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The McLaren Factory Tour

Updated: May 3, 2023

On the 15th September 2022 I was invited by Brentwood Karting to go to the McLaren Technology Centre for a Factory Tour in recognition of winning the Summer 2022 Cadet Championship as the season was Sponsored by the McLaren F1 Team.

The day started off extremely early for me with a 5am start to make sure that we arrived in plenty of time as this was one that I did not want to miss. We all met up at the meeting point and headed over to the McLaren Technology Centre.

As we was heading down the driveway, the McLaren Technology Centre was coming into view and it was only once we headed round the corner was the full building revealed and it was spectacular, all glass fronted with a lake in front of it and you could see all of the cars on display. I don’t know how anyone that works there gets any work done!

We was all signed in and headed upstairs to meet our hosts for the day. To start off with we all went over in 1 big group towards the production line for the McLaren road cars, learning facts about the amazing building as we walked across, that every item has a purpose there:

  • The MTC has a flat roof, therefore rainwater collects easily. The pillars on the Boulevard act as drainpipes and drain water from the roof and back into the lake quickly and efficiently.

  • The lake at the front of the MTC acts as the buildings cooling system. It uses hydrothermal power to heat and cool the building that are linked to heat exchangers. As well as cooling the building the heat exchangers it also cools the wind tunnel down after use. It’s almost three metres deep and contains more than 50,000m3 of water.

As we moved round to the production line for the Road Cars, this was obviously a photo/video restricted area unfortunately but was amazing to watch. The factory produces 16 supercars a day and supplies all dealerships. I was really surprised that everything was manufactured by hand, not a robot in sight! I honestly thought it was going to be much much mechanical than it was and this was a recurring theme throughout the factory.

The next part of the tour, we split into 2 groups and we headed to Mission Control, my absolute favourite part of the tour. I am a huge F1 fan and to be able to sit in the viewing area of Mission Control was amazing. Danielle, our host, had so much knowledge it was just fascinating to hear everything that happens over a Race Weekend in that 1 room and you really do get to see how much extra work goes on behind the scenes to get F1 racing on a weekend.

From Mission Control we headed down to the Boulevard to get a closer look at some of the fantastic cars that were on show:

We got to look at the department which had this seasons actual F1 cars in that had come back from Italy that week. All the cars had been stripped back and were all being checked over in preparation for the next race which is Singapore, with a whole new load of upgrades being put on both cars which the team are really excited about.

We was told that the difference between last seasons car from the beginning of the season to the end of the season was 87% different from how it started to how it finished, with all of the upgrades that had been made over the season the car gained 2 seconds overall on track, this just shows how much the cars are always developing and evolving.

At the end of the tour I had actually missed seeing the Trophy Cabinets, so I asked if I could go back down there to look and take some pictures, so was escorted back down there to take a look. On the way down there I actually see Lando Norris inside the department where his car was sitting, but because he was in there I couldn’t take a picture as it was a restricted area, I wanted to cry!

We continued down the Boulevard to the trophy cabinet, this is actually built in front of the Staff Restaurant to work as an incentive for everyone in the building. 2 to 3 times a day, nearly 2000 people pass through the Trophy Room to get to the restaurant working as a constant reminder to McLaren’s achievements and as a celebration of all the teamwork involved. I’ve still got quite a lot of work to do before I catch up!

The tour was finished off by the team giving us a McLaren Cap and Drinks Bottle which was really nice of them and a group Team Photo. A huge congratulations to the Summer 2022 Winners that also come along on the Tour with us.

I had the most incredible day at the McLaren Technology Centre. It has so far been the best experience that I have had from Brentwood Karting and would like to thank Dan Lee and the Team at Brentwood Karting for arranging this. Also a huge Thank You to Danielle at the McLaren Team for taking the time to show us around the amazing facility and answering our endless questions!

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