When it first roared onto the track for the 1988 Grand Prix season, the McLaren MP4/4 stunned F1 fans and rival teams alike with its winning formula and remarkable speed.
Now, celebrating the 30thanniversary of the car’s astonishing season, Haynes Publishing has documented the story of, statistically, the most dominant F1 car ever built.
The MP4/4 won 15 of the 1988 season’s 16 races, started from pole position 15 times, and took 10 fastest laps and 10 one-two finishes. Thirty years on, the car still holds the record for the most consecutive grand prix wins in a single season.
Officially licensed from McLaren, and produced with the full cooperation of the team, the McLaren MP4/4 Owners’ Workshop Manual chronicles the design, build, anatomy and racing history of the MP4/4, with extensive input from many of those involved.
The manual reveals the challenges faced by the team during the car’s design and build, with insight provided by a wealth of previously unpublished material that has helped to shape the book, including original McLaren technical drawings and other team documentation.
The book also details the battle for the 1988 Drivers’ World Championship, which raged between the two McLaren drivers, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. Fascinating insight from the drivers’ perspective is provided through interviews with Alain Prost and MP4/4 test driver Emanuele Pirro.
The manual also includes a profile of Senna, who eventually took the 1988 Drivers’ World Championship, with thoughts from his former McLaren teammates.
Discussing his motivation for writing the new title, author Steve Rendle commented: “The MP4/4 is undoubtedly my favourite F1 car of all time, and it is a privilege to be able to tell its story – from the one-off Honda engine to the race-winning chassis.
“The car only ran once before its first Grand Prix – on the final day of the now-infamous pre-season Imola test – and stunned everybody by being two seconds faster than any other car at the test, straight out of the box with no significant set-up or development work.”
Steve added: “To write this book I was lucky enough to be granted unprecedented access to McLaren’s archives and a race-winning MP4/4 chassis, and had the opportunity to discuss the details of the car with key figures from the era. The manual shares the unique insights I gained into this spectacular car and the remarkable F1 season in which it competed.”
A must-have for any McLaren fan or F1 aficionado, the McLaren MP4/4 Owners’ Workshop Manual is a great companion to Haynes’ other F1 titles, including the McLaren M23 Manual, Red Bull Racing F1 Car Manual and Williams FW14B Manual.