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F1: what is the MP4-24 good for? Here’s an answer…

You may be able to think of a few uses for this year’s McLaren that are not exactly what the makers intended.

In January, we asked: “Is this the 2009 championship-winning car?” Quite understandable at the time, it has nevertheless turned out to be over-optimistic. To say the least.


Yes, before you ask, we did have a modest bet on Lewis Hamilton to win a second title. And no, don’t bother to point out to us that it probably wasn’t the best fiver we ever spent.

Who knew, huh?

In the meantime, unkind souls might choose to characterise the most effective use for the Hamilton-mobile as a large paperweight, a garden ornament or possibly a replacement for Jenson Button’s old Honda on its milk delivery round.

But no. As it turns out, there’s something the car does very well.

McLaren has got together with its paint supplier AkzoNobel Sikkens to use it to create a giant artwork. To do this, they drove it through 1,200 litres of the company’s paint following what is described as “a painstaking series of preparations and months of planning.”

[Insert humorous comments about performance in the damp and extreme wets versus inters here.]

“Hamilton’s high-performance MP4-24 became the focus of an AkzoNobel Car Refinishes campaign featuring images of the car accelerating through pools of red and silver paint.

“The resultant cascade — which saw paint being sprayed in all directions — was captured on two 50 square meter canvases placed either side of the vehicle.”

Wow. We wouldn’t mind one of those for the office wall – but to make that happen Brits on Pole would have to decamp to a considerably bigger Global Headquarters than the one it occupies right now.

Because this sounds like considerable fun – possibly even the most fun you can have in the car with its present level of performance – we know you want to see the video of this happening.

So it’s embedded in this post. It’s a real hymn of praise to the car and we think we like it (except maybe for the bits where the racing lights go out which is just daft).

However is has left us wondering. Was Hamilton driving, or is it just cut together really cleverly to give the impression it was him behind the wheel?

You see hardly anything of his face and surely, if you actually had the World Champion present, then you’d ask him to beam into the camera and give a thumbs-up in the tightest close-up you could get away with.

Hang on a minute. Is this actually another gig for a certain white-suited individual that inveigled his way into the BBC’s F1 opening credits recently?

Is this really The Stig kitted out in Hamilton’s helmet and race suit?


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