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McLaren celebrate 40th anniversary of first win 11 Jun 2008

Bruce McLaren (NZL) McLaren M7A took his first Formula One victory in six years and the first victory for his McLaren team. Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps, 9 June 1968. World © Phipps/Sutton James Hunt (GBR) McLaren M23 overcame the terrible race conditions and a puncture late in the race to take third position and the four points necessary to take his first and only World Championship title. Japanese Grand Prix, Rd 16, Fuji, Japan, 24 October 1976. World ©  Phipps/Sutton Alain Prost (FRA) McLaren MP4/2B, 1st place. Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 8 September 1985. World © Sutton Mika Hakkinen (FIN), McLaren MP4-13, celebrates winning the race and his first World Championship. Japanese GP, Suzuka, 1 November 1998. World ©  Sutton. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/23.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 24 May 2008

Although the Canadian Grand Prix didn’t quite go to plan for McLaren, the British team still have something to celebrate this week. On June 9, 1968, at Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, the team’s founder, Bruce McLaren, took their first Formula One victory.

In the 40 years that have passed since that maiden win, a McLaren has crossed the finish line first a further 157 times and to commemorate the anniversary the team’s press office has compiled some fascinating facts and figures about how McLaren has changed over the last four decades…

Then - The workforce in 1968 comprised fewer than 30 people, two of whom work for McLaren in 2008. Tyler Alexander travels with the team as a systems engineer and Ray Rowe works as a gearbox mechanic.
Now - In 2008, there are 1115 people based across three facilities at Woking, Brixworth (Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines) and Stuttgart (Mercedes-Benz Stuttgart). The partnership between McLaren and Mercedes-Benz has been in existence since October 1994, and has yielded 54 Grand Prix wins and three world championships.

Then - The M7A had no more than four people focused on its design, some of whom were also working simultaneously on the team’s Formula Two and CanAm programmes.
Now - McLaren currently has more than 135 engineers in its design team working on the MP4-23.

Then - 86 drawings were involved in the creation of the M7A.
Now - The MP4-23 was the result of more than 4,600.

Then - Two pages of technical regulations guided the designers in 1968.
Now - The 2008 FIA technical regulations consist of 60 pages. The sporting regulations comprise a further 43 pages.

Then - While the nature of the circuits on the calendar has changed considerably, M7A still developed around 450bhp and achieved a top speed of 300km/h.
Now - In low-downforce trim on a high-speed circuit, MP4-23 will reach around 345km/h.

Then - In 1968, Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme travelled to 12 races spread over four continents.
Now - This year, Lewis Hamilton, Heikki Kovalainen and the entire McLaren team will race at 18 circuits in five continents.

McLaren M7A versus McLaren Mercedes MP4-23
Year of Production:

M7A: 1968/1969
MP4-23: 2008
Designer:
M7A: Robin Herd/Gordon Coppuck
MP4-23: McLaren Racing Design team
Examples Built:
M7A: 13
MP4-23: 6 (as of June 2008)
Engine:
M7A: Ford Cosworth DFV
MP4-23: Mercedes-Benz FO 108V V8
Cubic Capacity:
M7A: 2993cc
MP4-23: 2398cc
Electronics:
M7A: n/a
MP4-23: FIA Standard ECU (Microsoft MES)
Power Output:
M7A: 410bhp
MP4-23: 765bhp
Transmission:
M7A: Hewland DG300 5-speed
MP4-23: McLaren semi-auto sequential longitudinal 7-speed
Chassis:
M7A: Aluminium ‘bathtub’ monocoque, steel bulkheads
MP4-23: Carbon fibre single piece cockpit/engine cover & nose
Body:
M7A: Monocoque sides, GRP nose & cockpit surround
MP4-23: Carbon fibre single piece cockpit/engine cover & nose
Front Suspension:
M7A: Single top link & radius arm, lower wishbone, outboard coil spring/damper
MP4-23: Unequal length wishbone, push-rod & bell crank operating inboard torsion bar/damper
Rear Suspension:
M7A: Reverse lower wishbone, top link, twin radius rods, outboard coil spring/damper, anti-roll bar
MP4-23: Unequal length wishbone, push-rod & bell crank operating inboard torsion bar/damper
Wheels Diameter x width – F/R:
M7A: 15x10/15x15in
MP4-23: 13x12/13x13.7in
Length:
M7A: 158in - 4013mm
MP4-23: 188in - 4775mm
Width:
M7A: 28in - 711mm (at cockpit)
MP4-23: 70.6in - 1795mm
Wheelbase:
M7A: 94in - 2387mm
MP4-23: 125.5in - 3188mm
Track F/R:
M7A: 58/57in - 1473/1447mm
MP4-23: 57.2/55.9in - 1454/1419mm
Weight:
M7A: 1140 lb - 517kg
MP4-23: 1322lb - 600kg
Race Drivers:
M7A: Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme
MP4-23: Lewis Hamilton, Heikki Kovalainen
Identifying Colours:
M7A: Papaya Orange
MP4-23: Chrome / Rocket Red