Press photo 1986 McLaren / Ron Dennis / Keke Rosberg / Alain Prost
"Marlboro McLaren team discussion - Keke Rosberg (left), team manager Ron Dennis (centre), Alain Prost (right)."
21,5cm x 26,5cm
Founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren, McLaren won its first Grand Prix at the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix but their greatest initial success was in Can-Am, where they dominated from 1967 to 1971. Further American triumph followed, with Indianapolis 500 wins in McLaren cars for Mark Donohue in 1972 and Johnny Rutherford in 1974 and 1976. After Bruce McLaren died in a testing accident in 1970, Teddy Mayer took over and led the team to their first Formula One constructors' championship in 1974, with Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt winning the drivers' championship in 1974 and 1976 respectively. 1974 also marked the start of a long standing sponsorship by Phillip Morris' Marlboro cigarette brand.
In 1981 McLaren merged with Ron Dennis' Project Four Racing; Dennis took over as team principal and shortly after organised a buyout of the original McLaren shareholders to take full control of the team. This began the team's most successful era: with Porsche and Honda engines, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna took between them seven drivers' championships and McLaren six constructors' championships. The combination of Prost and Senna was particularly dominant—together they won all but one race in 1988—but later their rivalry soured and Prost left for Ferrari. Fellow English team Williams offered the most consistent challenge during this period, the two winning every constructors' title between 1984 and 1994. However, by the mid-1990s Honda had withdrawn from Formula One, Senna had moved to Williams and the team went three seasons without a win.