It’s good to know McLaren can have some fun with the summer break, as the wait continues for the start of the second half of the 2017 Formula 1 season.
The team today made a satirical play with the launch of the Woking International Circuit ahead of a hypothetical “Woking Grand Prix,” circling around the McLaren Technology Centre headquarters in Woking, Surrey.
There is no detail spared in the track map, as McLaren outlined a 63-lap race around a 3.01-mile street circuit, complete with full corner and straight names such as Boundary and Doubletree Bends, Maybury and Victoria Straights, a DRS detection zone and a pit complex on the outside of the front straight.
Within this release, McLaren states: “McLaren has been a Woking resident for almost 40 years, happily sitting alongside fellow Woking-ites Paul Weller and The Jam, Status Quo’s Rick Parfitt, Harry Hill and TV chef Delia Smith.
“McLaren has yet to formally present any of its plans to Woking Borough Council, because it’s a bit scared about how they might feel about the extensive and costly re-profiling of many roads and local landmarks that will be required.”
It’s nice to see the quotes are as tongue-in-cheek as the idea itself.
Jonathan Neale, COO of McLaren Technology Group said, “Why not? Why not bring Formula 1 to the streets of Woking? Obviously, aside from the huge social and financial commitment needed to set up the infrastructure, re-profile roads, re-lay Tarmac, fit miles of Armco, build grandstands, pay for race-hosting fees and gain approval and sign-off from the FIA, we don’t see any barriers to our vision.
“In an era that’s often seen as being hemmed in by bureaucracy and narrow-mindedness, that’s actually very refreshing.”
Zak Brown, Executive Director, McLaren Technology Group, added, “It was Mika (Hakkinen) who first raced a Formula 1 McLaren around the streets of Woking, way back in 1998. When I say ‘raced’, he wasn’t actually racing it, he was driving it. Slowly. Which was probably an even tougher test for Mika, because he never drove anything slowly.
“Still, that event lit a spark that started a fire that turned into a dream that we converted into an idea: to host a round of the Formula 1 world championship on our doorstep, in Woking.”
For the full release and “plans,” go to McLaren’s website, which is linked here.
In the meantime, it’s fun to think about the prospect of such an ambitious street course – even if it’s rooted in humor, not reality.