F1 And Road Car Design Legend Gordon Murray Receives CBE From Prince William
Formula 1 and road car design legend Professor Gordon Murray has been presented with a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. The ceremony at Buckingham Palace recognized Murray’s contribution to motorsport and the automotive sector over the last half century.
Murray began his F1 career with Brabham in 1969 and went on to design some of F1’s most iconic and often beautiful cars there, such as the multiple race winning BT44, the BT46B ‘fan car’, the 1981 championship winning BT49 – which that year benefited from Murray’s hydraulic suspension to get around rules intended to eliminate ‘ground effect’, and the cult classic dart-shaped BT52 that took 1983’s drivers’ title. Murray was also responsible for reintroducing planned mid-race refueling and tire change pitstops to modern F1, bringing them in from mid-1982. Murray left Brabham in 1986 and joined McLaren the following year for a spell of extraordinary success. The famous McLaren Hondas won drivers’ and constructors’ championship doubles every year from 1988 to 1991 inclusive, with in the first of those years the MP4/4 winning 15 of the season’s 16 races. In total Murray’s F1 cars won 56 grands prix, three constructors’ championships and five drivers’ championships.
In 1989 Murray switched his attention to road cars and began work on the McLaren F1 as McLaren Cars Limited’s first project. And although Murray initially had no intention for the car to race, a racing version of the machine called F1 GTR won the 1995 Le Mans 24 Hour race as well as took two world sports car championships; the car later morphed into the Mercedes SLR McLaren. In 2007 Murray formed his own new company for the design, engineering, prototyping and development of vehicles, called Gordon Murray Design Limited. The company has a global reputation as one of the finest automotive design teams in the world and is responsible for an innovative and disruptive manufacturing technology called iStream, which aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions using technology derived from F1, and using it Murray plans to revolutionize high-volume car manufacturing. Murray also shortly, on May 14, will launch a new book titled ‘One Formula’, in which he charts his distinguished career in detail.
“Receiving a CBE from Prince William is one of the highlights of my life–right up there with Formula 1 world championship wins or creating the world’s fastest production car,” Murray said. “The Gordon Murray Group is about to embark on an exciting new chapter, with ground-breaking innovation once again driving our growth. Energized by this accolade I can’t wait to continue the journey, supported by a dedicated and hugely talented team.”
Images courtesy of Gordon Murray Design Ltd