There was a time when McLaren dominated Formula One racing. One of its premier machines was the MP4/4 from the 1988 season, where it won 15 of the 16 races held. Those days, with the likes of Ayrton Senna doing the driving, might feel like a bit of bygone era at the moment for Macca fans, as the latest MP4-30 isn't exactly performing as expected in the current season. Drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso are near the bottom of the points standing, and McLaren is one off the points floor itself.
Still, there's definite history there and team sponsor TAG Heuer is keen to look back on the 30 years that the watchmaker and the racing team have shared. To do so, McLaren have brought out the amazing MP4/4 and run it alongside the not-as-amazing MP4-30, with Button and Alonso behind the wheels of the cars.
Despite the rocky start for the MP4-30, we do have to say it looks rather wonderful running alongside the older machine. Still, it's the MP4/4 in its perfect red and white livery that steals the show here. This car comes from the era of amazing racing, tremendous power, and furious noise. Despite a drop in power from the previous MP4/3, the MP4/4 roared into the 1988 season with its Honda-supplied turbocharged 1.5-liter V-6 engine cranking out 650 horsepower.
That power output is a bit greater than that of the more modern MP4-30 and it's own 1.6-liter turbo-six, but the modern car does have the hybrid setup for extra oomph. Still, the older car weighs somewhere between 300 and 500 pounds less than the newer machine. It's one of the last great turbo cars before we entered the even more insane V-10-era of F1.
Regardless of McLaren's performance so far this season, it's still amazing to see both cars run side-by-side on the track.