The Origins of the McLaren-Mercedes collaboration

27th February 2023

From the early days of Formula One to the modern era of high-performance road cars, the partnership between McLaren and Mercedes-Benz has been one of the most iconic collaborations in the history of motorsport. The two companies came together in 1995 with a shared vision for success in Formula One and a commitment to technical excellence and innovation.

McLaren and Mercedes-Benz first began their partnership in 1995, when Mercedes-Benz agreed to supply engines to McLaren for the 1995 season. The association was successful from the start, with McLaren-Mercedes winning their first race together in their debut season.

Over the years, the partnership grew stronger, with McLaren-Mercedes winning multiple championships, including the 1998 drivers’ and constructors’ championships. In 2010, Mercedes-Benz acquired a 40% stake in the McLaren Group, which includes the McLaren Formula One team.

However, the partnership ended in “2015”, when Mercedes-Benz announced that they would be supplying engines to their own works team, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, from the 2015 season onwards.

Iconic models were born

During their partnership, McLaren and Mercedes-Benz built several iconic cars, including:

Formula One cars

McLaren and Mercedes-Benz collaborated to build Formula One cars, which competed in the FIA Formula One World Championship. The partnership was very successful, winning multiple championships and races.

McLaren F1

Mercedes-Mclaren partnership

The McLaren F1, launched in 1992, was a sports car designed by Gordon Murray and powered by a BMW V12 engine. However, Mercedes-Benz played a role in the development of the car, specifically in the design of its gullwing doors.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Mercedes-Mclaren partnership

The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, launched in 2003, was a high-performance sports car produced by Mercedes-Benz in collaboration with McLaren. It featured a 5.4-liter supercharged V8 engine and was available in both coupe and roadster versions.

Mercedes-AMG engines for McLaren road cars

Following the end of their partnership in Formula One, Mercedes-AMG became the exclusive supplier of engines for McLaren’s road cars, including the McLaren 570S, 720S, and the Artura.

McLaren MP4-12C

Mercedes-Mclaren partnership

The McLaren MP4-12C, launched in 2011, was a high-performance sports car produced by McLaren Automotive. It was powered by a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine designed by McLaren in collaboration with Ricardo.

The championships were gained

During this collaboration, McLaren and Mercedes-Benz participated in several championships, including:

Formula One

McLaren-Mercedes competed in the FIA World Championship from 1995 to 2014. During this period, they won 78 races and eight constructors’ championships.

FIA GT Championship

McLaren and Mercedes-Benz collaborated in the FIA GT Championship in the late 1990s and early 2000s. They won the championship in 1997 and 1998 with the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR.

American Le Mans Series

Mclaren in American Le Mans Series

McLaren and Mercedes-Benz participated in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in the early 2000s. They won the ALMS championship in 1999 and 2000 again with the Mercedes-Benz CLR.

DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters)

Mercedes-Benz has been competing in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) since 1988, with McLaren supporting them as a technical partner from 2005 to 2009. In this period, they won the drivers’ championship three times and the constructors’ championship twice.

IndyCar Series

McLaren and Mercedes-Benz briefly entered the IndyCar Series as a team in 2019, but their partnership ended after a single season.

As we’ve seen, the partnership between McLaren and Mercedes-Benz was built on a foundation of shared values, complementary expertise, and a desire for success. Although their collaboration in Formula One ended in 2014, the legacy of their partnership lives on in the cars they built, the races they won, and the memories they created. As we look to the future of motorsport, we can only hope to see more partnerships like McLaren and Mercedes-Benz – collaborations that inspire, innovate, and push the boundaries of what’s possible.


Does Mercedes own Mclaren now?

No. the partnership has ended in 2015.

Is Mclaren made by Mercedes?

No, McLaren is not made by Mercedes. While McLaren and Mercedes-Benz have had a close partnership in the past, McLaren is an independent automotive manufacturer that designs and builds its own cars.