The drivers who were inside the top six of the BRDC F4 standings at the halfway point of the season (after Oulton Park), were yesterday (12 November) rewarded with a prize tour of the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking.
Jake Hughes, Charlie Robertson, Jake Dalton, Matt Bell, Seb Morris and Jack Barlow all spent time being shown around the impressive facility, and got an exclusive insight on several departments including a fascinating look at ‘Mission Control’ where engineers are able to analyse data on F1 race weekends.
The drivers also visited the class leading simulator, the fitness and wellbeing centre and wind tunnel as well as various stages of manufacturing including machining, quality control, paint shop and race bays.
The drivers were also given an in depth tour of ‘the Boulevard’ featuring classic McLaren machinery from the past 50 years, including the legendary McLaren Honda MP4/4 which won 15 of the 16 F1 races in 1988, as well as the very car Ayrton Senna famously drove to victory at the 1993 European Grand Prix at Donington Park.
Triple F4 race-winner Matt Bell commented: “It’s an outstanding facility, and everything is so meticulous. It’s been a great experience and I’m very grateful to be given this opportunity.”
F4 Champion Jake Hughes enthused: “The McLaren Technology Centre is absolutely fantastic. It’s been amazing to go behind the scenes at Britain’s biggest and most successful race team and it’s great to see how they work. Many thanks to Jonathan Palmer, MSV and to McLaren for organising the visit.”
Jake Dalton noted: “It’s been a fantastic day and a great experience to visit the McLaren Technology Centre. It’s amazing to see how much effort goes on behind the scenes.”
F4 vice champion Seb Morris exclaimed: “It was an honour and a privilege to be invited to go to the McLaren Technology Centre. It has inspired me to work harder to achieve success in the sport.”
Double race winner Jack Barlow explained: “I’m shocked at how much time and effort is put in, not just from the drivers but from everyone else at the MTC that many people might not know about. I’ve come away amazed and motivated to achieve big things and I would like to say thank you to F4 and McLaren for showing the six of us around and allowing us to see how much hard work goes into the pinnacle of motorsport.”
Charlie Robertson, who was classified third in the final F4 standings added: "It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to experience such a fantastic facility. I was most impressed by the simulator and their ability to make it so accurate."
The McLaren Technology Centre tour was part of F4's outstanding prize package for 2013 which included £25,000 and an F3 test with Carlin for the champion Jake Hughes, as well as the £5,000 Who Zooms Award, £3,400 prize fund for the Jack Cavill Pole Position Cup, BRM watches for the top three drivers in the final championship standings, and the BRM Rapide Award trophies for fastest race lap during each weekend of competition. The 2014 F4 prize structure will be revealed in due course.