McLaren ’50 in 50′: History at the Italian Grand Prix

McLaren have won a lot of races in their 47 year history in Formula One, 182 to be precise. In total, they have won at 28 Grand Prix – from their first victory at the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix to their most recent win at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. There are only seven Grand Prix they have won at more than the location of this weekend’s race – the Italy.

The Italian Grand Prix has been on the calendar since the inaugural Formula One world championship season in 1950. It has been held at Monza every year, bar one when it was held at Imola. Of the 63 Italian Grand Prix that have been held, McLaren have won a sixth of them. The team have ten victories to their name – second behind Ferrari with 19 – the most recent of these being in 2012 when Lewis Hamilton won for them.

Denny Hulme won the race in 1968 for McLaren. They then had to wait 16 years until they won it again. This time it was Niki Lauda who stood on the top step of the podium, in 1984. Wins in 1985, 1989 and 1999 took their tally of Italian Grand Prix victory to five. Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna were the two drivers to win for them then. Senna’s second Italian Grand Prix victory came in 1992, followed by a win for David Coulthard in 1997. Juan Pablo Montoya took the chequered flag first in 2005. In 2007 Fernando Alonso led home a McLaren 1-2, with Lewis Hamilton coming home in second. The tenth, and so far the final, victory for McLaren at the Italian Grand Prix was in 2012, when Hamilton won.

It hasn’t just been wins for the team, however, as they have also started the race from pole position on eleven occasions and set the fastest lap eleven times. Five of the ten victories have come when they started the race on pole and on four occasions the team started on pole, set the fastest lap of the race and won. In 1990 McLaren had two drivers on the podium – Senna in first and Gerhard Berger in third.

Before the race weekend, Jenson Button said: “It’s really appropriate that McLaren will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in the paddock over the Monza weekend. Both names are synonymous with motorsport history – you couldn’t imagine Formula 1 without them – so I’ll be hoping for a strong result to show the strength and depth that we have as a team.”

McLaren drivers Button and Sergio Perez, who finished the race here last year in second, will start tomorrow’s race in eighth and ninth place. Tomorrow’s ’50 in 50′ post will look at their Italian Grand Prix.

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