McLaren MP4/1

Ranked #4 on the list Best Formula 1 Car of All Time

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About McLaren MP4/1

The McLaren MP4/1 (initially known as the MP4) was a Formula One racing car produced by the McLaren team. It was used during the 1981, 1982 and 1983 seasons. It was the first Formula One car to use a carbon fibre composite monocoque, a concept which is now ubiquitous. The MP4 was the first car to be built following the merger of the McLaren team and Ron Dennis' Project 4 team, as the car's name (short for "Marlboro Project 4") indicates. The main engineer for the MP4 was John Barnard. The chassis itself was built by McLaren using carbon supplied by Hercules Aerospace (U.S.A.) and quickly revolutionised car design in Formula One with new levels of rigidity and driver protection and its Carbon-Fibre-Composite (CFC) construction, a first in Formula One. Within months the design had been copied by many of McLaren's rivals. The car was originally powered by a Ford Cosworth engine but later switched to a TAG Porsche engine. Hercules Aerospace keeps the car of Watson which was destroyed in the 1981 Italian Grand Prix and shows it off to visitors after allowing them to view footage of the accident, highlighting how it was possible for him to survive in a carbon fibre car. John Watson and

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