It only gets better with age.
It’s hard to believe that a quarter century has passed since the world was introduced to the McLaren F1. It was a complete and total game-changer for the motoring world, and at the time everyone knew it. Time can often provide better perspective for such things, however, and with 25 years in the books, the F1’s designer Gordon Murray offers up some recollections on the car that – despite officially being an antique vehicle – still ranks among the fastest production cars in the world.
“It was purely Formula One technology applied to a road car,” said Murray in the video. “The monocoque and the body on the F1 was identical to current Formula One cars in the early ‘90s.”
That information isn’t entirely unknown among F1 aficionados. While we enjoy a range of McLaren supercars today, the automaker was solely in the racing business prior to its legendary 1990’s supercar. In designing the F1, Murray says the approach was to create a machine that simply eliminated all the bad points found in supercars of the day, one of which was pedal offset. According to him, addressing the often-terrible pedal offset is actually the main reason for the F1’s unique center-seated driver.
Another interesting tidbit to come out of the interview is that the F1 team never had a benchmark for speed. The irony of that statement isn’t lost on anyone considering it held the production speed record for several years, but Murray says the goal was simply to design and build the best lightweight, aerodynamic car possible.
The by-product of that thinking was an official top speed of 240 miles per hour, with test driver Andy Wallace reaching 243 at one point in test footage shown during the interview. His nonchalant comment at 3:10 about such speed being “quite fast” is perhaps the best part of the whole video.
Take a few minutes out of your day and revisit the awesomeness that is the McLaren F1. You might learn something new, and if not, who cares? It’s a freaking McLaren F1 video. Enjoy.
Source: McLaren via YouTube