February 18, 2015

Mclaren P1 GTR: because 1000 hp is the new 750 hp!

Remember when the batshit crazy, track day world championship conquering Zonda R came out and 750 hp  (ok 750 ps for sticklers) seemed like an insane amount of power for a mere mortal?

Fast forward a few years and now, 750 hp Mustangs and Challengers are out there for the taking.   750 clearly is way too pedestrian a figure for hyper track toys.

Enter Mclaren's answer to Ferrari's FXX program, the P1 GTR!

Mclaren PR:

 The track-dedicated 1000PS McLaren P1™ GTR will debut at the 85th International Geneva Motor Show in limited production form with only minor modifications to the Design Concept presented just six months ago. The most noticeable change is the livery that the Geneva show car will be sporting. It is one which will be available to the fortunate few who will be joining the McLaren P1™ GTR Driver Programme that kicks off at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain later this year. The design is homage to the yellow and green McLaren F1 GTR, chassis #06R, which has claimed its own place in history as one of the five F1 GTRs that dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the historic debut by McLaren 20 years ago.

From design concept to the track

The McLaren P1™ GTR has completed an extensive and intense testing schedule across the world following the unveil of the Design Concept at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last summer. This has produced enhancements to the original design to optimise aerodynamic performance and cooling.

The front track is 80mm wider than the road-going McLaren P1™ and with its aggressively profiled front splitter, the also car sits 50mm lower to the ground on centre-locking 19-inch motorsport alloy wheels shod with Pirelli slick tyres. The lower bodywork is trimmed with a sleek aerodynamic blade as previewed on the design concept, which cleans the flow of air along the car’s flanks.

The lightweight windscreen from the McLaren P1™ road car, measuring just 3.2mm thick, has been retained, while the side windows are now motorsport-specification polycarbonate with a sliding ‘ticket window’ on the driver’s side. The chemically toughened glass panels in the roof have been replaced with carbon fibre panels to give the cabin a more enclosed, cocooned environment, as has the engine bay cover. The weight saving measures on the McLaren P1™ GTR combine to strip out 50kg over the road-going model.

The rear of the track-only model is dominated, in contrast to the road-going McLaren P1™, by the presence of a fixed-height wing which sits more than 400mm above the sculpted rear bodywork – an increase of over 100mm of the adjustable wing on the road car. Working in conjunction with the front-mounted aerodynamic flaps ahead of the front wheels, the rear wing helps to increase downforce levels by more than 10 percent – meaning up to 660kg at 150 mph. Mounted on light weight carbon fibre pylon supports, the wing retains the DRS (Drag Reduction System) of the road car, which trims the pitch from 32° to 0° at the push of the button on the steering wheel. Another bold and differentiating feature at the rear are the large twin exhaust pipes, formed from an Inconel and titanium alloy. This system saves in excess of 6.5kg over the already light road-going system.

Significant updates and modifications to the IPAS powertrain have been made beneath the ‘shrinkwrapped’ carbon fibre bodywork. At its heart, the McLaren P1™ GTR seamlessly integrates the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine with an enhanced lightweight electric motor. Combined, these powerplants generate 1,000PS; 800PS (789bhp) is produced by the petrol engine, coupled to 200PS (197bhp) available immediately from the electric motor.

The powertrain has been thoroughly revised for optimum performance on track, with key components replaced with motorsport-developed parts, more suited to the sustained high speed running the cars will be subjected to. In addition to this, features within the powertrain of the McLaren P1™ designed specifically for public highway use have been removed to reduce weight.

McLaren F1 GTR #06R: inspiring a new generation

McLaren F1 GTR chassis #06R was campaigned successfully throughout the 1995 and 1996 seasons with Mach One Racing, and is one of the longest serving examples of the McLaren F1 GTR in competition. The Harrods-sponsored #51 was famously one of seven McLaren F1 GTRs to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995, and was driven to the final podium position by multiple Le Mans race winner Derek Bell, his son Justin, and Andy Wallace. After this result, the team went on to win the final three races of the BPR Championship.

The following year, the team enjoyed another strong campaign. Oliver Grouillard joined Derek Bell and Andy Wallace in the line-up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and finished a commendable sixth. The team also claimed a win at Silverstone in the Global GT Endurance championship.

McLaren P1™ Driver Programme

The first locations for the first McLaren P1™ Driver Programme have now been confirmed, and will see drivers attend an initial test session at Silverstone, England, followed by the first on-track activity at Circuit de Catalunya in Spain. These events will follow on from individual driver profiling sessions at the McLaren Technology Centre. These tailored consultations will include a race seat fitting, a Human Performance Centre assessment, and final discussions around the design and livery of each model with McLaren Automotive Design Director Frank Stephenson. Each driver will also experience the McLaren P1™ GTR from the simulator for the first time.

Ultimate Series forms the third and final tier of the McLaren model line-up

The McLaren P1™ GTR joins the road-going McLaren P1™ in the Ultimate Series. This exclusive range prioritises aerodynamics and outright performance through notable advances in weight reduction, chassis and powertrain engineering and the use of pioneering materials.

McLaren has now established a three tier naming structure of Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series. The Sports Series is the entry point to McLaren and will make its global debut at the 2015 New York International Auto Show in April. Above this sits the core McLaren Super Series, comprising the 650S, the Asia-only 625C and the recently-announced 675LT which will premiere at the Geneva Motor Show.

The McLaren P1™ GTR will make its global debut alongside the recently announced McLaren 675LT on Stand 1240, Hall 1 at 12.15 CET (11.15 GMT) on Tuesday, 3 March 2015 at the 85th International Geneva Motor Show.


  1. Lets allow the drivers to change their helmets as much as they like it adds a little personality to the sport.

  2. As a viewer, I love it. Easier to tell who's in what car.

    Obviously not great for the drivers, but they still have more freedom than most other sports that completely control their image and licensing.

  3. The Brumos Porsche hit a possum straight through the radiator at the Daytona 24 hour race this year. The radiator held pressure for a good bit, great story on the television.

  4. Used, especially recognizable used helmets are a coveted collectors item and make popular fundraiser fodder.
    One helmet rule may be a bit overreactionary but I'm sure limited edition helmets commemorating significant events will be requested.

  5. If the sport's personality resides in changing helmets, then the sport is dead. The bi-weekly helmet fashion show is instead a distraction, and I could not agree with Mr. Ecclestone more

  6. Sure, I often use the helmet color/design to to distinguish between a team's drivers. But the OBVIOUS and COMMON SENSE solution to the problem of identifying drivers is make the damn car numbers more visible! Duh!

    Yeah, yeah, I know all about how valuable sponsor space is on the cars but I refuse to believe there isn't a way to make the number or even the driver's and team names more visible. For new watchers of F1, the ability to readily identify the team and driver would go a long way to more quickly grasp what they're watching.

  7. I understand the goal behind this, but with today's sponsor heavy skid-lids they are difficult to pick out. There are some exceptions, but they are exactly that. Take a look at: http://i.imgur.com/J2drEnJ.jpg One is obvious. One has a very well done design. There are a few that you can take an educated guess at and the rest are just a Homer-Simpson-Makeup-Shotgun design.

    You can't go back to the old days, but I bet you can exactly picture these helmets (and those helmets are them):
    - Cevert
    - JV
    - Hill(s)
    - Piquet (the one who didn't stuff it in Signapore)
    -JB (see what I did there?)

    - Senna
    - Rocket Red 5
    - Mr. The Shunt (though that is one of the obvious ones)
    - Needell

    I guess you can't halt progress.

  8. The traditionalist side of me agrees, seeing the Cev pic first (thanks by the way, also anyone watch "Weekend of a Champion" on Netflix lately,?). Looking back at photos from that era you could always tell who was who in a team car, but there wasn't a lot of the car up around them, they also didn't survive many crashes either. Now a helmet is the only thing you see, for good reason.
    The cynic in me says bullshit, I agree with the freedom of expression. Never a huge fan of Vettel esp.@ Redbull, but I see in his personality that that was definitely real individual expression (via helmet designer), sponsorship $ be damned.
    The problem is with the cars, the #'s, similar color schemes (black/red, rooso bull), a glut of aero goop and much needed $ decals (notice where the "much needed" went).
    I agree that a standard number plate, and maybe larger, or more, color team car identifiers, expand the yellow and red used on the cameras a bit, or change up the sponsor scheme a touch, like is often done w/ endurance car teams running the 24.
    In the end who cares, they always muck it up anyway, some more rules.
    Maybe if they would just stop trying so damn hard, look back to what it was like when people had real passion for the sport, instead of now, where we are all holding on, staying interested, when we are all really sick of it, hoping that they get it back to some level of unpredictability and excitement that existed before this 15yr recession. At least when Mclaren dominated in the eighties, the draw of the cars made up for it.
    If I where new to the sport I'd have trouble getting hooked too.
    My 222 cents.

  9. This is complete and total BS from Bernie - The Master of BS. Its tragic. A racers helmet is a reflection of his personality, his country, his culture. He has a vision, he articulates that vision to his helmet designer and the helmet painter brings it to life. Whether it be karting or all the way to F1, each racer is an artist. He uses his machine as a paintbrush on the canvas of the racing circuit to try to create a faster and faster lap time. Racing is art. And the diversity of helmets is just an extension of that. I'm a Seb fan, and yeah I'll admit that in my opinion most of his helmet designs are stinkers, but these guys should be able to choose their helmet design and change it when they feel like it.

  10. Generally speaking, I like drivers that keep their helmet design, or change it very little. But that's just my personal choice, and I don't particularly care what an individual driver does

    That said, this is a dumb ass move, and goes against the basic enlightenment principle of free expression of the individual. It would be interesting to see someone file suit against Bernie for suppressing their inalienable human rights under Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  11. Senna had one helmet. It was iconic.

    I actually like that principle of that so much, that it made me see Seb as a dick for breaking a great F1 tradition of having helmet identity. Of course, as with anything in life, we must evolve. I can understand how a driver might want to update or modify his helmet design over time, and many driver have, but I cannot understand why one would like to change helmet design during every race.

    It's all about identity. The helmet is the only visible part of the driver that we see during the race, and it's what we use as reference for that specific driver's personality as well. It's essentially the substitute for a driver's face.

    In other words, I'm all for the ruling. It's just sad that there even had to be ruling. I was hoping it would remain a tradition of the sport.

  12. I don't care and it does not affect the racing or lack of.

    Yes I do like to be able to identify the driver with the helmet but most of the time you already do with the style of driving, the yellow marks in the wing or camera pod now.

    In the past the car did not have advertising and people where shocked when this changed.
    Same happen as the author explained above when the helmets went from plain colors to some specific one.

    In moto GP Valentino did the same. He started a tradition of changing the helmet in Mugello and nobody complains.

    In the end the important thing here is the racing, if there was good racing we will not be talking about this.

  13. I think Bernie should have a Sesame Street sponsored race to help get young children interested in F1. Every driver could be a different character. Personally, I'll be rooting for Super Grover.

  14. well my thoughts on this is that Bernie needs to go eat a fat one and get over himself..

    He's so old anyways, hopefully he'll die soon and the world will be a better place.

  15. So, changing helmet "only" once a year would solve the ID "problem"? Idiot. If you were to enforce such rule for such reasons, then it should be permanent like the racing number.

    Anyway, yes, I agree racers should have on basic helmet design, it's easier to spot and also it shows character, personality, builds reputation, image etc. That should be spontaneous, but you can't help it nowadays to try and milk some more money using your helmet. Also you can not forbid homage and one off helmet designs, that's just stupid.

    So in conclusion, if there must be rules, then at least take the time do it properly:
    - there should be a basic design a driver should have to adopt like "forever", like his racing number
    - sponsorship "stickers" restricted to limited areas, change should only occur once a year
    - each driver could do a limited number of one off limited special editions a year (2? Home GP and one other)

  16. Great information. Thanks for providing us such a useful information.
    Keep up the good work and continue providing us more quality information from
    time to time. . animals


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