The McLaren P1 GTR will offer an on- and off-track driving experience like no other, with unique access to the technologies and expertise within the McLaren Technology Centre, and the most powerful track-only model ever produced by McLaren Automotive. Dynamic testing is well underway at a range of international race circuits, and the first uncamoufledged images show the latest aerodynamic and cooling updates being trialled. In addition, the driver-focused cockpit is shown to be even more purposeful than the road-going model, and has been designed with driver engagement and weight saving key priorities, but no compromise in terms of comfort and safety.
The first images of the interior show how the driving environment of the McLaren P1 GTR has been designed to be as focused for the driver as possible, and is stripped of all but the essential items in a bid to keep weight to a minimum. The lightweight carbon fibre MonoCage chassis is carried over from the road car, and weighs just 90kg including the upper and lower structures (including roof), roof snorkel, engine air intake cavity, battery and power electronics housing. This, in common with the road car, meets FIA load requirements for rollover in GT racing category. Since the ‘rollcage’ is incorporated into the MonoCage, there is no reduction in headroom for the driver.
The centre piece of the driver’s environment is the newly developed steering wheel, which has been designed to make all controls as easily accessible and user-friendly as possible. As with various elements throughout the car, there is significant heritage linked to the steering wheel. Although unique to the McLaren P1 GTR, the design is based on the steering wheel of the 2008 Formula 1™ championship-winning MP4-23.
As on a Formula 1™ car, key controls including the mode switches are located to the centre of the bespoke steering wheel. This allows the driver to fully adjust the setup and characteristics of the car without having to take their hands from the wheel. The DRS and IPAS buttons are retained on the steering wheel. In the design and implementation of this new set up, all controls can be comfortably operated, and are easily accessible, when in a full race suit, helmet and gloves.
The cabin is equipped with lightweight DTM-style seats and full six-point motorsport harnesses. This will be specifically set up for the individual driver, and mounted directly to the chassis, reducing weight by having no additional mounting brackets. The HANS-approved carbon fibre seat shell offers comfort and support, and has been ergonomically-designed along with the rest of the cabin controls. Despite the stripped out environment, the air-conditioning is retained to maintain comfort during the much more physical driving experience.