Designers and engineers are typically hamstrung by regulations, legislation or costs. This is even true at the cutting edge of four-wheel motorsport ie Formula One. McLaren Future Grand Prix is a designer’s and engineer’s flight of fancy and looks into the future of the sport.

Future watch

Earlier this week McLaren Applied Technologies unveiled, what it believes, the future of motorsport could look like in 2050. The racing specialists looked into four key areas, namely the racing car of 2050, in this case, dubbed the MCLExtreme, driver human performance, racing tracks of the future and how fans will experience racing in 2050.


McLaren has already shown exciting future F1 designs, such as this concept model, but that is a much closer future than the MCLExtreme. This racecar was designed with technical insight, and features a 500 km/h rear-wheel-drive electric powertrain, a high density foldable battery moulded to the aerodynamic package of the car. Future technologies include shape-shifting active aerodynamics, an onboard Artificial Intelligence co-pilot to assist the driver and self-healing tyres.

The MCLExtreme will race on longer and wider circuits than we are currently used to. Huge banking, E-pitlanes for charging, transparent roof facilities for fans to get as close to the action are some of the features.

Future drivers and fans

McLaren Future Grand Prix imagines that driver in 2050 will wear a reinforced G-suit to deal with extreme high speeds. AI co-piloting will learn driver behaviour and aid during a race. A really interesting concept is were driver emotion is reflected on the outside of the car for all to see.

The fan experience will include fan sentiment being projected in the cockpit of the car, mixed reality giving fans access to multiple camera angles and race data. E-sports competitors can compete in the race virtually, in real-time, to take on their favourite racers. Gamers can also race the track before grands prix to teach the AI new race strategies.

In their own words

“At McLaren we never stand still,” says Rodi Basso, motorsport director of McLaren Applied Technologies. “We are always looking to innovate to find the solution for tomorrow today. In recent years, we have seen concepts and ideas about how a Formula 1 car could look and operate in the future. However, this is the first time anyone has given detailed thought and insight into a viable vision of motorsport in the future.

“This is a hugely exciting and thought-provoking vision. One that includes the views of fans, university students, McLaren’s drivers and our talented team at McLaren Applied Technologies. Our hope is for this to stimulate debate about how motorsport responds to changes in technology and sports entertainment trends to ensure we can meet the needs of fans in 2050.”

Learn more about McLaren Future Grand Prix in the video below: