McLaren Applied Technologies has been awarded the Pioneering and Innovation Award at this year’s Autosport Awards ceremony. Dr Caroline Hargrove, technical director at Applied Technologies, collected the award from 1996 F1 World Champion Damon Hill on behalf of the company headed by chief executive officer Ian Rhodes, who leads a team now over 300 strong.
Chosen by a committee of Autosport staff, this year’s judges wanted to recognise a company that has developed outstanding and innovative products and services both within and beyond motorsport. Applied Technologies builds on McLaren’s long motorsport experience to deliver innovative breakthroughs across a range of diverse sectors including health, energy, transport and financial services.
The company also continues to push the boundaries in motorsport electronics, sensing and components, supplying and maintaining the standard ECU (the electronic ‘brain’) for all Formula 1 cars on the grid at every race as part of a contract with the FIA, the sport’s governing body. It has resulted in well over a quarter of a million miles completed without a single reported failure – equivalent to travelling 11 times around the world.
The judges felt the breadth of McLaren’s achievements, from re-designing Lizzy Arnold’s skeleton sled that went on to achieve an historic Olympic gold medal for Team GB, to a long-term strategic alliance with financial services company KPMG as well as a ground-breaking partnership with GSK to help revolutionise drug research and development, perfectly illustrate motorsport’s relevance to the wider world.
Applied Technologies traces its origins back to the late 1980s with McLaren Electronics, with which it merged. It is now the fastest growing company within the McLaren Technology Group and offers a unique blend of world-leading expertise in product and process design, data science and predictive analytics, and real-time sensing, instrumentation and control electronics.
Receiving the award, Dr Caroline Hargrove of McLaren Applied Technologies said: “I’m delighted to accept this award on behalf of everyone at Applied Technologies. As someone who started her McLaren career in F1 before moving to Applied Technologies, I’m a good example of the journey the company has embarked upon to take pioneering insights from the racetrack to boardrooms, air traffic control towers and manufacturing plants all over the world. And it’s not just industries outside motorsport that benefit from our varied portfolio of activities. Because we continue to focus on F1, NASCAR, IndyCar and as well as Formula E teams, the depth of experience we’ve built-up working across such a diverse range of sectors, leads directly to insights we then take back to benefit our motorsport customers.”