McLaren P1. Dubai. GF Williams

We catch up with renowned image man GF Williams as he pulls together a shoot with the mighty McLaren P1 in Dubai.

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Guest Author – GF Williams

This shoot came about with the intention of realising a dream I’d had for years, about shooting a McLaren F1 in the desert, surrounded by sand dunes.

The first inkling that it might actually happen came at the end of last year when I was talking with Team Galag about their McLaren P1. I asked if it would be possible to photograph that in the desert. They liked the idea.

So, I flew out to Saudi Arabia to photograph it on the day it arrived. Unfortunately, things didn’t go to plan and the car didn’t arrive on time. Instead I got to photograph a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, a classic Mini, a Mercedes-Benz SLS and a Toyota FJ Cruiser. There are worse ways to spend time in Saudi I’m sure, but I still wanted to shoot the P1. Soon after we started hatching plans to shoot the McLaren in Dubai, as it was easier to organise and had a range of good locations available.


This year it finally happened. I flew out to Dubai and went to Parc Ferme to see the car. This P1 has had the McLaren Special Operation treatment and features matt silver paint with an exposed carbon rear wing and red seats. It looked stunning. The day I arrived was a planning day to just get an idea of where to go and what I wanted to shoot.

Day two in Dubai and we set off into the desert with the P1 on a transporter to go to some more locations that Motaz from Parc Ferme knew of. They were exactly what I had in my mind; this was my dream shoot. The next challenge came when we wanted to shoot at sunset in a sandy environment, but were running out of time. I was determined to shoot on a new looking road with sand dunes on either side of it. We only just found the ideal road in time, so it was a bit of a rush to catch the best light just before sunset, especially with the sun going down so fast.

Day three was spent at the epic Jebel Hafeet road, but more on that later…



Desktop WALLPAPERS all for YOU thanks to GF Williams

McLaren P1
Engine: V8 / twin turbo / 3799cc
Power: 903bhp @7500rpm
Torque: 531lb ft @ 4000rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed SSG
Body structure and suspension: Carbon fibre MonoCage / aluminium front and rear frames / RaceActive chassis control
Brakes: Akebono layered carbon ceramic discs / forged and hardened steel bells / 390mm (front) / 380mm (rear)
Wheels: 19 x 9-in J (front) / 20 x 11.5-in J (rear)
Tyres: 245/35 ZR19 (front) / 315/30 ZR20 (rear) / Pirelli P Zero Corsa
Weight (dry): 1395kg
0-100kph: 2.8sec
0-200kph: 6.8sec
0-300kph: 16.5sec
100kph-0: 2.9sec / 99-ft
200kph-0: 4.5sec / 380-ft
300kph-0: 6.2sec / 806-ft
Top speed: 350kph (electronically limited)

Categories: Road


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