Here at the launch of the McLaren MP4-12C it’s easy to forget that we’re not just at the launch of the new supercar, but also a new car company.

So maybe it’s worth putting aside what we think of the looks of the car (a bit bland is my personal view) or whether the impressive technology it has will be enough to threaten the tough competition that Ferrari, Lamborghini and Mercedes represent.  And let's forget speculation on how good or bad it will be to drive, or even whether the McLaren brand has the provenenace with road cars, or even demonstrates the passion to compete with such illustrious rivals.

McLaren MP4 - new details + pics

McLaren will only build sportscars

McLaren: "F1 boosts road car"

What I keep thinking about - whatever we end up thinking of the car, or whether it’s a commercial success - is that Ron Dennis and the team do deserve some recognition for launching a new independent car company on this scale. When was the last time this happened? Even more poignantly, when was the last time it happened in the UK?