The McLaren MP4/13 was a racing car that the McLaren Formula One team used during the 1998 Formula 1 season. Driven by Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard, who were retained from the previous season, the car proved to be the dominant car of the season, taking Häkkinen to his first Drivers' Championship and securing McLaren's first constructor's title since 1991.

McLaren MP4/13
Mika Häkkinen McLaren MP4 13 2018 Japanese Grand Prix (43814922580).jpg
Mika Häkkinen demonstrating the MP4/13 during the 2018 Japanese Grand Prix weekend
CategoryFormula One
Designer(s)Adrian Newey, Neil Oatley
Technical specifications
ChassisMoulded carbon fibre composite structure
Suspension (front)Double wishbones, pushrod
Suspension (rear)Double wishbones, pushrod
EngineIlmor-built Mercedes-Benz FO110G V10 (72º)
TransmissionMcLaren six-speed longitudinal semi-automatic
FuelMobil 1
Competition history
Notable entrantsWest McLaren Mercedes
Notable drivers7. United Kingdom David Coulthard
8. Finland Mika Häkkinen
Debut1998 Australian Grand Prix
Constructors' Championships1 (1998)
Drivers' Championships1 (1998, Mika Häkkinen)

McLaren used 'West' logos, except at the French, British and German Grands Prix.


Mika Häkkinen's MP4/13 in test livery in the McLaren Hall at Donington Grand Prix Exhibition

Designer Adrian Newey had joined McLaren from Williams F1 in 1997, but was unable to influence the design of the McLaren MP4/12 other than adjustment during the season. The work was rewarded when the MP4/12 took a 1-2 win at the 1997 European Grand Prix.

When the 1998 season got under way four months later it became clear that Newey had adapted to the rule changes for 1998 best. With the cars now narrower and running on grooved tyres, the all-new design of the MP4/13 made it the car to beat.

The dominance of the MP4/13 was displayed in the opening race of the season, the 1998 Australian Grand Prix. Drivers Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard outclassed the competition by leaving every competitor at least a lap behind. Adrian Newey's aerodynamic design was by far the most efficient one and Mercedes produced the most powerful engine of the season. The team was aided by a unique brake-steer system which allowed the driver to use any one of the car's brakes independently to aid cornering, a system first used in 1997. Ferrari protested, stating that the brake-steer system was a violation of the technical rules, which banned four wheel steering. The FIA eventually sided with Ferrari and the system was disallowed, although the team was allowed to keep the results gained so far.[1]

McLaren's dominance continued on the second race of the season in Brazil, but from the next GP in Argentina, Ferrari started closing the huge gap.[2] However, the MP4/13 retained its superiority on high-speed tracks like Hockenheim and Silverstone, while Ferrari's F300 was closer to the McLaren on more technical circuits. Coulthard spoke of the MP4/13 later on, saying the car was fast but it understeered through slow corners; this was due to Newey's design that maximized the car's aerodynamic grip over its mechanical grip.[3]

During the 1998 season, Coulthard's MP4/13 speed trapped the highest of all 1998 cars when he was clocked at 353 km/h (219 mph) at the old Hockenheim circuit.

While Ferrari's Michael Schumacher put up a good fight when the season progressed, Häkkinen became world champion that year, despite McLaren's reliability problems. Also, McLaren won the Constructors' Championship, with Häkkinen winning eight Grands Prix and Coulthard one. This was McLaren's first championship victory since 1991 with McLaren great Ayrton Senna, and their most successful year since the peak of the Prost-Senna feud of the 1989 season.[4]

The record time for the Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb was set in 1999 when Nick Heidfeld drove an MP4/13 up the hill in 41.6 seconds.[5]


In July 2017, it was announced by video game developer Codemasters that the car will appear in F1 2017 as a classic car.

Technical specificationsEdit

Car: McLaren MP4/13Edit

  • Chassis: carbon fibre, aluminium
  • Gearbox: 6 gears
  • Cooling system: two McLaren/Calsonic water radiators, two McLaren/Marston oil radiators.
  • Length of the whole car: 4,550 mm (179.1 in)
  • Weight with water, oil and driver: 600 kg (1,322.8 lb)

Engine: Mercedes-Benz FO 110GEdit

  • Cylinders: 10, in a 72° angle
  • Valves: 4 per cylinder
  • Length: 590 mm (23.2 in)
  • Breadth: 546.4 mm (21.5 in)
  • Height: 476 mm (18.7 in)
  • Weight: 107 kilograms (236 lb)
  • Power: 780 bhp (582 kW)


Rear view of the MP4-13


  • Tyres: Bridgestone
  • Wheels: Enkei 13-in
  • Brakes: AP Racing discs and claws
  • Oil and Petrol: Mobil
  • Ignition: TAG 2000
  • Spark plugs: NGK


Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
David Coulthard 2 2 6 1 2 Ret Ret 6 Ret 2 2 2 7 Ret 3 3
Mika Häkkinen 1 1 2 Ret 1 1 Ret 3 2 1 1 6 Ret 4 1 1


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "The Speed Fest Whose Terrible Race Track Scares Away F1 Stars". Wired. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  6. ^ van Vliet, Arjen. "Formule 1 teams '98"

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Williams FW19
Racing Car Of The Year

Succeeded by
McLaren MP4/14