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McLaren celebrate their 50th birthday 02 Sep 2013

McLaren celebrate their 50th anniversary Bruce McLaren (NZL), Goodwood, Easter Monday, 1963. World © Phipps/Sutton Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, German Grand Prix, Qualifying, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 6 July 2013 Emerson Fittipaldi (BRA) McLaren celebrates his second World Championship title on the podium after held his nerve to finish fourth in the final GP of the season. United States Grand Prix, Watkins Glen, 6 October 1974. World © Phipps/Sutton Pole sitter James Hunt (GBR) McLaren M23 won the race and closed the gap in the World Championship to just eight points. Canadian Grand Prix, Rd14, Mosport Park, Canada, 3 October 1976. World © Phipps/Sutton Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 24 August 2013 Ayrton Senna (Left), Alain Prost (Right) and the McLaren-Honda team celebrate winning both constructors' and drivers' championships in record-breaking style. Australian Grand Prix, Adelaide, 13 November 1988. Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Thursday, 22 August 2013 Bruce McLaren (NZL) retired from the race on lap nine with an oil leak in the McLaren M2B powered by a modified Indianapolis Ford V8 engine. Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, 22 May 1966. Race winner Mika Hakkinen (FIN) McLaren Mercedes MP4/13. Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, Australia, 8 March 1998. Race winner James Hunt (GBR) McLaren M23 (later disqualified) leads second placed Niki Lauda (AUT) Ferrari 312T2. British Grand Prix, Rd9, Brands Hatch, England, 18 July 1976.

McLaren marked their 50th anniversary on Monday by throwing a celebratory event at their UK headquarters. The company’s staff witnessed the historic running of a number of iconic McLaren cars, driven by - among others - the team’s current drivers, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez.

Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Limited was formally incorporated on September 2, 1963, when the 26-year-old New Zealander mustered together a small crew of committed individuals to design, build and race cars bearing his name, operating from a small, cramped workshop in New Malden, Surrey.

From that tiny base, the team migrated through various premises in Colnbrook and Woking before settling upon its current site at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC), home to all of the team’s various businesses, and workplace to more than 2000 people.

“Marking McLaren’s 50th anniversary is an extremely proud moment for me, and for every single person who works for this organisation,” said Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal and group CEO. “We are a 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.”

In their 50 years, McLaren have won 182 Grands Prix, eight constructors’ championships and 12 drivers’ titles. Their champions - Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton - have become household names and motorsport legends.

“To witness the scope and scale of our growth across the past five decades has been truly astonishing,” added Whitmarsh. “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 ground-breaking new medical technologies - is approached with the same mind set: how can we be better? How can we be the best? That is the methodology that continually motivates me and still makes me feel incredibly proud to work for McLaren.”

Button, a McLaren driver since 2010 and an eight-time winner with the team, commented: “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 soon.

“For me, it’s 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. Happy 50th birthday McLaren - you are an inspiration to everyone in motorsport.”

Team mate Perez, in his first season with McLaren, added: “Ayrton Senna was my hero when I was growing up and getting into Formula One. Ever since then, I’ve had huge respect for McLaren - throughout my whole life they have been winning races and championships, and have consistently been one of the best teams in Formula One.

“To drive for McLaren in their 50th year has been a great personal achievement for me - ever since I first arrived, I’ve found a team utterly hungry for success, yet always friendly and considerate. It’s this human quality that has really struck me about the team - they are completely united, so you always know they are pushing hard for you. In turn, that makes you want to step up and deliver yourself.

“It’s unbelievable to think that McLaren is 50 today - I want to wish the team every success for the next 50 years.”

Bruce McLaren took his team into Formula One racing at the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix - and, since that day, no F1 team has scored more victories. Elsewhere, the team dominated the iconic North American CanAm sportscar series, taking 43 wins between 1967 and 1972, won the Indy 500 three times between ’72 and ’76, and took the Le Mans 24 Hours on their first attempt, in 1995.

The organisation’s current scope is particularly broad: McLaren have grown from a humble racing outfit to encompass McLaren Electronic Systems, which supplies technologies to every F1 team as well as those in NASCAR and Indycar, and McLaren Applied Technologies, which applies the company’s expertise to a wide range of industries from elite sport and healthcare to energy and product design.

Following Monday’s celebrations at the McLaren Technology Centre, the evening will be marked by the world premiere in London of the new Hollywood movie Rush, where McLaren will have a significant and symbolic presence. Directed by Ron Howard, the film tells the story of the rivalry for the 1976 F1 title between Ferrari's Niki Lauda and McLaren's James Hunt.

And at Monza this weekend, McLaren will officially commemorate their 50th anniversary with the rest of the Formula One community at the Formula 1 Gran Premio d'Italia 2013.

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