The second of September was a day down in racing history. McLaren celebrated their 50th anniversary after Bruce McLaren formed the team back in 1963. At the time he was 26 years old and from New Zealand when he created the business and the team which hired a small group of people to design, build and race the cars from a workshop in New Malden in Surrey.
Since the beginning the team has moved to bigger locations including Colnbrook and Woking and then relocating to the current home of McLaren Technology Centre which is again in Woking. Now the McLaren team has more than 2000 employees which is a huge amount of growth since day one.
Since the first day that Bruce took his team to the Monaco Grand Prix there hasn’t been another team in Formula 1 that has had as many wins as McLaren. Not only did they compete in Formula 1 they also competed in the North American CanAm sports car series, Indycar racing, and achieved a win first time round at the Le Mans race which lasts 24 hours in 1995.
These great podium positions came as a result of the champions that were racing for the team and over the years they have had quite a few including James Hunt, Alain Prost, Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna and of course Lewis Hamilton.
Not only have they had great drivers but they have also had some great brands behind them including Hugo Boss and TAG Heuer who are still partners with McLaren and have been for the last 25 years.
Rob Dennis is the chairman of McLaren Group and he had this to say, “McLaren started as the dream of one man, and since grown to encompass the hopes and dreams of more than 2000 men and women, who work as tirelessly as Bruce McLaren himself once did to ensure that everything we do reflects well when compared with everything we’ve ever achieved.
“So our 50th anniversary provides and opportunity for every single McLaren employee to realise that he or she is an utterly crucial part of an organisation with a history and a culture that really mean something.
“Call it McLaren DNA if you like. Call it McLaren’s brand continuity, if you’d prefer. Call it McLaren’s corporate culture if you will. Call it McLaren’s undiminished hunger to win in everything we do and you’d probably be getting closest to what I mean, what I think and what I feel.”
Jenson Button said, “I’ve never hidden my pride at being a McLaren driver. I grew up watching this team achieving great things with Ayrton Senna and my racing hero Alain Prost. And I firmly believe this team will be great again; this is an organisation you can never discount – their appetite for winning is unlike anything I’ve ever seen and, rest assured, we will be back at the front seat soon.
“For me it is hugely gratifying to not only be at MTC on the actual day of the anniversary, but to spend time with the thousands of people who all work with such skill and enthusiasm to make McLaren great.”
Not only do they have a great racing team but they also have many branches underneath the McLaren umbrella. McLaren Electronic Systems is the business that provides technology to all the teams that are participating in Formula 1 and Indycar racing. McLaren Group also has McLaren Applied Technologies where the expertise that McLaren have is applied to many different industries including health care, elite sports and energy to name a few. There is of course also the very famous McLaren Automotive where they create the supercars. The latest being the P1, of course you will want to protect your supercar with an extensive car insurance policy!
Going forward there are some exciting changes happening for McLaren Racing who are partnering up with Honda to help deliver the same success they saw during the last time they joined forces. This match saw them win 44 grand prix’s and 8 world titles during the 80’s and 90’s.
Martin Whitmarsh is the CEO of McLaren Group and he has said, “Marking McLarens 50th anniversary is an extremely proud moment for me, and for every single person who works for this organisation.
“We are group that thrives on the passion, determination and belief of our employees. We are also grateful to have received outstanding support from all our partners over the decades, whose backing has given our world-class engineers and drivers the tools they need to win races.
“We make no secret of the fact that we are hugely specialist set of businesses, but far from that being a limiting factor, our adaptability and determination have made us restless, dynamic and inventive.
“To witness the scope and scale of our growth across the past five decades has been truly astonishing. From our humble beginnings, McLaren has not only become a world-renowned sporting force, but also a byword for superlative technical excellence and attention to detail.
“That’s an incredible legacy, and a testament to the consistent adherence to the highest of standards. Everything we do – from racing grand prix cars around the world to developing groundbreaking new medical technologies – is approached with the same mindset: how can we be better? How can we be the best?”