Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Belgian Grand Prix 2014 Race Report

“Formula 1 delivered a magnificent afternoon’s entertainment here in Belgium today”Spa-Francorchamps.

Both McLarens featured prominently in an action-packed race on the world’s most challenging racetrack.

Started: 7th
Finished: 12th (after receiving a 20-second penalty, having finished 6th on the road)
Fastest Lap: 1m54.203s on lap 28 (+3.692s, 15th)
Pitstops: Two: laps 11 (3.21s) and 23 (2.50s) [Opt-Opt-Pri]

“Despite being penalized after the race, I have to say I enjoyed the weekend. I had great fun out there this afternoon – I was involved in exciting racing on an awesome circuit.

“It was a tough challenge, because everyone around me had slightly fresher tires than I did, and they’re all great drivers: they’re not the easiest guys to keep behind. So I just tried my best to defend my position as well as I could.

“Changing the subject, I want to say how brilliant it was to see so many Danish fans in the crowd. The support I’ve had this weekend has been incredible – I’ve never experienced anything like it, to be honest.

“Last but not least, it was good that Jenson got past Fernando at the end, to score some useful points for the team.”

Started: 10th
Finished: 6th
Fastest Lap: 1m53.483s on lap 38 (+2.972s, 8th)
Pitstops: Two: laps 13 (2.80s) and 29 (2.39s) [Opt-Opt-Pri]

“We played the long game today – most people were making their pit-stops early – and I felt I kept the tires in good condition.

“I also had a lot of fun out there, especially racing Kevin [Magnussen], Sebastian [Vettel] and Fernando [Alonso] at the end.

“In the final laps Kevin and I didn’t touch, although I had to back off a bit at Turn Eight, when Fernando ran off as he and Kevin were dicing. I lost a place to Fernando there, which was a bit of a shame, and in turn a place to Sebastian after that, but as I say I really enjoyed it out there.

“It’s such a fantastic circuit; driving here always feels so good.”

ERIC BOULLIER - Racing Director, McLaren Mercedes

“Before I say anything else, I want to pay public tribute to Formula 1, which delivered a magnificent afternoon’s entertainment here in Belgium today.

“On the most daunting racetrack on the Formula 1 calendar, there was cut and thrust all through the field, and the resulting spectacle must have made for fantastic television.

“Throughout, Jenson and Kevin were in the thick of it, and it was great to see them racing the Red Bulls and the Ferraris fast and hard. They both drove extremely well, exhibiting redoubtable derring-do, and, although they raced wheel to wheel with each other, they never touched.

“From here we go to Monza, another classic low-downforce circuit, where we’ll be hoping to capitalize on our steady ongoing performance development and score a useful number of World Championship points.”

Monday, August 11, 2014


McLaren GT has today confirmed that it will premiere its latest model at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, with the wraps set to come off the track-only 650S Sprint. The stripped-out racer will make its global debut alongside a number of other models from McLaren Automotive, and completes the brand’s display with four global debuts planned for the Californian event, including the McLaren P1™ GTR.

Based on the recently launched McLaren 650S Coupe, the track-focused 650S Sprint is fitted with developments to the Brake Steer system, even more refined active aerodynamics and a race set-up for the ProActive Chassis Control (PCC). These upgrades deliver a more engaging GT racing experience, without losing any of the refinement and balance found in the road car.

As with the 650S, the aerodynamically optimised design of the 650S Sprint offers increased levels of downforce, and the revised air intakes carried across from the road car allow for optimised cooling of the 3.8-litre twin-turbo M838T engine. In the 650S Sprint, the proven powerplant is retained from the 650S roadcar, with a unique engine and transmission calibration to further enhance on-track drivability and driver engagement.

The cabin is fully track-focused and stripped out to minimise weight, but with no compromise to driver safety or comfort. Built around the lightweight and inherently strong carbon fibre MonoCell chassis, the interior also features an FIA-approved rollcage to further cocoon the driver. A lightweight carbon fibre HANS-approved racing seat, with full six-point harness, offers an optimised driving position, while an air-conditioning system is retained adding comfort. An integrated fire extinguisher system is also installed.

McLaren GT recently announced the 650S GT3 race car, which will be seen on the grid from next season, and the 650S Sprint shares a number of design features with its bigger brother.  A larger motorsport fuel ‘bag’ tank with quick-fill connectors is added, as is optimised cooling through the larger GT3-developed front radiator with a GT3-inspired bonnet integrating radiator exit ducts, and the addition of front wings louvres to further optimise airflow over, and around, the bodywork.
The first example of the 650S Sprint is shown with a new striking livery, in an inverted colour scheme of the 650S GT3 car shown at Goodwood Festival of Speed. Finished primarily in white, the design also features the new Tarocco Orange finish seen on the GT3, with subtle black and white detailing throughout.

The 650S Sprint  has a lower ride height with recalibrated adaptive damping for revised spring rates, and sits on 19-inch centre-locking racing wheels, fitted with Pirelli slick or wet tyres, while an onboard air jacking system enables quick tyre changes. Stopping power is also enhanced and provided by a race-prepared braking system developed for the 650S Sprint. This system combines with the road car’s highly effective Brake Steer system and enhanced active aerodynamics to offer superior braking performance. This allows for later braking into corners, but also improved brake feel and greater cornering speeds.

A range of further options and upgrades are available including a CFD (computational fluid dynamics) developed aerodynamic package including carbon fibre rear wing and front splitter, a passenger seat with six-point harness, and further lightweight components including a polycarbonate windscreen.
The 650S Sprint will be priced at £198,000*, and available from all official McLaren retailers worldwide or direct from McLaren GT.  Visit to locate your nearest retailer.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hungarian Grand Prix Race Report

"We tried our best, but it didn’t work out"

Hungaroring, Sunday July 27

A typically unpredictable wet-to-dry grand prix that resulted in an edge-of-the-seat climax involving three drivers.

For McLaren, a misleading weather forecast prompted the team to remain on Intermediate tires while the rest of the field pitted behind the Safety Car for Options. With the chance of rain diminishing, both drivers lost ground after pitting for dry-weather tires – a decision that dictated our performance for the remainder of the grand prix.

A scheduled mid-race switch to the Prime tire failed to bring pace to their races, and Jenson and Kevin established themselves in 10th and 12th respectively until the chequer.

Started: 7th
Finished: 10th
Fastest Lap: 1m29.156s on lap 50 (+3.432s, 13th)
Pitstops: Three: laps 8 (6.40s), 15 (3.42s) and 37 (2.78s) [Int-Int-Opt-Pri]
Points: 60

"I’m glad it was an exciting race for the fans, but it was a tough afternoon for us. We didn’t make the right decisions today.

The opening laps in the rain were great: I got up into fifth – which wasn’t a bad position for us – but it went downhill from there. As the track started to dry, we thought it was going to rain again – unfortunately, however, we were the only ones thinking that.

"I feel like I did everything right, and in every track condition, which is why it’s tough – but we win as a team and we lose as a team, and we’ll quickly put this behind us and move on.

"It’s the perfect time for the summer break – obviously, we’re not where we want to be, but we’ve had some positive results, and the whole team has worked incredibly hard throughout this first half of the season. I hope that everybody can get the chance to recharge their batteries before we embark on what we hope will be a better half of the season."

KEVIN MAGNUSSEN, MP4-29-04* new chassis for Sunday
Started: Gridded 21st (qualified 10th, but started from the pitlane due to yesterday’s Q3 accident)
Finished: 12th
Fastest Lap: 1m28.883s on lap 41 (+3.159s, 10th)
Pitstops: Two: laps 15 (2.70s) and 39 (2.51s) [Int-Opt-Pri]
Points: 37

"We didn’t make the best of things today, but having started from the pitlane, I don’t think I really lost too much by choosing to stay on the Inters when everybody pitted for dries. I know we took a risk to wait for more rain, but I think we had to take that risk.

 "I don’t think things would’ve been much different if we’d made a different strategy call, but we now need to sit down with the engineers and strategists to discuss it.

"Once we switched to the Prime, we didn’t have the pace to challenge for too many points. After a race like today’s, we just need to stay positive and look for areas where we can further improve. The whole team now has the opportunity to take a break, rest and return feeling stronger than ever. I want to thank everybody for their hard work, spirit and determination throughout these first 11 races – we can come back and achieve better things in the second half of the year."

ERIC BOULLIER - Racing Director, McLaren Mercedes

"Formula 1 put on a great show for its fans this afternoon – but, unfortunately, it wasn’t a great afternoon for the team.

"We worked hard to make the most of the tricky conditions at the start of the race – but it didn’t go our way. That’s frustrating, but, equally, that’s racing – it happens sometimes. We made the wrong call, but, in such a topsy-turvy race weather-wise, sometimes there are very narrow margins involved.

"If things had panned out differently, we may have had a good afternoon – but we don’t dwell on the maybes. We’ll learn from this experience, and we’ll move on. We tried our best today but it just didn’t work out for us – that’s a shame for both Jenson and Kevin, because they both drove very well in some difficult circumstances.

"This isn’t a great reward for the team after a lot of hard work, but we’ll regroup over the summer, learn from our mistakes, and work hard to improve our fortunes for the second half of the season. There are positives to take away from many of our performances this year, but areas where we can still work harder – I want to wish the whole team a restful and relaxing summer vacation, and we’ll come back ready to work even harder to return McLaren to the front."

Sunday, July 20, 2014

German Grand Prix Race Report

"We expected more today"

Hockenheimring, Sunday July 20

This was a day that promised much, but delivered comparatively little.

From fourth on the grid, Kevin Magnussen looked set for a strong race, but was unable to avoid being clipped by Felipe Massa as he drove into the first corner. The resultant accident, and the knock-on requirement to stop for tires and a replacement nosebox, relegated him to the back of the field.

Nonetheless, he posted a calm and relentless comeback drive to take eighth at the chequered flag. It could have been more.

By contrast, Jenson Button’s race started strongly – from 11th on the grid, he was sixth at the end of lap one – but faded in the middle as his third set of tires proved unable to last to the finish. A late-race third stop, on lap 61, gave him the rubber to get home, but meant he couldn’t improve on ninth.

Still, it was encouraging to note that, despite the setbacks, both cars ran competitively in the top 10 for most of the race. Equally, Jenson’s second pitstop of the afternoon established a new team record of 2.15s stationary. That beats our previous record of 2.20s – also set with Jenson’s car – at last year’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Finally, today’s race also saw Jenson start his 257th grand prix – a statistic that moves him past Riccardo Patrese [256] and into third in the all-time rankings, behind Michael Schumacher [306] and Rubens Barrichello [322].

Started: 11th
Finished: 8th
Fastest Lap: 1m21.346s on lap 64 (+1.438s, 8th)
Pitstops: Three: laps 31 (6.17s), 31 (2.15s) and 61 (2.65s) [Opt-Pri-Pri-Opt]
Points: 59

"I got a good start – I was running as high as sixth in the early stages – so things were looking okay. But I think we got the strategy wrong when we made our second stop. I’m not sure why we stopped so early, but it made it extremely difficult for me to keep the set of tires alive until the end of the race, which was the plan at that point.

"The strategy didn’t work out for us, which was a shame, but we’ll learn some useful lessons from it.

"When I felt the hit from Lewis [Hamilton, on lap 30], I was a bit surprised. A lot of drivers take a wider entry line into Turn Six in order to get a better exit – perhaps Lewis expected me to let him past, but why would I let anybody through? We were racing.

"We expected more from today."

Started: 4th
Finished: 9th
Fastest Lap: 1m20.224s on lap 56 (+0.316s, 2nd)
Pitstops: Three: laps 1 (8.54s – nosebox change), 29 (2.15s) and 53 (2.90s) [Opt-Pri-Pri-Opt]
Points: 37

"A real pity: I think I could’ve had a decent race if I hadn’t had the accident at Turn One. I need to see a replay of the accident, but I feel that, if I’d had somewhere to go, then there wouldn’t have been contact with Felipe. I did my best to try and avoid the accident, but there wasn’t much else I could do.

"I spun after that, and had to box to change tires and the nosebox. Then I spent the first half of the race coming through from the back of the field. Really, it wasn’t the best thing that could happen.

"Still, there are some positives from today – the car behaved extremely well; the rear tires held on – which is something new for this car, it’s usually a bigger problem to keep the rears alive, but today it was okay.

"I’m happy to come away with some points, but I’m disappointed because we should have scored more. I hope we can be on the pace and get a decent result in Hungary next week."

ERIC BOULLIER - Racing Director, McLaren Mercedes

"Obviously, we’re extremely disappointed with this result. This should have been a day when we scored a useful clutch of world championship points; instead, we go home having lost ground to all our key rivals, which is extremely frustrating.

"Kevin’s turn one incident at the start was very unfortunate; he’d made a great getaway, and was pushing to stay close to Valtteri Bottas. Massa was on the outside and probably didn’t see Kevin, who was on the inside line, and had nowhere to go. Kevin was quite blameless in the accident, so it’s even more annoying that it destroyed his chances of finishing in the top four.

"However, I think Kevin deserves commending for the level-headed drive he posted thereafter; with the promise of a good result lost, and having been relegated to the very back, it would have been very easy to lose focus, but Kevin drove with great maturity. Two points is scant reward, but he worked hard for them today.

"Jenson drove well, too; he showed tremendous fighting spirit even when the odds were somewhat stacked against him. His was a very aggressive strategy, which, as the race wore on, we began to appreciate wasn’t going to succeed. Despite some great defending, Jenson was ultimately powerless to stop other drivers from leapfrogging him as his tires faded away.

"We’ve worked hard to get ourselves into a situation where we can score good points regularly, so today was disappointing. Still, the Hungarian Grand Prix is but one week away, and we’ll be doing our best to score some good points before the onset of the summer break."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

McLaren Mission Monterey is a GO.

McLaren Newport Beach is excited to announce that we'll be participating in McLaren Automotive's "McLaren Mission Monterey" drive.  We are only about a month away and excitement is stronger than ever.  What are getting excited about?  Read on to learn more.

As part of McLaren’s participation at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours events, we invite you to join us for a road trip like no other, the McLaren Mission Monterey!

This one-day event is offered exclusively to McLaren Owners as we rally from Los Angeles to the Lodge at Pebble Beach, enjoying the camaraderie of fellow owners and  the breathtaking scenery of the Pacific Coast Highway 1 along the way.

The experience includes:
- Official entrant pass for your McLaren vehicle -
- Reception breakfast and midday “pit stop” lunch -
- Photo opportunities and special gifts -
- Checkered Flag Finish Line party in Pebble Beach -

Space is restricted to a limited number of vehicles, so please  register to learn more about this exclusive McLaren customer experience by clicking the link above.

We hope to see you and your guest at this signature event.

For more information and registration, please email:

Monday, July 14, 2014

MSO Project 8 - 12C Coupe & Spider - For Sale

Unknown to most and known by very few, McLaren Special Operations or "MSO" for short, was commissioned by a client of ours for a very special and limited run of highly customized McLaren 12C's.  The first to be completed was the 12C Coupe which, as you can see, was highly customized inside & out to suit our client's taste.  Following the 12C Coupe was the 12C Spider similarly customized when McLaren Automotive unveiled the topless 12C.  Both are known by McLaren Automotive & McLaren Special Operations as "Bespoke Project 8".

See Top Gear's article covering "Project 8" here: Top Gear Project 8

Both have set the standard and are the most customized pair of McLaren 12C's to leave the assembly line.  As you can imagine, McLaren Newport Beach is extremely pleased to announce that both Project 8 12C's are officially for sale as a package deal.  With each having a sticker over $500,000+, we are asking for $688,888 for both the Project 8 12C Coupe & Spider.  Both come from a McLaren collection and are requested by the owner to be sold together.

You can view the listing here for both here: Project 8 For Sale

As you can see, regular Carbon Fiber wasn't enough, all the Carbon Fiber on both Project 8 12C's is tinted Red inside and out.  From the Engine Bay Covers, to Front Splitter, to Rear Diffuser, all bespoke by the talented team at MSO.  The Red didn't stop there as Red leather was fitted throughout the interior.  Where there isn't Red, there is White leather with color-matched contrast Red stitching.  The lining of the footwells, door sills, rear cabin area, and roof were fitted with Red Alcantara as well.  The customization of both Project 8 vehicles could take pages to describe so we'll let the photos do most of the talking.

View our photo album on Facebook here: Project 8

View our photo album on Flickr for High Quality: Project 8

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Santander British Grand Prix Race Report

"Progress will continue – we’re on-track"

Silverstone Circuit, Sunday July 6

Started: 3rd
Finished: 4th
Fastest Lap: 1m38.284s on lap 52 (+1.108s, 5th)
Pitstops: One: lap 28 (2.73s) [Opt-Pri]
Points: 55

"Circuits with high-speed changes of direction aren’t really our car’s forte, so I think we can go away from Silverstone feeling encouraged by what we achieved this weekend. Specifically, it was great to have such a good fight with Fernando [Alonso], and it was encouraging to be able to pull away from him and Sebastian [Vettel] in the last stint.

"At the end, I crossed the line only 0.9s behind Daniel [Ricciardo]; if there’d been just one more lap, I think I could have made it past.

"I got so close to a podium finish – and I think it would’ve been so great for the fans to see Lewis and me up there together. I’m sorry it didn’t quite happen, but I want to say a big thank-you to all the fans, and to my family, and last but not least to the entire McLaren team – everyone has been so supportive this weekend.

"Looking to the future, although today has seen us take another step forward, it’s apparent that we still have a lot of work to do: for example, even though Williams started behind us [on the grid], they still beat us today.

"Nonetheless, we’re certainly not giving up. On the contrary, it’s important that we continue to work hard to develop this car, so as to score as many world championship points as we can this year and learn as much as we can for next year."

Started: 5th
Finished: 7th
Fastest Lap: 1m38.677s on lap 32 (+1.501s, 10th)
Pitstops: One: lap 27 (2.81s) [Opt-Pri]
Points: 35

"Today has been a good day for the team – we scored 18 points – so we should feel reasonably satisfied, because we’re continuing to improve. Also, the engineers and mechanics did a truly great job this weekend.

"Having said that, all the other teams are continuing to improve, too; so our challenge is really about making progress faster than the others do.

"My race went okay – we struggled a little on the Option [tire], and we had much better pace on the Prime. It’s always frustrating when you slip back through the order a bit – but I made a really good start to be third initially, and after that I struggled to keep the Ferrari and Red Bull behind.

"So, as I say, I think we should be reasonably satisfied with seventh place. But I’m really pleased for Jenson, who was able to score a great fourth place for the team.

"Last but not least, I want to pay tribute to the Silverstone fans. It’s been fantastic racing in front of them all today, especially as so many of them are McLaren fans.

"I’d love to have finished a bit higher for you, guys, but I don’t think we had the pace today."

ERIC BOULLIER - Racing Director, McLaren Mercedes

"We’re satisfied that we were able to convert a good qualifying performance yesterday [P3 and P5] into a decent race result today [P4 and P7].

"In achieving that outcome, our engineers and mechanics here at Silverstone didn’t put a foot wrong, and they deserve great credit for getting the absolute maximum out of the package that they have at their disposal at the moment.

"Obviously, we’d like to have scored more points still, especially as Jenson missed achieving his first ever British Grand Prix podium finish by a whisker.

"Indeed, once Nico [Rosberg] had retired, we decided to target a third-place result for Jenson, but in the end it wasn’t quite possible. Nonetheless, he drove a superb race and richly deserved the 12 world championship points he scored here today.

"Kevin drove very well, too, making a storming start to be third into Turn One and ending up a solid seventh at the flag.

"We hadn’t expected to be competitive at this circuit, whose many fast corners we felt wouldn't suit MP4-29’s aerodynamic envelope, so we're pleased to have scored 18 points here.

"More broadly, as I've said before, it’s clear that we’re making progress, even if that progress is necessarily not as rapid as we'd ideally like it to be, and I'm confident that that progress will continue; we're on-track.

"Last but not least, on behalf of all at McLaren, I want to say how relieved we all are to hear that our old friend Kimi [Raikkonen] is okay following his hefty lap-one shunt."