McLaren MP4/2
Constructor McLaren
Designer(s) John Barnard
Predecessor MP4/1E
Successor MP4/2B
Formula One World Championship
Years Active 1984
Constructors Marlboro McLaren International
Drivers 7. France Alain Prost

8. Austria Niki Lauda

Debut 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix
Races 16
Wins 12
Constructors' Championships 1 (1984)
Drivers' Championships 1 (Niki Lauda)

The McLaren MP4/2 was a Formula One car designed by John Barnard of McLaren for the 1984 season.

Design[edit | edit source]

Like the majority of its competitors, the car used an all carbon fibre chassis. The car was powered by a TAG-Porsche V6 Turbo engine, which was first used in the final few races of 1983, at the insistence of Niki Lauda, who felt that the new engine required race testing before a championship challenge could be mounted. The existing chassis, the MP4/1 was modified and strengthened to take the new engine and in the final race of the 1983 season, Lauda proved the car was competitive, running at the front of the field and challenging for the lead of the race.

Racing History[edit | edit source]

1984[edit | edit source]

Lauda was joined for 1984 by Alain Prost who had narrowly lost the 1983 championship to Nelson Piquet. Prost was made the scapegoat for Renault's failure and was fired, before Ron Dennis snapped up the young Frenchman in place of John Watson. Prost and Lauda proved to be a formidable combination. Both were excellent development drivers, and both gave technical feedback on the car and the engine which pushed the car's development far further than the other teams.

The MP4/2 was one of the few F1 cars to use carbon brakes at the time, giving it another major advantage over most of its rivals on all bar street circuits or when conditions were hot and dry; notably, the carbon brakes weren't as good as the steel brakes at tracks like the Detroit and Dallas street circuits due to the steel brakes lasting longer in the heat. That, combined to superior fuel consumption of the allowed 220 litres and the driving skill of Lauda and Prost saw the MP4/2 score 12 wins in 1984, at the time the highest number of wins in a season by a single team. Lauda beat Prost to the championship by a measly half point in the final race, even though Prost had 7 wins to Lauda's 5. Often the MP4/2's were the only cars to finish on the same lap, such was their domination. Their superiority was more obvious on high-speed circuits, particularly the Österreichring, where all 3 variations of the MP4/2 won in successive years. McLaren comfortably won the constructors' championship from Ferrari. Although the MP4/2 was not the fastest car in qualifying (since they were the only top team not using special engines for qualifying)— often beaten by the Brabham BMW turbo — it was the most reliable and most consistent, attributes which helped it be so successful throughout its career.

Technical specifications[edit | edit source]

Component Specification
Chassis Carbon fibre honeycomb monocoque
Front suspension -
Rear suspension -
Tyres Michelin
Weight 540kg
Engine TAG-Porsche TTE PO1, 1,499 cc (91.5 cu in), V6, turbo, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
Gearbox McLaren / Hewland 5-Speed manual
Gears 5
Fuel Shell

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Complete Formula One results[edit | edit source]

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team/Chassis Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1984 McLaren
TAG Porsche TTE PO1
V6 tc
Alain Prost 1 2 Ret 1 7 1 3 4 Ret Ret 1 Ret 1 Ret 1 1
Niki Lauda Ret 1 Ret Ret 1 Ret 2 Ret Ret 1 2 1 2 1 4 2
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