The MP4/1

50 Years Of F1

Did you know McLaren once received a commendation from the space agency NASA? It followed the huge shunt John Watson had with the Monza barriers on the exit of the second Lesmo.

In 1981 John Barnard’s MP4/1 was the first F1 car to be completely built from carbon fibre composites. Watson owes his life to the strength of construction that attracted interest from the aerospace industry. When the MP4/1’s gearbox hit the barrier mounting post it levered the engine off the chassis. “I looked up to see a DFV sliding down the road, I didn’t know at the time that it was my engine,” said Wattie.

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