Rutherford (7) McLaren M16C Offenhauser Goodyear 2 97
NC 27 April USAC Trenton International Speedway (O) 2 United States Johnny Rutherford McLaren M16C Offenhauser Goodyear 2 69
8 1976 2 May USAC Trenton International Speedway (O) 2 United States Johnny Rutherford (8) McLaren M16C Offenhauser Goodyear 2 60
9 30 May USAC Indianapolis 500 (O) 2 United States Johnny Rutherford (9) McLaren M16E Offenhauser Goodyear Pole 48
10 31 October USAC Texas World Speedway (O) 2 United States Johnny Rutherford (10) McLaren M16E Offenhauser Goodyear 6 9
11 1977 27 March USAC Phoenix International Raceway (O) 2 United States Johnny Rutherford (11) McLaren M24 Cosworth DFX V8 t Goodyear Pole 51
12 12 June USAC Milwaukee Mile (O) 2 United States Johnny Rutherford (12) McLaren M24 Cosworth DFX V8t Goodyear 2 103
13 31 July USAC Texas World Speedway (O) 2 United States Johnny Rutherford (13) McLaren M24 Cosworth DFX V8t Goodyear 2 81
14 21 August USAC Milwaukee Mile (O) 2 United States Johnny Rutherford (14) McLaren M24 Cosworth DFX V8t Goodyear 3 29
15 1978 16 July USAC Michigan International Speedway (O) 4 United States Johnny Rutherford (15) McLaren M24B Cosworth DFX V8t Goodyear 2 53
16 28 October USAC Phoenix International Raceway (O) 4 United States Johnny Rutherford (16) McLaren M24B Cosworth DFX V8t Goodyear 3 67
17 1979 22 April CART Atlanta Motor Speedway Race 1 (O) 4 United States Johnny Rutherford (17) McLaren M24B Cosworth DFX V8t Goodyear Pole 30
18 22 April CART Atlanta Motor Speedway Race 2 (O) 4 United States Johnny Rutherford (18) McLaren M24B Cosworth DFX V8t Goodyear Pole 61
19 2021 2 May IndyCar Texas Motor Speedway (O) 5 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Dallara UAK18 Chevrolet IndyCar V6t Firestone 4 25
20 13 June IndyCar Belle Isle Street Circuit Race 2 5 Mexico Patricio O'Ward (2) Dallara UAK18 Chevrolet IndyCar V6t Firestone 16 3
21 2022 1 May IndyCar Indy Grand Prix of Alabama 5 Mexico Patricio O'Ward (3) Dallara UAK18 Chevrolet IndyCar V6t Firestone 2 27
22 24 July IndyCar Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google 5 Mexico Patricio O'Ward (4) Dallara UAK18 Chevrolet IndyCar V6t Firestone 7 66

Extreme E results

Racing overview

Year Name Car Tyres No. Drivers Rounds Pts. Pos.
2022 United Kingdom McLaren XE /
NEOM McLaren Extreme E
Spark Odyssey 21 C 58. United States Tanner Foust
New Zealand Emma Gilmour
52 5th

Racing summary

Year Series Races Wins Pod. B/Qual. S/S Pts. Pos.
2022 Extreme E 5 0 1 0 1 52 5th

Complete Extreme E results

(Races in bold indicate best qualifiers; races in italics indicate fastest super sector)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 Pts. Pos.
2022 McLaren XE /
NEOM McLaren Extreme E
Saudi Arabia
52 5th
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