New supercar designed by McLaren's leading F1 personnel
18 March 2010

Formula One know-how has played an unprecedented part in the creation of the McLaren MP4-12C road car, according to the car's builders.

This includes Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton - who have both confirmed orders for the MP4-12C - testing the car at Goodwood recently.

"The great things about this car are the engine and the downshift," said Hamilton. "That and the fact it is so responsive at changing direction. I was seriously impressed with how fast it could go round corners, and the natural balance it had."

Button added: "There are three areas of a road car a racing driver looks for: its power, its grip and its look. This car delivers on all three, and is also extremely lightweight, which ensures that it's nimble. Its racing pedigree shows through."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis added: "Needless to say, both drivers will have a car. The detailed discussion is over how much they pay. I suggested they win some races and championships and bring that fact to the negotiating table..."

In addition, McLaren Automotive managing director Antony Sheriff says the manufacturer's F1 background has pushed it to take more risks than a conventional car company.

McLaren will only build sportcarsMcLaren MP4 - new details + picsSee the new McLaren MP4-12C pics

"Our entire approach to the way we do things is to take qualified risks and push what is possible," said Sheriff. "While many competitors move towards the ‘edge’ of what is possible, we go to the ‘edge of the edge’.

"Only by pushing the extremes of what is possible can we produce a car and ownership experience that has a shot at challenging to be the best. If took the easy road, we would not produce something that was worthy of bearing the McLaren name."

To this end McLaren Automotive has recruited several personnel from the F1 team, and used its cutting-edge F1 simulator to help develop the road car.

Personnel who have transferred include Dick Glover, McLaren Automotive’s technical director.

"With the technologies available to all car companies today, it’s not, in principle, difficult to build a relatively fast, exciting and dramatic sports car, but that’s not our ambition," said Glover. "We want to deliver the best possible high-performance sports car from day one into a mature global market of very good cars.

"Having come from the McLaren Group’s Formula One operation, I know first-hand the benefits of integration in areas such as aerodynamics, simulation or packaging.

"The culture and attitudes from Formula One, the state-of-the-art development programmes, processes and hardware, and the access to the best drivers in the world give us a serious advantage in developing this car."

Other F1 personnel now working on the road car programme include Simon Lacey, previously head of aerodynamics in McLaren Racing, Marcus Waite, previously senior test engineer at McLaren Racing, Richard Hopkirk, previously one of Lewis Hamilton’s race tacticians, Paul Burnham, previously the racing team’s dynamics engineer for tyres, and Richard Felton, previously responsible for vehicle instrumentation, harnessing and electronics in the racing team.

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Comments
2

18 March 2010

In what sense is Louis Hamilton praising a car manufactured by his employer breaking news?

18 March 2010

Likewise J. Button. Breaking news surely would have been the pair rescinding their orders for the car not confirming them. I thought by now everyone appreciated that 'Dog bites Man' is not news. Man bites Dog - that's news.

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