When Brazil's Ayrton Senna won his home country Grand Prix last Sunday (march 28) he created a notable milestone in the history of Mclaren.
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Background: When Brazil's Ayrton Senna won his home country Grand Prix last Sunday (march 28) he created a notable milestone in the history of Mclaren. It was their 100th Grand Prix victory.
New Zealander Bruce McLaren was just 23 when he set up the team that bears his name in 1963.
McLaren himself, fittingly, gave his team their first Grand Prix win in Belgium in 1968 but the step from race winners to world beaters came with the arrival of Brazilian driver Emmerson Fittipaldi.
Fittipaldi and Gordon Coppuck's Ford-powered M23 chassis lifted the team to the world driver's and constructors' titles in 1974, a fitting epitaph for Bruce McLaren, who was killed in a sportscar testing accident in 1970.
Two year's later, Briton James Hunt was world champion again.
In 1980, the arrival of former mechanic Ron Dennis as team owner revitalised the team. Dennis brought Niki Lauda out of retirement and employed designer John Barnard and success followed.
Austrian Lauda won the 1984 title by half a point from Alain Prost.
Prost switched to McLaren and was world champion in 1985 and 1986 but the arrival of Ayrton Senna in 1988 set the team apart.
McLaren, with Senna and Prost in harness, Barnard's design and Honda providing the power, were invincible, winning 15 of the 16 races and Senna becoming world champion.
McLaren became a byword for excellence, the team taking world titles in the next three years.
Ferrari hold the all-time record for most Grands Prix wins with 103 but that record now looks very vulnerable.
VARIOUS LOCATIONS (FILE MATERIAL) 1. 1968: BELGIAN GRAND PRIX, MCLAREN DRIVERS DENNY HULME (IN BLUE JACKET OVER WHITE OVERALLS, NO. 6) AND WINNER BRUCE MCLAREN (5) CLOSE UP 2. 1974: EMERSON FITTIPALDI (5) WINS A GRAND PRIX 3. 1984: ALAIN PROST (LEFT) AND NIKI LAUDA TALKING IN THE PITS.
LAUDA (8) AWAY FOLLOWED BY PROST (7). LAUDA WINS AND CELEBRATES WITH CHAMPAGNE SPRAYING 4. 1985: PROST CONSULTS TRACKSIDE MONITOR, ON THE CIRCUIT AND CHAMPAGNE CELEBRATIONS AT BRANDS HATCH 5. 1986: PROST WINS AT MONACO, TEAM BOSS RON DENNIS RAISES HIS ARMS IN CELEBRATION, PROST WAVES TO CROWDS 6. 1988: SENNA IN CAR, SENNA AND PROST CHAT IN THE PITS, SENNA OUT ONTO CIRCUIT, ONBOARD SENNA, PIT CREW, RACE ACTION WITH SENNA (12) OVERTAKING, SENNA TAKES CHEQUERED FLAG AND CELEBRATES VICTORY.
7. 1989: PROST WAVES FROM HIS COCKPIT, RON DENNIS IN PITS, SENNA ON CIRCUIT, SENNA CELEBRATES VICTORY, BATTLES WITH NIGEL MANSELL AND WAVING TO CROWD