McLaren MP4-20 - The fastest F1 car with most wins in 2005 left without a trophy
The McLaren MP4-20 was the car which scored wins in the 2005 Formula 1 World Championship but finished the season without a trophy.
Completely new car built under the new regulations
After scoring only one victory with the MP4-19 in 2004, the McLaren team had to work a lot to be well-prepared and more competitive for the next season. Designers Adrian Newey, Mike Coughlan and Neil Oatley constructed a completely new car and did a good job which wasn’t crowned with some silverware at the end of the season.
Both sporting and technical regulations were heavily revised for the new season, so Newey had to start almost from the scratch. The chassis was completely new, the aerodynamics and suspension met the new regulations with a raised front wing, the rear wing moved further forward, and smaller diffuser. Wheelbase was shorter than on the previous car, the nose became flat and wider, but probably the biggest innovation was wings fitted to the bodywork behind the overhead air intake in an attempt to gain as much downforce as possible.
Engine reliability issues prevented McLaren from winning the title
The Mercedes engine probably was the most powerful in that F1 season but had many reliability issues and that probably was decisive in the battle for trophies. The McLaren MP4-20 was the fastest at most of the circuits but that wasn’t enough for success. Kimi Raikkonen lost Drivers’ Championship battle to Fernando Alonso. Juan Pablo Montoya finished 4th in the standings, while McLaren was a runner-up to Renault in the Constructors’ Championship.
Another interesting fact is that four drivers were involved in McLaren’s 2005 campaign. Raikkonen and Montoya began the season but the Colombian was injured after the race in Malaysia. Pedro de la Rosa raced at Bahrain Grand Prix and finished 5th scoring the fastest lap, while Alexander Wurz raced alongside Raikkonen at Imola and took the 3rd place.
McLaren MP4-20 scored 10 wins in 2005 Formula 1 season
In the fifth round of the season, the Spanish Grand Prix, Raikkonen scored first win for the team. The Finn also triumphed in the following race at Monaco. It was followed by a victory in Canada, while Montoya triumphed at the British Grand Prix. In the last eight rounds of the season, McLaren MP4-20 scored six wins. Raikkonen was the winner in Hungary, Turkey, Belgium, and Japan, while Montoya celebrated in Italy and in Brazil.
At the end of the season, Raikkonen finished well behind champion Fernando Alonso. The margin between them was 21 points while in the Constructors’ standings McLaren was nine points short to Renault. McLaren missed a good opportunity to win at least one trophy and had to wait three years for the next title.
What do the numbers say?
During the 2005 Formula 1 season, the McLaren MP4-20 won 10 out of 18 races, scored a total of 18 podiums, 12 fastest laps (10 by Raikkonen) and 7 pole positions (5 by Raikkonen), amassing a total of 182 points.
Video – Kimi Raikkonen in McLaren MP4-20 Mercedes at Spa
McLaren MP4-20 technical specifications
|Chassis||McLaren-moulded carbon fiber/aluminum honeycomb composite incorporating front and side impact structures|
|Bodywork construction||Two -piece side pods and engine cover. Separate floor section, structural nose with integral front wing|
|Suspension (front & rear)||Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement|
|Engine||Mercedes-Benz FO 110R 90° V10, 3.000 cc, mid-mounted, naturally aspirated|
|Gearbox||McLaren 7 forward + 1 reverse semi-automatic, hand operated clutch|
|Fuel||Mobil 1 unleaded|