Tag Archives: McLaren

Formula 1 interview: Dr Nicholas Brown

Let me introduce you to Dr Nicholas Brown, one of the Composite Design Engineers at McLaren Racing and former EngD at the University of Surrey. It was a real pleasure having a conversation with him at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, UK. We covered different topics about what is like to work at the top level of automotive engineering, including some tips for getting where he is now! Enjoy it!


First of all, I’d like to say how grateful I am to have you here, since I know you are extremely busy at the moment. Thank you for your time and your kindness. And now, let’s get started. Can you tell us a bit about your background?

So I did my masters first in engineering at Loughborough University; that was Aeronautical Engineering. I spent five years up there and did a placement year as well. So my placement year was with an aerospace electronic sort of warfare defense company, but I was doing more of the support work reliability team and things like that, writing general reports… Didn’t really do anything fancy, so I came out of there not wanting to do that and not really wanting to go on a graduate scheme. Then I had a year just between jobs and then the EngD came up, so I chose to do the EngD that as you know is a great opportunity. And then towards the end of it I was looking for more job roles and one came up at McLaren Racing as a Design Engineer, which implied using my composites knowledge for a more applied role. There are research aspects as well, but it’s mainly applying my knowledge. That was about a year and a half ago and now I’m still here! It’s quite fun! It’s good to apply all the things you know. As I said we do research up there but it is completely different to the research I did as an EngD.

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McLaren Employee Motor Show 2016

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend a special motor show organised by McLaren at the MTC (Woking, Surrey). The aim of this event was to collect money for charity purposes and there, not only the legendary Formula 1 cars could be seen, but also super cars and classic vehicles which were exhibited by McLaren employees.


First of all, let me start showing you the M7C, commonly known as the “Thursday car”. This was one of the first vehicles in which the company started studying aerodynamics. As a matter of fact you can see that there are two wings: one at the rear part and another one at the front. The explanation for having these two wings is easy: because of the height of the rear wing, the down force which was generated was so big that the front of the vehicle tended to take off and that gave rise to the need of another wing to combat that effect. The reason why this race automobile is known as the “Thursday car” is that it was introduced on a Thursday free practice in Monaco and it got banned for being too dangerous. Why? Well, basically because the front wing could act as a “guillotine” if an accident occurred.

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McLaren M7C (source: my personal flickr account)

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