BAe links into McLaren’s formula

McLaren will have access to British Aerospace resources such as wind tunnel testing

British Aerospace has signed a five-year technology partnership with Grand Prix team McLaren International.

Formula One is a highly competitive market where quick response times are paramount. First concept vehicles are turned into racetrack vehicles in months.

The two companies, which use similar technologies, materials and techniques, have already been working informally, said McLaren operations director Martin Whitmarsh.

McLaren, which has 60 design and development engineers, will be able to call on resources of the 44,000-employee BAe. Wind tunnel testing projects and computer analysis using BAe’s computational fluid dynamics facilities are under way, and the two companies are working on simulator technology.

The work has mainly been at BAe’s military aircraft sites at Warton and Brough and at McLaren’s Surrey site.