Carlos Sainz leaves McLaren for Ferrari this season. At McLaren, the Spaniard had an excellent final season after...
McLaren is a Formula 1 team with drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. They have the second-highest number of Grand Prix wins in Formula 1 with 182 victories in total. The team has won 12 drivers championships and 8 constructors titles.
However, recently the team has failed to perform at this level with their most recent driver's title coming in 2008 when Lewis Hamilton was with the team. Zak Brown is the current CEO of the team. Since Andreas Seidl's arrival, McLaren have started to climb the standings. In 2020, they finished the season in third place. In 2021, the McLaren will compete with Mercedes engines again.
|Team Leader||Andreas Seidl|
Who will drive for McLaren in Formula 1?
Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris had a strong bromance, but that partnership came to an end in 2020.
Lando Norris had an excellent debut year in which he beat his teammate in qualifying several times with big numbers. His second year was also successful as he recorded his first career F1 podium. The 21-year-old Brit still has a step to make in the race, but at his age, he already seems to have enough qualities to have a long career in Formula 1.
Daniel Ricciardo joins Norris at McLaren in the 2021 season. The Australian moves to the British team after spending two years at rivals Renault.
The birth of McLaren
Despite excellent results with the Cooper team, the young Bruce McLaren decided to appear at the start of the Monaco Grand Prix in 1966 in a car of his own, McLaren. Only with the switch to engines from Cosworth, the first victory is taken by Bruce McLaren himself in Belgium in 1968.
In Formula 1 McLaren doesn't manage to win any titles, but in other classes, the team excels. The Can-Am class is a fixed outing for Bruce and his team. In 1970 McLaren tested the new Can-Am car for the coming season, when part of the car breaks down, the car spins and ends up in the wall. The New Zealander does not survive the crash, but the name McLaren will remain associated with the team even after his death.
Four years after the death of Bruce McLaren the eponymous racing stable won their first championship. Emerson Fittipaldi was signed by McLaren after two successful years at Lotus and he also managed to win the title with the British team. The party was short-lived, as Niki Lauda and his Ferrari advanced in the year after McLaren's first championship. In 1976 James Hunt took the title with McLaren, but the manufacturer's title went to Ferrari again.
The first summit of McLaren
With Ron Dennis at the helm, there was a big change in 1983. Ford's engines were exchanged for Porsche's and with the duo Niki Lauda-Alain Prost, McLaren had all the ingredients to achieve success. In 1984 the title was taken, just like in 1985: The first time by Lauda, the second time by Prost. And although Porsche's engine seemed to revitalise McLaren, the fun was already over in 1986. Williams, with a Honda engine in the back of the cars, managed to achieve better results.
After another season of modelling with Porsche, McLaren also joined the queue at Honda to get the Japanese engine into the car. A decision that guarantees one title after another from 1988 with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost as drivers duo.
The two racers may not get along well, but the successes for McLaren are more dominant than ever. Even after Prost leaves the team (after yet another collision with Ayrton Senna), Senna continues to rake in the victories.
It wasn't until 1992 that the tide turned and Honda's engine was overtaken by other manufacturers. Also, goldcrest Senna leaves the team in 1994 to join the better performing Williams. A career switch that would eventually lead to his death during the San Marino Grand Prix that same year.
Return to the top
The team from Woking had been driving with the duo Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard since 1996, while an engine from Mercedes growls in the back of the cars. Although McLaren managed to get podiums and occasional victories in the years with the British-Finnish driver duo, it was not until 1998 that the manufacturer's title was won again. That year Hakkinen also wins his first driver's title, with number two a year later.
In 2001 one the Finn leaves the team and another comes on board: Kimi Raikkonen replaces Mika Hakkinen, but it doesn't lead to better results. Despite a stream of victories, it is Fernando Alonso who won both titles with Renault in 2005, closely followed by Kimi Raikkonen in his McLaren.
Two years later, the same Fernando Alonso can be found behind the wheel of the McLaren, convinced of the power of the Mercedes engine and the knowledge of the team. However, the 2007 season would not turn out at all as the Spaniard had hoped.
A scandal surrounding obtaining detailed plans of the Ferrari of that season meant a stripping of the constructors' title and also the championship went the side of Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari in the last race. Alonso left McLaren after one year, while rookie Lewis Hamilton had to settle for P2 in the championship.
One year later Hamilton won the championship with McLaren. The manufacturer's title went to Ferrari, but the Brit had his first title in his pocket. 2009 was the only year that Brawn GP appeared at the start, but also the year that the racing stable took both titles with Jenson Button. The Brit would sit next to his compatriot at McLaren a year later, but the return of the glory days did not happen: Red Bull Racing dominated Formula 1 from 2010.
Honda-Alonso era 2.0
With Lewis Hamilton heading to Mercedes in 2013, another game of musical chairs began at McLaren. First Sergio Perez took the place, then the Mexican was replaced by Kevin Magnussen and the Dane was allowed to leave in 2015 after one race by attracting Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard would stay longer this time but would leave disappointed again.
In the same year that Alonso returned to McLaren, the team switched from engines of Mercedes to those of Honda. After selling the factory team to Ross Brawn (who renamed it Brawn GP, which later became the Mercedes factory team again), the Japanese manufacturer turned its back on Formula 1 until 2015 and Honda returned as a supplier.
Dreaming of a repetition of the results that the collaboration between Honda and McLaren had brought, turned out to be nothing more than thin hope. The performance was disappointing and in the first season, McLaren only managed to collect 27 points.
Although that number almost tripled in the following year, it dropped back to just thirty in 2017. Also in 2018 team boss Eric Boullier was unable to turn the tide after Honda was sidelined and Renault was brought in as supplier: The Frenchman was put aside and the season yielded only sixty points.
McLaren F1 move forward
With Andreas Seidl at the helm, McLaren start to move forward back towards the front of the grid. In 2019, McLaren secured their first podium result since 2014. Sainz and Norris recorded one podium each in 2020. And those results helped propel McLaren forward and secure third place in the Constructors' Championship.
Which engine will McLaren have?
During the 2017-season it became clear that McLaren no longer wanted to continue in Formula 1 with Honda as an engine supplier. A complicated exchange was made, which meant that Toro Rosso would take the engines from Honda and McLaren would have the same power source as Red Bull Racing (who have now switched to Honda). The French engine will also be back in the back of the MCL35 in 2020, but from 2021 onwards the team will return to Mercedes as their engine supplier.
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