McLaren MP4/2B

McLaren MP4/2B

by Luca Dal Monte

This is the evolution of the 1984 world championship-winning single-seater, in accordance with the new regulations introduced for the 1985 season. The most noticeable difference is the rear wing, which is much smaller compared to what was seen on all cars in 1983 and especially 1984. But overall, it’s the entire aerodynamic package that Barnard continues to improve in his constant and obsessive pursuit of perfection.

Another novelty is the GoodYear tires, which have replaced the Michelin tires from the previous year due to the withdrawal from racing of the historic French manufacturer. Subject to continuous development, in race trim, the Porsche-Tag 6-cylinder engine can reach the staggering power of 850 hp this season.

McLaren MP4/2B Image 1


Niki Lauda: 1985 marks the final Formula 1 season for the Austrian ace. His season is dotted with a record number of retirements, eleven out of a total of fourteen races. Due to a wrist fracture suffered in an accident during practice, he misses the Belgian Grand Prix. But even in his farewell season, there is a highlight: victory in the Dutch Grand Prix, his twenty-fifth and final win of an extraordinary career.

Alain Prost: Finally, world champion! The competition for Alain this year isn’t from within his team. His main rival is Alboreto with his Ferrari. Prost clinches the title with five victories in the Grand Prix of Brazil, Monaco, Great Britain, Austria, and Italy. Added to these five wins are two second places at the Nürburgring and Zandvoort, and four third places in Montreal, Paul Ricard, Spa, and Kyalami. For Alain, it’s the first of his four world titles.

Our model cars:

McLaren MP4/2B Image 2

On the track, the MP4/2B has it easy, but not too easy. Lauda, satisfied with his third world title and now close to retirement, wins only one race. But on the road to his teammate Prost’s world crown, Michele Alboreto’s Ferrari gets in the way. It’s only when, in the latter part of the season, Ferrari starts experiencing reliability issues that Prost manages to fulfil his world championship aspirations. Compared to his personal schedule, he is at least two seasons behind.

The MP4/2B secures McLaren its second consecutive Constructors’ World Championship title, although in ’85, the gap to the competition is less pronounced and the fight is tighter compared to the previous season when the Woking team had accumulated more points than Ferrari, Lotus, and Brabham combined.

McLaren MP4/2B Image 3