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Exhibition to highlight wider benefits of F1 technology 06 Feb 2009

The front nose of the McLaren MP4/21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 9 March 2006 Ron Dennis (GBR) McLaren Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 12 September 2008

Formula One fans are to get the chance to learn how the sport’s technology has influenced other fields of industry at a special exhibition at the UK’s Science Museum in London. The free show, which opens next month, has been organised with input from McLaren and will feature the team’s 2006 car, the MP4-21, suspended from the gallery’s ceiling as its centrepiece.

“British engineers, designers and strategists are at the forefront of Formula One,” commented Professor Chris Rapley CBE, director of the Science Museum. “They are world experts at pushing the boundaries of materials, technology and teamwork.

“The outcome is not only a formidable presence on the grand prix track, but a stream of products and innovations that spin out into the world around us, improving our quality of life and the UK’s commercial competitiveness. This new exhibition gives a fascinating insight into the lesser-known benefits of the McLaren Group and Formula One.”

Aside from the MP4-21, other items on display will include a the world’s first production monocoque wheelchair, a carbon fibre table created with the help of legendary Formula One designer John Barnard, and lifesaving medical equipment fashioned from F1-inspired lightweight materials.

McLaren CEO Ron Dennis added: “F1 complies with unbelievably high standards delivered under extreme pressures, when the difference between success and failure is measured in few tenths of a second. Today this incredible engineering asset is available to other fields of research and innovation to the benefit many people in their everyday lives.

“The spirit of innovation and continuous research that British teams, mechanics and engineers have fostered over the decades in the world of motorsport and even outside is phenomenal. As Chairman and CEO of the McLaren Group I believe that this expertise can become an example for many of the UK’s hi-tech industries as we aim to ‘power through’ these difficult times in the ascent out of recession.”

Titled ‘Fast Forward: 20 ways F1 is changing our world’, the exhibition will run from March 11 to Spring 2010.