How McLaren Has Engineered Its Way To Success


McLaren are one of the most successful racing teams in the history of Formula 1. They have won a quarter of all the races they’ve ever entered, and have produced race-winning race cars year-on-year for decades. But how have they done it? How have they managed to beat Ferrari on numerous occasions; won countless titles; and become a by-word for absolute quality and attention to detail?

Well, in short, they have done it by endlessly striving to be the best, in every single way and possibility. McLaren as an organisation, by their own admission, can often look like quite a cold outfit. They are often dubbed as a company who build incredible race cars but lack that excitement and fun-factor. This could well be due to the way they go about their business. With Ferrari, you can see it all: the fun, the passion, the love, the commitment. But with McLaren, all you see is the world-class facilities in Woking – which look like they have been modelled on a future James Bond’s enemy’s hideout.

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This, however, is exactly why McLaren are one of the most successful teams in F1. Those ‘boring’ and ‘cold’ image branding are the foundations for McLaren’s continued success; they invest in innovation, not the accepted. This point is easily proven by the 2013 F1 car, the MP4-28. The MP4-28 is exactly in the same scheme of colour as the previous ones but the design features on this one has been upgraded.

Competition on Route, Taking the Risks

The reason why McLaren have lost so much pace to their counterparts is due to their stance on developments. McLaren wanted to create a revolutionary car for 2013, while the rest of the grid stuck with what they had for 2012 and just made some alterations. This is exactly what McLaren is all about: taking risks. Sure, it has left them with a lot of work to do, but once they get the car right, it will be tough for the rest of the grid to keep up with them.

Aside from the F1 ventures, McLaren also has an automotive segment, which focuses purely on the creation of incredible road-going supercars. It may seem a little odd, but if McLaren do well on the track, then they’ll do well in the showrooms, and the profits from the road-cars can be put back into the F1 programme. It’s a clever way of becoming self-sufficient in such a weak-economy.

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Alongside this, there is McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT), a company set-up to provide technology and products to the motorsport world. For instance, MAT makes every single ECU (the brain of the car) which is put in every F1 car up and down the grid. It’s incredible to think rivals such as Ferrari and Red Bull trust McLaren with their ECUs, but it does go to show just how well respected and talented the people over at McLaren are.

From the 1980s when they dominated, to the late 2000s when Lewis Hamilton was setting the world alight with dazzling performances in his McLaren racer, the McLaren brand has become a real powerhouse in motorsport and retail. What does the future hold for McLaren? More success and title wins, presumably. The so-called ‘Mega Mac’ (AKA the McLaren F1 successor) is due next year, so that should keep the bank-account balances of multi-millionaires very sparse when it launches.

Author: Jenny Ann engineered this article for you. Inspired by innovation and creation Jenny recommends you look at the telegraph engineering jobs and see what’s available right here right now, who know’s you may be the next engineer of a future F1 car!