McLaren’s vision of the future includes AI & electric power

McLaren have released a vision for the future of Grand Prix racing, which they believe could come about by the year 2050.

McLaren, through their Applied Technology group, have released a whitepaper of what they believe Formula 1 could become over the next thirty years.

Using a prototype car called the MCLE, they believe that the core concept of four wheels, rear wheel drive & a human driver will still be there by then but there will be huge changes elsewhere.

Active Aerodynamics:

The MCLE includes sidepods that expand and contract. This would allow for maximum speeds down the straights, as well as huge aerodynamic prowess through braking zones and corners. Ground effect is generated by the floor and diffuser.

Electric power:

With McLaren supplying batteries to Formula E, they say that they predict racing will have become fully electric by 2050. Electric motors with flexible storage solutions will be the challenge of the day, with McLaren hypothesising that cars could ‘steal’ energy from each other as a form of futuristic overtaking aid.

They predict that wireless battery charging, done through electromagnetic induction through the ground, will remove the need for pitstops. According to¬†Stephen Lambert, Head of Automotive Electrification, “Charging about 10 to 50% of the battery in around 10 to 30 seconds is conceivable.”

This means that the MCLE could absorb energy as it drives around the track.


The aggressive looking MCLE features a lot of TRON-like lighting, but McLaren say there’s a reason for this: the lighting reflects the driver’s mood by picking up on it through his special biometric, G-force friendly racing suit. Red could mean anger or frustration, reflected in the car’s bodywork and tyre lighting strips.

The cockpit would be transparent, allowing fans to see the drivers movements.

Artificial Intelligence:

The same race suit and helmet would also be connected to a central AI computer for the car, that learns from the driver as they race.

Based on the driver’s mentalities and preferences, as well as mood, race strategies could be outlined and changed on the fly, while key information is relayed via a holographic HUD.

Read McLaren’s full vision of the future here

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Thomas Maher

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website. Also working in the Irish radio broadcasting industry. Donations: PayPal - ETH/ERC20 - 0x9d0b8071180AAcB0bD5f0c1d43281768C73e8763

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