If you’re a hardcore racer, then you know the importance of a good race suit. Not only does it have to protect you, but it also has to be comfortable, too. McLaren and Sparco have partnered and developed a new race suit - the McLaren SP16+ - that is at least 10 percent lighter than any other suit on the market. McLaren F1 Racing Team drivers have worn the suite since 2016, and for £2,344 you can own one, too. The price is steep, but the suits look groovy. The automaker will let you customize them, too. 

Each is handmade in Italy, taking 12 hours to complete. The suit, like McLaren’s cars, can be made to order, as there is a wide selection of bespoke colours. But that’s not all. McLaren can add features such as side pockets, belt, and phone pocket - perfect for a night out on the town. McLaren will also match a suit with the race team livery of your choice or whatever other design your heart desires. 

Every detail about the suit was scrutinized to see where weight could be saved. The SP16+ suit features an ultra-ultra-slim zipper, reduced neck and shoulder pads, ultra-thin stitching, and seamless Nomex wrists and ankles. The suit also uses a unique two-layer construction of fireproof material, which also helps reduce weight. 

A 10 percent reduction in weight may not seem like much, but it’s often hot and uncomfortable inside a race car, and that small reduction in weight can make it more comfortable to wear for more extended periods of time. The price should keep most people from buying a suit and wearing it out as normal wear as some do with automotive branded apparel. However, the right race suit could look pretty sweet. 

Source: McLaren

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The speed of light - world's lightest FIA-certified race suit from McLaren and Sparco, hand-made to order

McLaren Automotive is known for its continuous pursuit of light weighting technology. Following that thread, a must-have item for McLaren fans, racers and track-day drivers alike, is the Sparco McLaren SP16+, a race suit designed like no other. With the whole suit weighing at least 10 percent less than any other, the Sparco McLaren SP16+ is the lightest race suit approved by the FIA – ‘Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile’ - at just 1.3lbs (size 52).

Weight optimization has defined McLaren cars for more than half a century. Equally, for the past 40 years, it has been the guiding passion for Sparco – a company synonymous with motorsport safety and style. In a unique partnership, these two pioneering companies have joined forces to combine their innovative, weight-saving technologies to create the lightest race suit in the world.

Worn by McLaren F1 Racing Team drivers since 2016, this ground-breaking suit can now be ordered by McLaren Automotive customers.

As with the Formula 1 race suits, the Sparco McLaren SP16+ is entirely hand-made in Italy, each taking more than 12 hours to complete. Just like McLaren’s spectacular road cars, the suit can be personalized to order, with a selection of bespoke colors and options including side pockets, phone pocket and belt. Extending the McLaren journey, the customer will get the opportunity to match his or her suit to the livery of their race team or any other designs.

During development, every last detail was subject to intense scrutiny by Sparco in a technical program as demanding as that followed by McLaren’s vehicle engineers. Fashioned with meticulous precision, the SP16+ features an ultra-slim zip, seamless Nomex wrists and ankles, reduced neck and shoulder pads and ultra-thin thread for the stitching, all of which have all played their weight-saving role, some decreasing the suit’s mass by mere micrograms at a time. A special two-layer construction of fireproof material reduces weight even further, while ensuring the garment remains exceptionally breathable and comfortable to wear.

Like McLaren, Sparco was founded by racing drivers with a passion to advance their sport. Determined to revolutionize driver safety in Formula 1, the drivers from Turin introduced their first fireproof suit in 1977. In the 41 years since, they have constantly innovated to combine the highest safety standards with the distinctive Italian style for which Sparco products are renowned worldwide, ensuring the perfect marriage with McLaren’s inimitable, high-performance cars.

The Sparco McLaren SP16+ race suit costs from £2,344 plus taxes. Bespoke options at an additional cost start from £250 plus taxes.

Featured items worn by Bruno Senna (with UK RRP)

The McLaren Track Wear range starts from £30.00 plus taxes with the McLaren Shield RW-9 Underwear Balaclava at £30.00 plus taxes.

Further items are available to complement the Sparco McLaren SP16+ race suit:

McLaren Bell HP7 Helmet: £2,568.00 plus taxes;

McLaren SP16 Race Suit: from £2,344.00 plus taxes;

Bespoke McLaren Shield RW-9 Underwear Top: £155.00 plus taxes;

McLaren RB-8 Racing Shoes (Smooth Leather): £232.00 plus taxes;

McLaren RG-7 Racing Gloves (Grey – available in black): £224.00 plus taxes.