The time I accidentally broke into the McLaren technology centre
Here's the story behind my profile picture!
I have refrained from writing this article for a few years now but feel as though this needs to finally be addressed. I often get asked where I was standing in my DriveTribe profile picture. Some people think it is a park, which it isn't and others think it's my house, which it certainly isn't.
So, in this article I want to talk about the time I accidentally broke into the McLaren Technology Centre and why you shouldn't even think about doing it.
(not my photo)
Let me start off by setting the scene, it was the summer of 2018 and I was visiting my grandparents down in Surrey. Now, they happen to live quite close to the McLaren Technology Centre, which for those of you who don't know is basically the McLaren headquarters where they build and design all McLaren cars, road and F1.
Ever since I was a little boy, I had always been curious as to what they had at this place other than cars, of course. I knew there would be some special inventory but I also always assumed that's where the aliens landed. Suffice to say, I didn't catch any aliens.
So, after years of mystery we decided to go for a walk in a woods nearby to McLaren in the hope we could get a sneak peak through some bushes or something. Well, we saw much more than a few leaves and some grass.
We went on the walk and it was alright but still no sign of the great circular glass building. Determined as I was, I decided to go another way just to get a glimpse at it. So, I walked over a small mound and there it was, part of the factory. I won't go into too much detail about what I saw as I don't want McLaren after me but it was a pretty cool underground bunker type thing. I didn't see any cars but something was going on underneath me.
(didn't take this either)
Being the eager 18 year-old I was, I decided to keep on going and ended up in a huge green grass field which also happened to be public, so I was safe. There was even a man and his dog in the distance so I just stopped and stared at the factory.
Now, for most people this would have been sufficient, but not for me. As I approached the technology centre, I noticed these stepping stone like slabs of concrete in the grass and suddenly found myself in a helicopter landing pad which was a first for me. It was presumably used for rich clientele arriving to pick up their Sennas.
At this point, my dad and brother had caught up to me and advised that we should go home now, but I still kept going. As I neared the sacred driveway which loops around the factory, I wondered what it must have been like to leave those big glass doors with the keys to a brand new McLaren 720s or P1 or even F1. This was a mega thought, and one which I doubt I'll ever be able to experience for myself.
And before I knew it, I was stood on that very driveway. Now, this is still quite far from the factory showroom itself and I have crap eyesight, but I could make out the shapes of some cars. There was definitely a McLaren F1 in there, a few F1 cars and some modern stuff but anything beyond that was just a blur.
Probably the worst video you have ever seen.
And to top it all off, I had left my phone in the car meaning I had to sprint back to my brother, take his quite frankly mangled phone and take photos with that.
After I had been stood there for around three minutes, fumbling around on this cracked phone, I saw the gates open up ahead and through it came a fully blacked-out Mercedes Citan van and I thought the worst. I thought 'this is it, I am going to be taken away by the aliens and will never see my family again'.
However, this didn't exactly happen. It pulled up next to me on the sweeping driveway and out hopped a buff looking bald headed man who said in a deep voice, "Can you please leave, you shouldn't be here," then drove off. Now, in my defence, it was incredibly easy to enter the land as it is attached to public land so for all I knew, I was fine to be there...but I guess not.
I did actually take this one...
I was partly relieved but also a little bit disappointed that I wasn't taken inside the factory to see some new McLarens. So, I respected his orders and walked...or should I say, sprinted back to the car and decided never to speak of it to anyone ever again...until now when I am writing this now and broadcasting it to the world...
And that, ladies and gentlemen is the story behind my DT profile pic and also probably the worst thing I have ever done, apart from accidentally kicking some trim off of an Audi Q3 at the Geneva Motor Show, but we don't speak of that either.
I should also add, that I do not condone anyone doing this. Don't be a twit like me who probably has his name on a list at McLaren as a result of this...