McLaren MP4/2C

McLaren MP4/2C

by Luca Dal Monte

Arriving at its third evolution, the McLaren PM4/2C remains a highly competitive car, although the dominance of the 1984 season and the relative ease with which Prost managed to keep the opponents at bay in 1985 are now distant memories. However, despite losing the Constructors’ title for the first time in three years, Prost clinches his third Drivers’ World Championship, becoming the second McLaren driver to achieve this milestone in three years.

The differences compared to the previous model are minimal, with only some aerodynamic tweaks and continued development of the Porsche-TAG turbocharged 6-cylinder engine, which delivers monstrous performance during races, reaching up to 960 hp, which becomes 1060 hp for brief spells during qualifying. These are impressive figures that the Federation will soon begin to ponder.

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Alain Prost: This year, the reigning world champion has to sweat profusely to defend his title. Prost starts the last Grand Prix of the season behind Mansell and his Williams in the standings. Less than 20 laps into the race, the world champion is the Englishman – until he suffers a tire blowout on the straight and is forced to retire. Alain wins the race, surpasses Mansell in the standings, and becomes the new world champion. A season with four victories, four second places, and three third places. Class, as they say, is timeless.

Keke Rosberg: A challenging season for the Finn, due to a lack of feeling with the MP4/2C. Only one podium finish, a second place in Monte Carlo. Then just a few points finishes and eight retirements for a rather modest sixth place in the final world championship standings. At the end of the season, Keke hangs up his helmet and dedicates himself to raising a future world champion, his son Nico.

Our model cars:

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However, the engine becomes the real limitation of the MP4/2C, not due to performance per se, but due to high fuel consumption, especially considering that the size of the fuel tank has been reduced by the new regulations. At Imola and Hockenheim, Prost finds himself without fuel. In the first case, he manages to reach the finish line thanks to a descent, while in the second, he is forced to get out of the car and push it towards the finish.

Replacing Lauda at McLaren is 1982 World Champion Keke Rosberg, who doesn’t adapt well to his new car and whom Barnard, who has meanwhile announced his move to Ferrari, prohibits from making changes to the setup. All in all it’s a complicated season.

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