McLaren looking to recruit Carpenters as matchsticks are hailed as the future material of choice for Formula One

With the price of raw materials increasing of late, even the well funded Formula One teams are having to cut back and find cheaper materials with which to construct their high performance race cars.

McLaren’s Material Engineers have feverishly been working on a study to find a cheaper alternative to the Carbon Fibre and Kevlar composites that are traditionally used to construct the spoilers and cockpits of their F1 cars. After some in depth analysis the Engineers were rather shocked to find that matchsticks actually came out ahead when compared to the more traditional high tech materials on a cost verses strength comparison. Doubting their conclusions, the Engineers decided to construct a full scale version of their McLaren 4/14 F1 for further validation testing, and this is the car you see in the images.

Right, time to come clean, we are telling porkies. If you hadn’t already worked out that this was a spoof story the clue was probably in the car. McLaren aficionados would have already spotted that the McLaren 4/14 F1 was the car they used back in 1999 and not the MP4-22 and MP4-23 of the 2007 and upcoming 2008 seasons.

No, this masterpiece is the handiwork of one man. Michael Arndt has built this wooden replica over the last 6 years using 956,000 matchsticks and 1686 tubes of glue. It cost 6000 Euros and can be broken down into 45 separate parts which helps when moving it around. It’s quite an amazing feat, however, we find it even more impressive that he has managed to keep count of all those matchsticks.

Gallery: Full Scale Mercedes F1 Built with 956,000 Matchsticks