The story of McLaren's pioneering carbon fibre car predates McLaren as we know it. Had the chips fallen differently it might not even have been a McLaren – but, at the turn of the 1980s as it is now, money was the essential lubricant that greases the mechanisms of Formula 1. And F1 was where, in 1979, gifted engineer John Barnard and going-places Formula 2 team boss Ron Dennis wanted to be. Driven, ambitious, detail-minded and egotistical, both quietly carried chips on their shoulders regarding their lack of formal qualifications.
Dennis the mechanic-turned-entrepreneur embraced the modish cod-self-improvement of Edward de Bono's thinking hats and the exhaustively abstruse phraseology which came to be known as 'Ronspeak'. Over one or two glasses of wine too many after a chaotic Ferrari test in the late 1980s, Barnard would confide to a Sunday Times journalist that in the company of engineers blessed with doctorates and such he still feared being seen as an "uneducated blacksmith with oily hands".
OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever
OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right
As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season
After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.
Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect
OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era
Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021
As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.
Tyre presssures in the spotlight as F1 awaits Pirelli Baku report
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future