Hamilton, Button and Senna…

McLaren has just revealed a new viral video, featuring Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button visiting a warehouse full of old McLaren F1 cars. I was told about this in Valencia. Apparently it was completely unscripted and while there were a lot of cameras in the building they were hidden away so that the drivers were able to forget they were there. This is fairly clear as at one point Lewis starts making engine noises while sitting at the wheel of Senna’s car. You couldn’t script that!

58 thoughts on “Hamilton, Button and Senna…

  1. When Lewis is sitting in Senna’s car they both pause for a moment.

    In the silence you can see that Lewis remembers everything. And how it ended.

  2. Awesome video, thats what you call a great collection. Altough im not sure that its not scripted (you can see the Vodafone logo a bit too well when the drivers move to be not scripted) but who cares, its nice to watch! After the video with the mechanics walking away, this is another nice one to watch!

  3. Hamilton is growing on me….
    He seems to have reigned in the billy big bollocks stuff now.
    I think he is maturing…
    Id like to see them drive Senna’s magic car round Monaco.
    They are a good combo Button and Hamilton, i think they are gonna get the WCC, possibly the WDC too.

  4. It’s nice that McLaren (and Vodafone, I suppose) are doing these viral videos.

    Very refreshing compared to the constant whining coming from the Ferrari website…

  5. Partly unscripted, maybe. Or maybe not. But trust me, Joe, with all these closeups and panning shots these cameras were not exactly hidden… High marks for McLaren’s PR hacks!

    1. fakeberniee

      I am told it was totally unscripted by the guy who runs the entire McLaren branding operation. I am simply passing on what he said and there is no reason for him not to tell it as it is…

  6. 2013 would be the 25th anniversary of the MP4/4’s season. A demonstration lap at a GP would be a beautiful thing to watch.

    How could you manage the tobacco advertising issue though?

  7. That warehouse is amazing! Why haven’t they made a documentary about that place? And why don’t they run a tour!

  8. It would be awesome to see Button and Hamilton giving the old Marlboro McLarens a proper thrash round a classic track. Those cars were incredible. Makes today’s grotesque designs look even worse in comparison.

  9. I think you will find it is unscripted, but not un-directed. There is a small but subtle difference. Excellent video – in fact it is an excellent run of videos from them.

  10. Great video, very well made and brilliant use of the McLaren heritage.

    Unscripted? The words probably, but the cameras certainly weren’t hidden away and there’s a few actions that were definitely scripted (the Vodafone money shot of the taking photos with the phone for instance.)

    They might have shot for long enough though with no director/producer interruptions so the drivers were able to just discuss things.

  11. Well done…

    Nice to see that McLaren treasure their past, and keep their cars, rather than selling them off to the highest bidder.

    I still have my seven photos that SENNA signed for me in Japan in 1993 as well.

  12. right on Richy S – great stuff scripted or not – they seem to get on as well as you could expect them to in the circumstances – and Hamilton appears to be in awe of Senna – and is possibly his present-day equivalent?

    Sad to think that Massa and Alonso would probably not be prepared to do the same sort of thing and I wouldn’t blame Felipe one bit!!

  13. As a McLaren fan and a Senna fan who was fortunate enough to see him race, that warehouse is my mecca.

    However, as someone who works in TV production, I can state for certain that those camera’s were not hidden at all. They are predominately hand held and on quite a short lens and so were only a few meters away, at most, for most of the shots.

    Unscripted maybe, but those camera’s were right there with the guys.

    Anyway, great moments. That little bit of silence reflecting on Senna was nice.

    The “new” Whitmarsh led McLaren seems to be a much less rigid place than it once was. It’s going well for them from a PR point of view at the moment.

  14. I wish Honda would make it’s return to F1 by teaming up with McLaren once it’s current engine deal with Mercedes expires.

  15. I have to second fakeberniee: hidden cameras don’t shake. Whether it was scripted or not depends on how much faith you put in the acting skills of race car drivers.

    It feels pretty natural to me and it’s clear that both Button and Hamilton truly honour the legacy they have inherited.

    Very cool.

  16. Amazing. They were like kids in a candy store. Those cars are priceless and would love to see more of them.

  17. “If you’re passing through Woking, just drop in and ask (nicely) for Ron. He’s got the key.”

  18. A lesson on how teammates should relate to each other. I can now believe that the two get on very well with each other, you can’t “act” that way.

    Can you imagine Alonso and Lewis making this video? Alonso and ANY other driver for that matter??

  19. Pretty amazing video.

    It’s clear that being in that warehouse is like being in church for Lewis and Jenson. They clearly have an understanding and appreciation for the history of the sport. They become fans just like the rest of us.

  20. What a fantastic place. You get a sense of how much these two still respect Senna and the things, the person he was, and what he did to inspire a whole generation of racers.

    As far as being unscripted, it seems enough, but you have to remember that the media people in the teams are incredibly capable of placing branding and getting the ‘right’ shot (someone earlier said something about the logo being just a little too well-placed).

    I too would like to know more about this warehouse – are there others like it, do the other teams store the cars from their past, etc. The life of a retired F1 or sports car is very intriguing. Must learn more… (heading to 8W)

  21. Nice video and great to see the two drivers getting on so well. I love them going into the warehouse and ‘discovering’ the MP4/4. Of course everyone knows there is one on display at the MTC in the line up of old cars.

    It is great that McLaren are doing things like this and I look forward to some of the other teams realising the potential in these videos. McLaren have come a long way in a short time and it seems odd they can do stuff like this and Red Bull cannot. Of course Red Bull don’t have world championship winning cars from the last 36 years but they could do videos in a similar tone.

  22. I remember back in the mid 90’s finding a warehouse full of old Mclaren cars and bits of pieces, boxes marked TAG loads of old panels, wheels etc. The place looked like a scrap yard with some fella taking bits from a Hakkinen car, spent ages looking around…

  23. As others have said, it was clearly done with cameras in full view, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t scripted. The real genius in the clip lies in thinking up a scenario in which Jenson and Lewis could just be themselves, and in which their passion – especially Lewis’s – could shine through naturally. Nice, nice piece!

  24. On a second viewing… what’s really great about it is how it shows that these two superstars are, at heart, just what we are: fans. Anyone who has followed the sport for a while feels a real connection with the two world champions as they marvel at the MP4-4. It’s a brilliant way to humanize a sport that is too often aloof. Sure, it’s clever marketing – but it works because it seems to be honest and to express something we can all identify with.

  25. GeorgeK,

    To give Alonso his due, don’t forget the Hilton Hotels/”Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better” advert. Yes, it was scripted, but I believed the trip to be real, and when you trip over someone you don’t like you don’t roll around laughing.

  26. Great little video. And I don’t recall ever seeing a driver so damned *relaxed* as Jenson is this year. Probably helps they’ve both already got a World title in the bag.

  27. McLaren has great heritage. There’re so many shots of cars with Senna and Prost on it, it shows the importance of the Prost/Senna era, not just for McLaren, also for F1.
    Good banter in the video.

  28. “while there were a lot of cameras in the building they were hidden away so that the drivers were able to forget they were there”

    Hidden away? Hardly with all those close-ups and interesting angles.

    Still, good video.

  29. This video is really cool and as I am of a similar age to Button and Hamilton, I totally understand why they picked the MP4/4 as it’s probably the first car they remember seeing 😉

    Great dynamic between the two drivers – you get the sense that they do enjoy each other’s company and have fun with each other. It’s great to see and I hope that other teams follow this example…

    A little plug – I wrote a guest post on this video for Sidepodcast, because I enjoyed it so much: http://sidepodcast.com/2010/06/30/jenson-and-lewis-get-a-little-nostalgic-about-mclaren/

  30. Saw this clip last night. Very special. I was wondering how they managed to give me the feeling that I was watching just Jenson and Lewis as if it was shot by a ghost. Bloody brilliant.

    Thanks for the explanation.

  31. McLaren,


    Stunning footage. Thank you very much for making my day.


    1. Dear fakeberniee,

      I try to remain as positive as possible. What is the point of negativity?


  32. This video probably took 3 or 4 hours just to shoot, with setting up angles, re-takes etc. How can anyone think it was unscripted? You may want to believe it, but it isn’t true!

    1. CJ,

      I am just passing on what I was told. I am not an expert in these matters and have no reason to doubt that information.

  33. This is very good stuff, much better than the other virals they’ve done. When Lewis asks “So this is actually the car that he actually drove in a race?” and Jensen answers “Yeah”, I almost got tearful. Their faces told everything.

    It was probably scripted to the extent that they chose that particular car, but the dialogue was natural.

  34. @CNSZU Of all the McLaren cars that you could pick (if you were a 20-something driver) which one would you pick? The MP4/4 is the natural choice as it is still the most successful car McLaren ever produced and was driven by arguably the gratest drivers of their generation. I am a lot older that JB or LH, but it is the car I would have picked (I would have looked to the 1976 James Hunt M23 but more out of curiousity.

    A brilliant video and loike other posters, got quite emotional watching it. It would be great if the teams would roll out some of these legendary cars from the recent past (Ferrari could roll out F640, Williams the FW11 and FW14, etc.) for the fans to see, hear and smell.

  35. Joe, as suggested earlier the idea of lewis and jenson doing a couple of laps demo at silverstone is a superb one, any chance you could suggest it to Mclaren?
    Sure it could still be arranged!

  36. Gilles fan: you said “The MP4/4 is the natural choice as it is still the most successful car McLaren ever produced.”

    Don’t forget the M8B Can-Am car of 1969. Eleven races, eleven wins, in the hands of Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme.

  37. In some way the Mp4/4 is the most McLareney McLaren of them all.

    15 wins from 16, but then some achievements in the sport are supposed to be impossible (like winning the championship in your first year Lewis…)

  38. Joe, as suggested earlier the idea of lewis and jenson doing a couple of laps demo at silverstone is a superb one, any chance you could suggest it to Mclaren?
    Sure it could still be arranged!

    I think the sport has a great history but the competitors are so locked into the present that they either don’t know about it or ignore it. F1 could learn a lo from baseball about how to embrace the history. I would love to see the modern drivers do a few laps in old cars just as I would love to see older drivers drive both them and modern cars at GPs. Imagine Lewis and Prost driving each others cars or Alonso driving an Alesi Ferrari with Jean in the modern car or Heikki and Andretti swappng Lotuses.

    If only F1 was interested in giving the fans something.

  39. The sports cars of today are fast, very smart and should be a pleasure to own and drive. They can be costly and impress, they must be clean and in excellent condition. Every sports car is kept inside or outside must be protected with a blanket measure. This means that when the next car is used is clean.

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