Best F1 car ever made

You can argue that the 2015 Mercedes-Benz F1 W06 is the greatest F1 car ever built or that the Ferrari F2004, which Michael Schumacher was so dominate with during the 2004 season, is the best F1 car ever made, but most would agree that the McLaren MP4/4 from 1988 tops the chart. If only because it was only beaten once during the season.
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McLaren Honda

Anyone who witnessed the return of Honda to F1 during the 2015 season without the knowledge that this combination once made car this mighty will be forgiven for wondering why both parties are bothering to continue the relationship. The McLaren MP4/4 was the very first McLaren powered by Honda. Honda had been dominant with Williams the year before so they were ready for success, and the packaging advantages of the small twin-turbo Honda V6 meant that designer Gordon Murray could design perhaps his greatest car.


The basic philosophy behind the car was to lower the front area to maximise airflow to the rear wing. This would reduce drag and increase downforce. The designers achieved a 10% reduction in the car’s frontal area but some of this advantage was removed when testing proved that they would have to increase the car’s ride height. This increase made the car more forgiving which would help to guarantee reliability.


The McLaren MP4/4 was fast but it was also very reliable. It only retired on 4 occasions, and 2 of these were down to driver mistakes like the accident that took Senna out of the lead at that year’s Monaco GP. The reliability must have come as a surprise to the team’s drivers. The MP4/4 was delivered so late that it only got one day of preseason testing before being shipped out of Europe for the opening race. As we know from the 2015 incarnation of McLaren Honda, problems in testing often translate to issues in the race but that was never the case with this machine.

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