McLaren MP4/5
McLaren MP4-5.jpg
Constructor McLaren International
Designer(s) Steve Nichols (Technical Director)

Neil Oatley (Chief Designer)

Predecessor MP4/4
Successor MP4/5B
Formula One World Championship
Years Active 1989
Constructors Marlboro McLaren Honda
Drivers 1. Brazil Ayrton Senna

2. France Alain Prost

Debut 1989 Brazilian Grand Prix
Races 16
Wins 10
Poles 13
Fastest Laps 7
Constructors' Championships 1 (1989)
Drivers' Championships 1 (Alain Prost)

The McLaren MP4/5 was Formula One racing car designed by Neil Oatley under the supervision of Steve Nichols. The MP4/5 was loosely based on its predecessor, the all conquering McLaren MP4/4. McLaren used the new car for half of the 1989 season using the Weismann Longitudinal Transmission from the MP4/4, and the MP4/5B with the Weismann Transverse Transmission for the last half of the 1989 season and for 1990, earning back to back drivers' and constructors' world titles with the type.

Racing History[edit | edit source]

1989[edit | edit source]

1989 was the first year where naturally aspirated engines were compulsory for all teams after the banning of the turbocharged units at the end of the previous season. To this end, Honda built a 3.5 litre V10 engine, developed throughout most of the latter half of 1987 and through 1988. The MP4/5 was unveiled for pre-season testing and it was instantly on the pace, as well as reliable. Developed by Neil Oatley, the MP4/5 looked like the car to beat in the new season. While the Ferrari that season was a fast all around car particularly in the hands of Nigel Mansell, it was also chronically unreliable due to its new semi-electronic gearbox shift, giving further advantage to McLaren.

McLaren took 10 victories during the season, 6 for Ayrton Senna and 4 for Prost. This was at a time when the relationship between the two men was at breaking point, so their rivalry pushed the development of the car far ahead of the other teams as they tried to out-do each other. Although Senna won six races to Prost's four and usually finished ahead of the Frenchman in the races, accidents and car breakages meant that he had four fewer points-scoring finishes and finished 16 points behind his French rival in the championship. Senna and Prost's combined points total meant McLaren easily won a second straight constructors' championship.

Technical specifications[edit | edit source]

Component Specification
Chassis Carbon fibre and Kevlar monocoque
Front suspension Double wishbones, push-rod actuated coil springs and dampers
Rear suspension Double wishbones, rocker-arm actuated coil springs and dampers
Tyres Goodyear
Weight -
Engine Honda RA109-E, 3,490 cc (213.0 cu in), 72° V10, NA, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
Gearbox McLaren/Weismann Longitudinal 6-Speed manual
Gears 6
Fuel Shell

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Complete Formula One results[edit | edit source]

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

Year Team/Chassis Engine Tyres Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Pts. WCC
1989 McLaren
Honda RA109-E
Ayrton Senna 11 1 1 1 Ret 7 Ret Ret 1 2 1 Ret Ret 1 DSQ Ret
Alain Prost 2 2 2 5 1 Ret 1 1 2 4 2 1 2 3 Ret Ret
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.