seconds to remove the Lauda inscribed panels and substitute the Prost inscribed panels with number 7 on them. One of the agreed rules in Formula One, but one not always adhered to by some teams, is that each driver should have his name clearly marked on the bodywork. On the MP4/2 it is on each side of the engine cover and such is Ron Dennis’ attention to meticulous detail that each driver has his own set of panels for the T-car. Other teams are content to have both drivers’ names on the T-car with a piece of sticky tape over the name of the one not using the car. Such slap-dash work is not the way McLaren International go about their racing. The whole team presentation is a credit to Formula One, the red and white colour scheme being that of Marlboro cigarettes, while the engine men wear the green uniform of TAG Turbo Engines. There are numerous other sponsors supporting the team in cash and kind, the Unipart firm for example making all the exhaust systems and the oil coolers, as part of its sponsorship deal. The German clothing manufacturing firm of Hugo Boss has a stake in the team, as does SAIMA, a “leading company in freight forwarding by land, sea or air” whose headquarters are in Milan, and who started trading in 1816 when they first began to operate amongst the various Italian states. It now operates world
wide. Just as the Porsche engine has played a big part in the success of the team, so has the Michelin tyre firm, for without doubt the French tyre company has been well on top of the tyre game all season, Goodyear having occasional flourishes, and Pirelli being a consistent third. As mentioned earlier the McLaren International team has had no weak points in its make-up through 1984, whether it is chassis ability, engine power, brakes, aerodynamics, tyres, drivers, engineers, management, promotional support, work-force, sponsorship, factory output, organisation or any other aspect of Formula One, everything has been of a consistently high standard, and it is this that has given them the results that are the envy of every other team in Formula One now, or for many years back. There are something like 80 people involved in the running of McLaren International, and employed directly by the firm, while an equal number must surely be working in other areas to support the team through sponsors or suppliers, the brainpower and engineering expertise available to the engine project in Weissach probably equals this, especially if the technicians from Bosch who work on the injection and electrics, and those of Shell who supply the fuel and oil and Michelin who supply the tyres are counted. Ron
Dennis and John Barnard lead this formidable army of people and direct operations, and at the races there are something like 20 mechanics, each car having its own team to work on it. There is no overall chief mechanic, the top man in each car team being responsible directly to John Barnard. Each driver has his own personal engineer, Steve Nicholls looking after Lauda and Alan Jenkins looking after Press, the two of them being responsible to Bernard, the functioning of all parties being a smoothly integrated delegation of responsibility. Ron Dennis is overall team manager and commercial director, while John Barnard is the technical director. Creighton Brown looks after the sponsorship and external affairs and Bob Illman is financial director.
Success only comes if everyone, from the co-directors Creighton Brown and Bob Illman, through the drawing office staff, the car builders, the race mechanics and engineers, to the office staff who plan the whole operation of movements and all the suppliers all work with one aim in vim, which is to win. Results suggest that they have all done exactly that. As Bruce McLaren said “Winning isn’t everything, but it’s somewhat better than finishing second”. To win and finish second must he very satisfying. — D.S,J.
Veteran Edwardian Vintage, February 1981
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