One of the most important brands of world motorsport, McLaren launched on Tuesday a special series listing the top 50 riders in its history. Ayrton Senna, the triple world champion Formula 1 team, got the first position. Senna defended the Woking team 1988-93 and is the driver with the most wins (35) and pole positions of the staff in the main category of motorsport. The list was released just the week before the Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka was on the track that the Brazilian secured his three titles in 88, 90 and 91.

McLaren pointed out that the selection is not restricted to Formula 1, covering all categories; takes into account only the history of the pilot by the team, and not count on active pilots, taking names as Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso’s race . However, at 15 º appears Kimi Raikkonen, who returned to class this year after coming out in late 2009. Alongside Senna, Henry makes honorable mention to Bruce McLaren, founder of automaker.

– The winner really had to be Ayrton Senna. After all, he won more races than any other (team). It was undoubtedly a driving force of inspiration during his time with the team – said the journalist Alan Henry, renowned motorsports reporter and responsible for compiling the list

Alain Prost was third

Ayrton biggest rival on the track, the Frenchman Alain Prost was left with only the “bronze medal”, even having won three of his four titles for the team in 85, 86 and 89. The second list was Mika Hakkinen, twice world champion (98 and 99). Henry highlighted the commitment and heartwarming story of the Finnish team to choose. He stressed that Hakkinen took a “strategic step back” to drop the Lotus to be just a test driver for McLaren in 93 and still has a comeback after a serious accident that nearly took his life in the Australian GP 95.

First champion in the history of McLaren in 1974, Emerson Fittipaldi secured a place in the top 5 in fifth. The Brazilian (who also triumphed in 72 with Lotus) was just behind the Briton James Hunt, winner of the World 1976. The Austrian Niki Lauda, who won one of his three titles with the team from Woking, was sixth. Keke Rosberg, David Coulthard, Peter Revson and John Watson completed the top ten. Nelson Piquet, despite never having defended the team was remembered in 40th position: early in his career, he played three tests for BS Fabrications, chassis team that wore the British automaker. “McLaren has DNA in their blood,” Henry argued.

Since 1966, Formula 1, McLaren is one of the most successful teams in the category. It has 12 World Drivers’ titles (Ferrari has 15) and eight Constructors (Ferrari and Williams has 15, 9). He also appears in the statistics – behind Ferrari’s contention that the competition since 1958 – in number of wins, GPs, pole positions and podiums.

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