McLaren mark 50th anniversary with car parade

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McLaren's 50th anniversary, 2013

McLaren marked their 50th anniversary with a celebration at the McLaren Technology Centre yesterday.

The team was formed Bruce McLaren on September 2nd, 1963. The team’s founder died testing one of his Can-Am cars at Goodwood in 1970, but his outfit continued and just four years later won the constructors’ championship for the first time while Emerson Fittipaldi also lifted the drivers’ title.

Since then James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton have all won world championships while driving for the team.

Group chairman Ron Dennis said: “McLaren started as the dream of one man, and it?s since grown to encompass the hopes and dreams of more than 2000 men and women, who work as tirelessly as Bruce McLaren himself once did to ensure that everything we do reflects well when compared with everything we?ve ever achieved.

“So, our 50th anniversary provides an opportunity for every single McLaren employee to realise that he or she is an utterly crucial part of an organisation with a history and a culture that really mean something.

“Call it McLaren?s DNA, if you like. Call it McLaren?s brand continuity, if you prefer. Call it McLaren?s corporate culture, if you will. Call it McLaren?s undiminished hunger to win in everything we do, and you?d probably be getting closest to what I mean, what I think, and what I feel.”

Drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez appeared at the celebration along with junior drivers Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne. Both of McLaren’s current drivers drivers said they had been inspired by their predecessors at the team.

“I’ve never hidden my pride at being a McLaren driver,” said Button. “I grew up watching this team achieving great things with Ayrton Senna and my racing hero, Alain Prost.”

“And I firmly believe this team will be great again; this is an organisation you can never discount ?ǣ their appetite for winning is unlike anything I?ve ever seen and, rest assured, we will be back at the front soon.”

Perez said: “Ayrton Senna was my hero when I was growing up and getting into Formula One. Ever since then, I?ve had huge respect for McLaren ?ǣ throughout my whole life they have been winning races and championships, and have consistently been one of the best teams in Formula One.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 26 comments on “McLaren mark 50th anniversary with car parade”

    1. I knew Mclaren are a fan of the corporate look..
      But Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne not even being allowed to wear normal helmets!

      1. I spotted that too. I seem to remeber they had the same outfits when they launched the MP4/28 earlier this year. It’s even more weird when you know both off them have a McLaren race suit and helmet. Makes you wonder why the botherd to hand these to Magnussen and Vandoorne at all…

        1. The parade was not about the drivers, its about the team and cars and the people who built them over the 50 years. People love to complain and take every chance to nit pick thinking they know better. Congrats to Mclaren and all the people who make the team a giant of Motor racing.

          1. The Blade Runner (@)
            4th September 2013, 9:05

            Well said. This is a team that loves cars and racing and that does everything it can to celebrate those things.

            It’s just a shame that this will probably be the only time they’ll get to wear rocket-red this year… :(

          2. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend first and foremost I did not mean to complain about McLaren, it was a nice day and a nice way to celebrate such a nice history. It has been a privelige to compete against you lot.

            Secondly It was just a remark. Both Magnussen and Vandoorne have Mclaren racing equipement. They haven’t been able to wear them all year long because of McLaren 50 but I’m sure they will get their change (btw before anyone remarks yes I know Magnussen wore his suit at YDT)

            Signed, an objective Belgian Tifosi

      1. They miss Hamilton so much. Remember Button’s birthday? This time was Montoya maybe next time will be Bruce McLaren

    2. Where is Prost’s helmet?

      1. McLaren reserves his actual luck, and worst also, for hiding Prost to it’s history.

    3. Bruce McLaren was a guy who wanted to build and drive race cars. He was a privateer in F1 back in the day when guys like he and Dan Gurney could design, build and drive F1 cars independently and they could win races. Hard to imagine in this day and age of F1. I wonder what Bruce McLaren would think about the state of the sport today including the team which bears his name and legacy in all its technical grandeur. Just a fantasy, but I imagine he would love seeing the modern methods, grasping the technology and finding a better way to design and build a race car. Congratulations to TEam McLaren at 50 and hats off most of all to the man who started it all.

      1. @bullmello
        What does privateer means, if you can explain please? I am a bit confused by the meaning of the word, doesn’t it mean pirate?

        1. @caci99 – In this case it refers to individuals or groups starting racing teams on their own without the support of a car manufacturer. They used their own private funds and resources. Even if they did gain sponsors along the way, it was still hard to compare their budgets and resources to teams like Mercedes, Ferrari and the other car makers.

          They were in some ways like the privateers of pirate days stealing wins and glory from the wealthy establishment of Formula 1. Alas, the days of pirates and also of privateers in F1 are mostly things of the past…

          1. They were in some ways like the privateers of pirate days stealing wins and glory from the wealthy establishment of Formula 1.

            I see the connection, thank you @bullmello
            I do share the same feeling about those long gone days, unfortunatelly.

    4. I’m sure Bruce McLaren himself would raise an eyebrow when he saw all his engineers wearing the same red shirt, while the company’s most famous cars would be driven by McLaren development drivers around a lake and through a factory with a more controlled environment than a medical incubator.

      Having insulted McLaren quite sufficiently, I think it’s very impressive that a privateer team has survived long enough to celebrate its 50th birthday – of course credit where credit’s due.

      And now for the serious part of my comment: it’s unthinkable in present-day Formula 1 that a driver would establish his own team – F1 has become way too complicated for that. In the 1960s, the cars were much simpler, the number of employees was much smaller and most importantly a team was much less like a company. If my memory is not failing me, one of the reasons McLaren wanted to race under his own name was because his employer Cooper didn’t want to listen to his ideas on how to improve the car. Just imagine Alonso founding Team Alonso simply because he wants to have more influence on car design!

      Just look at the 1965 grid: five drivers (Brabham, McLaren, Graham Hill, Stewart and Amon) would found their own Formula 1 team. It would be incredible if present day Formula 1 could just take a step back, have small teams with the driver being a key member of that select group of top-engineers. It’s not going to happen of course, but it’s nice to philosophize about a perfect Formula.

      1. and Dan Gurney founded his own team too, All American Racers, better known as Eagle (and Fittipaldi, though he wasn’t on the grid in ’65)

        1. Ah of course, how did I miss that…

    5. Congrats to McLaren on 50 years. At least the 2013 victory t-shirts got some use…

      1. Ha well spotted, I think they should stop bringing those shirts to every race if they haven’t already.

    6. Hope they took down the rope and allowed the employees to mill around and touch the cars after all the speeches were through. Anyway, I’m a big McLaren fan, so congrats to them for all the great years, and thanks for all the cool cars and the excitement along the way.

    7. ‘Corperate culture’ – Says it all doesn’t it? That’s all Ron Dennis cares about, it’s all he’s ever cared about. I bet that if Bruce McLaren could see ‘his’ team today he wouldn’t be pleased. All the company is today is Mr. Dennis’ money making machine. And I use the word company because they hardly even focus on F1 any more. electronics for other things, cartoons, and people wonder why the team can’t do well this year. their attention is elsewhere. It’s a shame.

    8. I really would like to see some return to their roots for McLaren, throwing in some Kiwiana wouldn’t go amiss, or at least some more acknowledgment of their founder. There seems to be a big lack of that lately, same with Ferrari but to nowhere near the same extent.

    9. I doubt Sergio Perez grew up watching Senna, maybe via VHS or DVD. I’m older than him (born 1984) and I was very young in early 1990s and I don’t have memories of races before 1990!

      1. @jcost Well some people have memories form verry early on. My firste memories for expample come form the 1997 season. I was only 3 years old!

        Perhaps he started watching form a verry young age just like me :-)

        1. Yes, Checo is a genius then @force-maikel

    10. Anyone keeping a tally of McLaren’s car parades this year? I’m not moaning but they seem to have been a tonne this year

    11. A genius because he can remember things?

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