McLaren: The movie, the man and the team

Bruce McLaren's story is an incredible one and his legacy has far exceeded what he could ever have imagined when he began racing in the 1960s.

McLaren started out racing, and worked his way to the top flight of Formula 1, before starting his own racing team. It's now the second longest running team in the sport, bested only by Ferrari, and has a history featuring some of the greatest racing drivers of all time.

Now, director Roger Donaldson, of Thirteen Days and The World's Fastest Indian fame, has brought to life the New Zealander's career through archive footage, interviews and recreations of his most poignant moments.

McLaren was born in 1937 into a family with a passion for motorsport, but it was his natural talent that won him the 'Driver to Europe' competition. This enabled him to travel to England and begin working for John Cooper alongside Sir Jack Brabham.

The film – called simply McLaren - covers his life from the early years to his tragic death in 1970, told by his close friends and colleagues. It portrays a man who did much more than build and race cars, creating the team that continues today in Woking.

It was a time when Formula 1 racing and a risk of death came hand in hand, with legend Jim Clark and McLaren's teammate Timmy Mayer both losing their lives during his career.

Amanda McLaren, Bruce's daughter, was only four when she lost her father. Speaking with her at the McLaren Technology Centre, she said the hardest part wasn't reliving her father's death but seeing her mother interviewed in the film.

"There was a lot of new footage, particularly of him when he was younger that I hadn't seen before, so it's lovely that they've been able to bring that together to tell the story of his achievements," said Amanda. "In actual fact the hardest part for me was seeing my mother, who unfortunately passed away last February, because she got very emotional.

"It's lovely to see the story of my father being told though. What he did as a racing driver, a designer and an engineer is fairly well known, but what also came through is the story of him as a father and a husband as well as how fond of him everyone who interviewed him was. You've got men who are now in their 70s and 80s still becoming very emotional about an event that happened in 1970."

McLaren will be in cinemas for one night only on Thursday, May 25, and on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital platforms from May 29, 2017.

By Rebecca Chaplin

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