Project Information

Click here for the MP4/8 post on the new version of my site!

The McLaren-Ford MP4/8 was McLaren's entry in the 1993 Formula One season, driven by Brazilian legend and triple World Champion Ayrton Senna and his team-mate Michael Andretti, son of the 1978 champion Mario Andretti. Honda withdrew from Formula One after the 1992 season, leaving McLaren to scramble around for a new engine supplier. They ended up using a customer version of the Ford HB7 3.5 litre V8 engine, although they tested a modified version of the car later in the season with a Lambourghini engine, which Senna preferred. The Ford engine was used for all races in 1993, before the team switched to Peugeot power for a very unsuccessful 1994.

Senna took all 5 of the car's victories, whilst Andretti was involved in numerous incidents throughout the year. His general performance was poor, and the team replaced him with Mika Häkkinen in the latter part of the season. Häkkinen stayed with McLaren until his retirement after the 2001 season—during his time with the team, he won both of his World Championships (1998, 1999).

Outwardly, the car changed very little from race to race, the most noticeable differences being the barge boards, which put in appearances at some races, and revised front wing end plates. A few different configurations of rear wings were used throughout the season as well.

This project is a 3D recreation of Senna's last race-winning car, and one of the best looking Formula One cars of all time. The detail level has gone from being relatively high, to a bit stupid, but these things happen! External bodywork will be produced to represent the car for any race in the season, although the internals are restricted to the available references, which are for the season-opening South African Grand Prix at Kyalami, the season-ending Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide, and photos of one of the chassis' as it appeared in 2001, by which time several changes had been made.

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Your Comments

May 27 2011

#1   Gold says: 14h45:21

Hi, what changes had been made to the chassis by the private owner by 2001?

Did the active still work? Did it need the old laptops? Or could the software run on Windows 7?


May 27 2011

#2   Gold says: 14h46:46

I believe this is the most beautiful F1 car ever, bar 1.

The MP4/8B. The McLaren Chrysler/Lamborghini V12.

So very few pictures of it exists, the body was actually slightly longer than the MP4/8A.


May 27 2011

#3   Gold says: 14h53:40

The most difficult part of this car to model I believe is the nose.


May 28 2011

#4   Paul says: 15h23:37

Hi thanks for the comments.

I honestly have no idea about the technical state of any of the surviving chassis. The dampers look fundamentally the same as they did during the season, just with a slightly different arrangement of the components, but I have no idea if they still run them actively.

The 8B I have seen only the tiniest photos of - I know it exist(s/ed?), and I know it was slightly longer, and I know Senna preferred the engine over the Ford, but beyond that and the fact it was painted all-over white, I have no real ideas of visual differences. I actually prefer the MP4/6 to the 8, but there's no doubting it is a stunning looking car.

The nose was modelled along with the rest of the bodywork at the very beginning of the project (the project resurrection, that is) - it needs a few little tweaks to the shape still, and the addition of the front wing, but otherwise it is being very patient waiting its turn to be shown off in a render. I'm doing the rear wings at the moment, and the nose will come next.


Dec 11 2012

#5   Imran says: 12h33:46

Hi, I just came across your work. I like your McLaren MP4/8 rendition. For me also, the most beautiful F1 car ever.

I myself modeled the 4/8 a good few years ago but is nowhere near as detailed as yours. This got me wondering.. unless you have a photographic memory, where on earth did you get the details from? :)

Congrats - great work!


Dec 29 2012

#6   Paul says: 14h01:16

Hi Imran, thanks for your comment. I actually saw your version during the early stages of my initial preparations so it was one of the inspirations for this one.

There are some fantastic references for this car out there though - I've never seen it in person either!


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