Through the Lens: McLaren P1 at Bahrain International Circuit

A good portrait photographer must get to know their subject, look beneath its skin and understand what makes it unique. It’s a time consuming task, but nevertheless a labour of love for George Williams – the man behind the latest images of McLaren’s stunning P1.

The photos, taken at the Bahrain International Circuit, have been released ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix and the opening of the new McLaren Manama showroom at the Bahrain World Trade Centre.

The McLaren P1, first shown at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, is currently undergoing final testing before the first of 375 cars is delivered to customers later in the year.

At £866,000 (on the road), it is powered by a 727bhp mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine combined with a 176bhp electric motor. Performance matches its looks, covering 0-62mph in less than 3 seconds, reaching 125mph in less than 7 seconds and topping out at an electronically limited 219mph.

The P1’s real ace card though is its track performance, designed to be the best drivers car in the world (bar none) with close to GT3 racing car levels of roll stiffness, it is claimed to lap Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife in under 7 minutes.

As you can tell from the pictures, Williams is a petrol head, so you can imagine how lucky he felt spending two days with ‘the’ supercar of the moment. “The car was great and very easy to photograph,” said Williams “..that colour is one of my favourites to photograph!”

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“The car wasn’t actually running, all the shots were done when pushing the car, so I had to edit the rear wing in afterwards during post production. The location was just perfect, as was the light, although the skies were a little boring so I enhanced them afterwards.”

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Williams went on to say, “During post production, I had just one simple idea in mind – the “wow factor”, which he looks to have achieved with an extra dose of gusto. McLaren provided him with a very loose brief, so he could just get on and shoot the photos as he saw fit. The resulting images bear testament to the artists viewpoint, rather than being the product of a brand committee.

Finally, if you’ve ever tried photographing a car outside the cloudy UK skies, you’ll know all about the problem of (too much) light. Lots of bright shiny sunlight sitting directly overhead makes a curvy supercar look flat, but thankfully for Williams, Bahrain was experiencing one of its more overcast days, so the job was relatively straightforward.

If you’d like to read a little more about the shoot then visit Williams’ Kinja blog ‘I’ve Photographed The McLaren P1’. You can also keep track of his latest photography work via Facebook.

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