For starters, the interior is now more motorsport with key switches located at the centre of the steering wheel. This allows drivers 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.
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 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.
The P1 GTR is being tested at the Bahrain International Circuit with the aim of pushing the capabilities of the upgraded IPAS powertrain while ensuring optimised balance and handling characteristics on the race-proven Pirelli slick tyres. There are also aerodynamic developments including a fixed-height rear wing which includes the Formula 1-style Drag Reduction System (DRS).
There is a special driving programme being set up by the brand as Chris Goodwin, chief test driver for McLaren Automotive, explains: "With the McLaren P1 GTR driver programme, we’ve aimed to do something different; very much like the way we operate the rest of the business. We don’t follow the trends. Our road cars are different to our competitors’ so too will be our driving programme,” he said.
This means that drivers will become members of the world’s most exclusive McLaren ownership programme, and gain a unique insight into the steps McLaren drivers take after signing up for the team. With access to the world within the McLaren Technology Centre, each driver will have a unique experience. As race winners and world champions have done before them, each driver will embark on a driver programme designed to hone and optimise driving skills and learn how to get the best of themselves and the car.
The drivers will also take part in events at some of the most iconic racing Formula 1 circuits across the world, and drivers will take part in six events during the first year of the programme. At each event, drivers will have a dedicated race team responsible for running the car. This will include a personal driver coach and head engineer, who will work through telemetry and video analysis to hone skills, and optimise lap times. This one-to-one tuition will be bespoke to each driver, and will be tailored to suit each driver’s individual skill set and driving ability. The question is… where do we sign up?