Constructors Who Have Won in F1 - McLaren


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McLaren (171*)

Bruce McLaren followed his old team-mate Jack Brabham into running his own cars as Black Jack was winning the 1966 title. His 1966-7 entries brought points, but the team took off with their first win in 1968 at Spa in McLaren's own hands. World Champion Denny Hulme took two consecutive victories later in the season in Italy and Canada, as in their first full season they finished 2nd in the Constructors' Championship.

McLaren were achieving multiple successes in Can-Am, but 1969 would see a solitary win in F1 in Mexico. McLaren's 2nd place in the 1970 Spanish GP was his last finish before his death in a Can-Am car. A few podiums saw a 5th in the Championship. They dropped one place in 1971 too. Hulme's victory in South Africa in 1972 was part of a better season where they finished 3rd in the WCC, an achievement matched in 1973 on the back of three victories for their drivers, Hulme in Sweden, Peter Revson in Britain and in Canada.

The newly red and white McLarens signed 1972 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi from Lotus for 1974. Firstly, Hulme took his first win in Argentina before Emmo won at home in Brazil. Amongst consistent point scoring there were two more wins for the Brazilian in Spa and at Mosport so Clay Regazzoni's meltdown in America allowed Emmo to take the title. He won the opening race of the 1975 season in Argentina too. Both Fittipaldis withdrew from the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, with Jochen Mass taking the win for McLaren when it was called off. Silverstone saw Emmo's last win as he joined his brother at Copersucar for 1976.

He was replaced by Hesketh driver James Hunt. He failed to convert his first two poles, but won from his third in Spain, but was disqualified. He won at Paul Ricard from pole, and was disqualified from a win at Brands Hatch, although then reinstated to his Jarama victory. He became the Nordschliefe's last ever F1 winner before winning at Zandvoort with World Champion and title rival Niki Lauda absent. Wins at Mosport and Watkins Glen gave Hunt the chance to take the title, which he did when Lauda pulled out feeling the wet race at Fuji was too dangerous. His wins in 1977 at the Glen and at Fuji would be his last in F1, and McLaren's last until a revolution...

Marlboro, unsatisfied with 3 years of failure, merged McLaren and the Project Four Formula Two team in 1980 so Project Four's revolutionary aluminum F1 chassis could be developed. The MP4/1 brought McLaren back to competitiveness, with John Watson winning at Silverstone. For 1982, they coaxed Niki Lauda out of retirement, and won four races (Lauda at Long Beach and Brands Hatch, Watson at Zolder and Watkins Glen) which came close to securing them either title. Watson won again at Long Beach the next year, from 22nd on the grid! McLaren couldn't overtake that much at the other circuits and their poor qualifying performance cost them any chance, especially with their double-dnq at Monaco.

Having fallen out with Renault in the most Gallic possible way, Alain Prost rejoined McLaren for 1984. The car was a better qualifier than in 1983, but came alive for Sundays. Prost won in Brazil, Lauda in South Africa. Prost won at Imola, Lauda at Dijon. Prost took a half-win when the race at Monaco was finished before Toleman's rampaging Ayrton Senna (remember the name) could catch him! McLaren won the last 6 races, three each for their two protagonists, but a half-win for Prost at Monaco caught up with him. Had he taken second behind Senna in a full-point race, he'd be the Champion but he lost it by half a point.

Five wins for Prost in 1985 saw him outbattle Michele Alboreto (Ferrari) and take the title, while Lauda scored his last win before retirement in Zandvoort amidst a poor season. Prost defended his crown in 1986 with four more wins as Williams took points off themselves. Another World Champion, Keke Rosberg, would retire from McLaren duty in 1986. In came Stefan Johansson, but it was Prost who took three wins as Williams dominated. McLaren swooped for the aforementioned Senna to replace Johansson for 1988...

Two laps from the end of the 1988 Italian Grand Prix, Jean-Louis Schlesser collided with Ayrton Senna. With Prost already out, this was McLaren's only defeat of the season. Prost scored consistently in comparison with the Brazilian, and thus the points dropped rule allowed Senna to overhaul Prost for the title. There would be 10 wins the next year between Senna and Prost, split 6-4 in the Brazilians favour. However a collision between the two towards the end of the Japanese Grand Prix eliminated Prost. Senna's win was cancelled by his push start. Senna threw a tantrum, accused the FIA of rigging the title and threatened to withdraw from F1. Prost left for Ferrari, unable to work with the Brazilian.

In came Gerhard Berger. It became quickly apparent that he did not have Senna's pace. Senna won six races to Prost's five before deliberately driving into the Frenchman at the first corner in Suzuka in a fit of pique having failed to have the pole position moved to the other side of the track thanks to the FIA president Jean-Marie Balestre. Senna won the first 4 races of 1991 from pole, including his first win in Brazil. A midseason slump did not derail his charge as he beat Mansell to the title by a considerable margin. Berger took his first McLaren win in Suzuka.

Berger would take 2 wins in 1992 in addition to Senna's 3, including a classic in Monaco to match Graham Hill's Monaco record. Michael Andretti was brought in for 1993. He flopped, as Senna scored 5 wins, and was eventually replaced by Mika Hakkinen. Senna left for Williams for 1994 and was replaced by Martin Brundle and then Mark Blundell for 1995, notwithstanding a failed experiment with Nigel Mansell! 1996 saw David Coulthard come in, but overall they were three years of failure.

1997 saw the exit of Marlboro and a new silver paint job. David Coulthard took the McLaren-Mercedes' partnerships' first win in the season opener in Melbourne. The engine showed its potential with a win in Monza in Coulthard's hands, and Hakkinen finally won his first race in Jerez as he profited from the Schumacher/Villeneuve fight. With a new set of rules for 1998, Adrian Newey designed a car which was much better. They lapped the field in the opening race and Hakkinen won his third (and third consecutive) race in Brazil. Coulthard's win at Imola sat amongst 8 Hakkinen wins as he beat Michael Schumacher to take the title, and the Constructors' Title with it (it remains their last).

1999 saw 11 poles for the Finn, converted into only 4 wins. Coulthard won at Silverstone and Spa additionally. Schumacher's injuries in Silverstone smoothed Hakkinen's path, and he held off Eddie Irvine for the title. Again, 2000 saw 4 wins for Hakkinen and 2 from Coulthard but that was not good enough to stop a fit Schumacher taking the title. Coulthard was a distant second in the 2001 title race as he won twice. Hakkinen's woes that season were interrupted by excellent wins at Silverstone and Indianapolis as he bid farewell for a sabbatical, which never ended.

In came Kimi Raikkonen to partner DC. The Scot won in Monaco, but Ferrari were even more dominant. Raikkonen should have won in France, but slipped on oil left behind a Toyota and let Schumacher through to claim his title at a ludicrously early stage. An update of the MP4-17 was raced in 2003, and surprisingly did well. They won the first two races (DC in Australia, Kimi in Malaysia) and held the trophy for a short while in Interlagos. Despite the fact there were no further wins, Raikkonen's consistency kept him in the title hunt, which he lost by 2 points. 2004 was poor but saw Raikkonen take his first Belgian Grand Prix win.

Raikkonen was joined for 2005 by Juan Pablo Montoya (when he wasn't injuring himself playing tennis). Raikkonen took the Spanish, Monaco and Canadian Grand Prix in the first half of the season to counter Fernando Alonso's lead. From then on, the McLaren was the fastest car but it had unreliable engines! Montoya won in Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos with Raikkonen winning at the Hungaroring, Istanbul, Spa, and Suzuka. But there were engine blowups which seemed to give Alonso points, and the Spaniard took the title. An upsurge of fortunes for Ferrari in 2006 ensured McLaren could not fight for the title (with Montoya leaving for NASCAR), but to start 2007 they would have the F1 champion and the rookie GP2 champion...

The bald stats show Lewis Hamilton winning in Montreal, Indianapolis, Budapest and Fuji with Alonso taking victories at Sepang, Monaco, the Nurburgring and Monza. Both of them finished one point behind Kimi Raikkonen, World Champion for Ferrari. That disguses the intrigue, controversy and stupidity present in the season McLaren were thrown out of the Constructors' Championship, Alonso lost his cool and Hamilton lost a Championship lead. With Heikki Kovalainen replacing the Spaniard, Hamilton took 5 wins on his way to the 2008 title, with the Finn taking the honours in Budapest. Their 2009 car was developed in a hurry midseason, letting Hamilton win in Budapest and Singapore. 2010-11 have seen McLaren, now with Jenson Button partnering Hamilton, frustrated observers to Red Bull's dominance with 7 wins (4 in the wet, 2 when Red Bull made the wrong tyre choice, and one where Red Bull crashed into each other).
Fairly successful outfit I'd say.

Excellent article tby. :thumbsup:

Although I haven't commented often, I've enjoyed your historical insights throughout this series.
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