Formula 1 McLaren

Breaking: Button agrees to McLaren move

Jenson Button

The Guardian currently leads its sport page with a story declaring that reigning F1 world champion Jenson Button has agreed to join the McLaren team on a three year deal.

While nothing has been made official, just yet, it is expected the £6 £18 million deal will be signed off in the coming days.

Button’s reported salary of £2 £6 million per season is well short of Lewis Hamilton’s wage, which is understood to be a very healthy £12 million per year, thanks very much. Assuming this deal goes through, a Hamilton-Button driver pairing is sure to make fascinating viewing in 2010.

[Source: | Thanks to Mark for the tip]

Formula 1 McLaren Mercedes-Benz

McLaren and Mercedes build a bridge

McLaren & Mercedes build a bridge

If we’re to believe the spin McLaren and Mercedes will part ways under mutual agreement. The basics of this agreement were given in Daimler AG’s announcement of the BrawnGP buy-in. Now, McLaren are making happy family noises, as well.

A statement on the McLaren website begins, “McLaren and Mercedes-Benz are delighted to announce a realigned long-term strategic alliance.

“The agreement covers the next six Formula 1 seasons (2010-15) and also provides mechanisms whereby the partnership may continue beyond 2015.”

McLaren will buy back the 40% share owned by Mercedes, with the purchase scheduled to be completed by 2011. Interestingly, for the time being, the Woking-based outfit will continue to race as the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team in their familiar silver and red livery.

Reading between the lines it seems as though McLaren welcome the independence from Mercedes in the lead up to the launch of their new road car, the MP4-12C. While Mercedes will, theoretically, enjoy greater control over their new F1 team.


Inside look: Developing the McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren Automotive have released new video footage of its latest supercar, the MP4-12C, being developed. Blah, blah, blah … watch the vid after the jump, and if you’re interested there’s a press release to go with.

Apparently there’s more videos to come, too. Which is a good thing, because it’s kinda cool being given an arcmchair ride during the creation of the MP4-12C.

Oh, is it just me, or is it a bit weird that the car is in full camo gear, given that official images have already been released?


McLaren MP4-12C website

McLaren Automotive - MP4-12C website

McLaren Automotive have launched a new website that offers some great information and insight into their new super car, the MP4-12C. It’s pretty cool, too.

Lianne Daly, McLaren Automotive Head of Marketing, said, “It is vitally important that potential customers of McLaren Automotive across the globe are able to see the unique properties of the MP4-12C and gain an understanding of why we are claiming that this car will set new performance and efficiency standards in the core sports car market.

“Until the car is physically presented in showrooms in early 2011, this website will be the only publicly-available source of official information relating to our range of high performance sports cars. Visitors to can now explore the interior and exterior of the car in beautiful detail and over the coming months time we will add more engaging content.”

That extra content is likely to be the focus of a new blog that will present the latest news from the McLaren Technology Centre.

So, what are you waiting for, get the latest Flash 10 plug in, and check out McLaren’s new e-digs. There’s some extra pics and a new video after the jump, which shows how the gullwing-style doors work on the new MP4-12C.


Ron Dennis talks about the McLaren MP4-12C

Here are two official videos from McLaren Automotive which showcase the new MP4-12C. In the clip above, Ron Dennis talks about his new baby, while in the second clip we see Antony Sheriff, Managing Director McLaren Automotive, waxing lyrical about the 12C.


VIDEO: McLaren MP4-12C

Celebrity car guy Jay Leno gets an inside look at the McLaren MP4-12C and is kind enough to share that look with the world. Someone really should give him a new shirt for Christmas, that denim number is getting a bit of a workout.

Anyway, the clip is quite good and there’s a nice snippet showcasing the MonoCell carbon fibre chassis. Naturally, Leno makes a play for getting the first US delivered MP4-12C. Well, you would too wouldn’t you!

After the jump you can watch a brief clip in which the car’s designer Frank Stephenson talks through some of the detailing. You’ll have to forgive the less than stellar audio.


2011 McLaren MP4-12C photo gallery

2011 McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren Automotive is back, and back in a very big way. Seventeen years after the creation of the almighty McLaren F1 road car the company from Woking in Surrey is preparing its sequel.

McLaren wants to bring hypercar performance in to the supercar market. That means they reckon the MP-12C will be up there with the Bugatti Veyron for outright performance, but at a Porsche 911 Turbo price point. To put that in to numbers, McLaren expect their new creation will cost between £125,000 and £175,000 (AU$240,000-340,000) when it is ready for market release in 2011.

For pure performance numbers, the 12C will have a new 3.8 litre V8 ‘M838T’ engine good for a very healthy 600bhp and an impressive 600Nm of torque. At this point, McLaren haven’t published a kerb weight for the MP4-12C, but today’s press release has the words “light weight” scattered throughout. Expect the power to weight ratio, then, to be staggering. The 12C will have a seven speed Seamless Shift dual clutch transmission. McLaren is already pontificating about the engine’s fuel efficiency and comparatively low CO2 emissions.

This time there is a conventional two seat layout. What is not conventional, though, is the construction of the chassis. Made from carbon fibre, McLaren have dubbed it the Carbon MonoCell. It tips the scales at just 80kg and can be formed in around four hours. Lightness, longevity and torsional rigidity are just three of the benefits of the MonoCell.

The McLaren MP4-12C is bespoke car with no carry over parts from any other manufacturers. Production will be coordinated solely by McLaren Automotive. Ron Dennis, McLaren Automotive Chairman is clearly excited by today’s news. And there is more to come.

“It is a long-held dream of mine to launch a range of high performance sports cars that set new standards in the industry,” said Dennis.

“We began designing and building cars for aficionados of thoroughbred sports cars almost 20 years ago. Incorporating the leading edge technologies that the McLaren Group has built up within its various companies, I believe we are now perfectly placed to open up this new chapter in McLaren’s history as well as play a part in the regeneration of high-tech manufacturing in the UK and global automotive environment,” he concluded.

As a pure design statement, Frank Stephenson (of MINI fame) has created a car that speaks performance efficiency, albeit lacking the drama such supercars usually possess. However, one gets the feeling that the drama from this car will come from the driving experience which is sure to be devastating, and I mean that in a very good way.

There’s plenty of photos of the McLaren MP4-12C after the break, all accessible as wallpaper-friendly 2000px super images by simply clicking on each image. The press release is lengthy, and rather than reproduce it here, you can download the Word document by clicking here.


A face full of win

Autocar drive McLaren F1 GTR

It might not look like it, but that pic above shows a face full of win. Dopey, startled and goofy it may look, you would want to be doing what he was doing when that image was captured.

So, just what was Autocar journo Steve Sutcliffe doing at the time? He was at the wheel of Nick Mason‘s road going McLaren F1 GTR.

Here’s a few figures: insured value AU$4.8M, 6.1 litre V12, 940kg, 620bhp. Yeah, see, all of sudden that face makes a lot of sense.

You can watch the video after the jump.

McLaren Motorsports

Pursuit of perfection

Spotted on BimmerFile and autoblog are this fantastic series of YouTube clips featuring the most awesome of supercars, the McLaren F1. The four clips complete the documentary Pursuit of perfection.

The doco begins with Gordon Murray briefly talking about the creation of the McLaren F1, before focusing on the transformation from road car to LeMans racer. The McLaren F1 GTR made its LeMans debut in 1995 with stunning results.

Ahead of you there is about 40 minutes of perfect Sunday viewing. Enjoy!

McLaren News

Dream car sells for dream price

McLaren F1 sells at auction for £2.5M

Bit of a catch up post this one. Last October this 1997 McLaren F1 sold at auction in London for £2.5M (AU$5.4M). The sale price was a new record for a McLaren F1 and almost double the estimated sale price. Given the doom and gloom that has followed since you’d reckon the result should remain a record for quite some time.

I’m sure I’m not alone in holding the Macca F1 up as one of the greatest cars ever made. When the car was released I was seduced by its looks, its performance and its aura. Little has changed in the decade and a half since. The F1 still has awe inspiring performance that few cars can match.

I was holding off on posting this article on the off chance my wife had bought it for me for Christmas. Maybe the car has been held up in customs?

Source: autoblog and RM Auctions