CARS

Watch Three McLaren Engineers Disassemble Senna’s F1 Car

For racing geeks, this video is like digging out a 50 pound gold brick. Thanks to its focus and simplicity, but also its depth, this has got to be one of the best things I’ve seen in 2022.

Park F1’s premier car, a 1988 McLaren MP4/4, on a concrete slab and bring together the three minds who spearheaded and executed its design. Let those personalities explain the history and evolution of the car, layer by layer, deconstructed. MP4/4’s chief designer, Steve Nichols, joined Matthew Jeffries, his suspension leader on monocoques and fronts, and his mechanic, Neil Trundle, chief of the car, to create this legendary carbon and steel slab. Dig into every nook and cranny. There is little moderation from the video’s host, just a stream of insider knowledge from his legendary F1 season. It’s glorious.

Among the chassis that McLaren produced in the 1988 season, the chassis itself that Ayrton Senna used in the Brazilian GP. The race could not be called a success for Senna. Car gears Senna was disqualified when his selector was locked into his starting grid and F1 management replaced him with his second car after one lap of the race. Still, the MP4/4 dominated his ’88 season, winning 15 of 16 races and finishing 10 or 2 times, giving Senna his first F1 title (and Beating racing nemesis Alain Prost by just 3 F1 Championship points (because of the specialization in points).

MP4/4 isn’t worth explaining any further. Once you realize how important this car is, you’ll know that you can find an easy chair, pour something brown and mellow in a glass and let this experience wash over you. If you don’t know why you bow at the altar, the three men who conceived and manufactured this championship winner can explain it much better than I can.

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