“THE F1 LM WAS STRIPPED OUT, RAW”
GORDON MURRAY, F1 DESIGNER
The McLaren F1 LM was built to celebrate McLaren’s astonishing victory at Le Mans 1995. F1 creator Gordon Murray takes up the story…
‘When we were developing the F1, I said to Mansour [Ojjeh] and Ron [Dennis], “If you tell me it’s a racing car, I’m a racing car designer, and I will compromise on luggage space and comfort and I don’t want to do that, so if we say right now it’s never going to go racing, then I can focus absolutely on making it a proper road car that you can drive to the south of France easily.” But then of course we entered Le Mans 1995 with the F1 GTR. I was surprised at the pace of the thing but the F1 was just so slippery, even with a wing. I had one day in the wind tunnel to develop the aero kit!’
‘Winning Le Mans is probably what I’m most of proud of [in terms of the F1]: to go there and then come first, third, fourth and fifth.
‘We made five McLaren F1 LMs for the road after that win. The F1 wasn’t going to be stripped out like a Ferrari F40, but the F1 LM was stripped out; just raw performance.’
‘The modern equivalent would be the McLaren P1. In acceleration, the LM is slightly slower but if you put modern tyres on and had a seamless gearchange, it could be the same speed or quicker. The F1 was never designed to be a numbers car – it just happened to be quick.’