Grands Prix: 867
Constructor’s Championships: 8
Driver’s Championships: 12
Team Principal: Zak Brown
Significant Others: Ron Dennis: Ex-Chairman & CEO: came back to rescue the company after Martin Whitmarsh was blamed for setting fire to it only to dig a hole under the enterprise and send it plummeting towards the centre of the Earth instead. Subsequently sacked: with extreme prejudice
History: The Colossus of the 80’s and much of the 90’s now revealed as Ozymandias: a weather beaten old statue trying desperately to pop it’s head above the shifting sands of F1 competition by banging on about its past.
As a rule, iconic liveries should not be commodified in a 21st Century sport that only cares if your car is fast or blood red. To put it another way: if you’re so desperate to distance yourself from your fag-ash tainted past you paint your car orange to evoke an even more distant history barely anyone remembers in the first place, you’re in big trouble. Like Liverpool re-hiring Kenny Dalglish or Eastenders bringing back Dirty Den, returning to Honda was always likely to end in trouble though actually ended up in Ron Dennis getting sacked and the team going from bad to really bad to worse in a puff of smoke. Or several, if you had the time to count.
Abandoning Honda, Mclaren shoehorned a French motor in the back and rejoiced from the rooftops; strongly suggesting either none of the flag wavers were around during the Peugeot debacle or they’ve actually gone up there to jump off.
Marginally better things happened since but only in the sense they could hardly get any worse – even whilst Williams proved anything’s possible.
Distinguishing Markings: Now bright orange, a livery more likely – given recent events – to resonate with the Tango Man ads of the 1980s than the Kiwi founder’s monster CanAm cars of the 1960s. Resisting getting Vandoorne to run round the paddock dressed as a giant satsuma awkwardly slapping people on the head must have been hard for the marketing department.
Reasons to support them, part 1: Sport is at its best when great once great icons absolutely tank before the world; you recall their glory days and – like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – can’t shake it off. Which is ironic given you got that from smoking Marlboro cigarettes back in the 80s
Split Personality? Independent in similarly defiant fashion to Williams, i.e. only Honda buying them out could have made the situation any worse.
Owned By: 50% Bahrain Royal family, 25% Mansour Ojeh and 25% Ron Dennis. The Venn Diagram dinner party from hell.
Fun fact(s): Mclaren never believed in the #BelieveinMclaren hashtag
Not to be confused with: Manufacturers of aircraft carrier sized toddler transport, that dead rugby commentator, HAIR ISLAND!!! impressario, Steve