McLaren Racing Limited that currently trades as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is one of the most prominent Formula 1 racing teams, having won 8 constructors’ championships as well as 12 drivers’ championships. The team is based in the Woking region of Surrey in the United Kingdom and although the team is primarily known for its Formula 1 team, it has also competed and won in the Indianapolis 500 as well as Canadian American Challenge Cup.
In terms of activity, the team is the second longest running team after the Scuderia Ferrari team and is also one of the most successful teams. The team was founded way back in 1963 by Bruce McLaren, a racing enthusiast from New Zealand and the first race that the team participated in was the Monaco Grand Prix of 1966. Although the team won the Belgian Grand Prix of 1968, it was very much the only victory that it had in the Formula 1 circuit and much of its initial successes were limited to the Canadian American Challenge Cup, where the McLaren Racing Limited team was one of the runaway champions between 1967 and 1971. Further success followed the team in the Indianapolis 500, but it was not until the appointment of Teddy Mayer in 1970 as the Team Principal after the death of Bruce McLaren that the team won the constructors’ title, which they did in 1974.
Emerson Fittipaldi was the driver who led the team to the constructors’ title in 1974 and earned him the drivers’ championship as well. 1981 saw the merger of McLaren Racing Limited with Project Four Racing, which was owned by Ron Denis, who took over as the principal of the team. Later on, he also managed to buy out all the original shareholders’ stakes in the team and gained full control of the racing entity. Thus began one of most successful periods in the history of the team as the Porsche and Honda engines on the cars driven by Alain Prost, Niki Lauda and Ayrton Senna brought the team seven drivers’ championships as well as 6 constructors’ championships.
However, ever since the withdrawal of Honda from Formula 1, the team has failed to recapture their past glory, winning sporadic titles as in the 1998 and 1999 season led by Mika Hakkinen and finally in 2008 led by Lewis Hamilton. McLaren Racing Limited is currently in second place to Red Bull Racing and cannot win the championship mathematically.