Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Miami International Autodrome, 2022

McLaren will not turn into Audi F1’s team, says Brown

2022 Miami Grand Prix

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McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has stated emphatically that the team’s name will not disappear from Formula 1.

He confirmed it has held talks with Audi, which is looking to enter F1 in 2026. However Brown said he will not agree to a sale or rebranding of the team which contested its first grand prix 56 years ago.

“Our shareholders are very committed to McLaren,” said Brown. “We did have conversations with Audi and we’re not for sale.

“We’re very committed to our future. We’re doing really well on the track. The shareholders have made substantial investments to give our team the resources we need to get back to the front.

“Commercially we’re doing really well. Morale in the team is really good. We don’t have any interest in selling the race team.”

However Brown did not rule out the Mercedes-powered team becoming Audi engine customers in the future.

“We won’t consider a buy-out of McLaren,” he said. “It’s up to Andreas [Seidl, team principal] to decide what power unit he wants in the back of the racing car but any conversations around buying McLaren is a non-starter.”

The team’s fortunes have turned around since the middle of 2020, when it and the wider group were forced to make cuts as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It subsequently attracted significant investment from MSP Sports Capital.

“We’re in a really strong position and we weren’t 18 months ago,” said Brown. “MSP Sports Capital came in, invested. You all know the situation we were in 18 months ago and that now seems like a long time ago especially given the state of play now.

“Our terms for any partnership will be we retain ownership of the racing team and if anyone wants to have a conversation that’s different than that, then there’s no conversation to be had.”

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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12 comments on “McLaren will not turn into Audi F1’s team, says Brown”

  1. Makes sense. Without the F1 team, what sense or value would the automotive part have

  2. Oh, n… meh.

    This current team is not McLaren as started 50-odd years ago, and neither was the one led by Ron Dennis.

    Unsurprisingly, the only teams still owned and operated by their original founders are Haas and Aston Martin, all other teams eventually became shells used by third parties to realize their own dreams.

    1. @proesterchen I’m confused… you mean Aston Martin the former British manufacturer that was sold to Ford before Stroll stepped in a couple of owerships later, or the racing team that was founded by Eddie Jordan and then bought by a bunch of russians before selling to Spyker and then Vijay Mallya?

      1. I’m referring to the Formula 1 team currently running under the name Aston Martin, which, if you remember the somewhat chaotic end of the team you’re referring to, is indeed an entirely new and separate entity that started competing in F1 in 2018.

        1. @proesterchen I don’t understand then, what’s the difference between Aston Martin and Ferrari? Or Red Bull? Or Mercedes?

          Aston Martin the F1 team wasn’t founded in 2019, it’s still “team Silverstone” like it was when it was called Force India.

          1. The current Aston Martin F1 Team is run by a company Mr Lawrence Sheldon Strulovitch (you may know him as Lawrence Stroll) had set up and took control of in August 2018. Obviously, the same-self Lawrence Stroll is still running the team. (much like his colleague Mr Gene Francis Haas)

            The company you’re referring to, the one having run F1 teams under the names Jordan Grand Prix, Midland F1, Spyker MF1, Spyker F1, and ultimately Force India Formula One was put into administration earlier in 2018 and has since ceased operation.

    2. Yeah, that 56 years in F1 and all that gets really old. As well as the orange color the team this team is named after used for a couple seasons half a century ago. You could argue Red Bull is more closely related to Stewart than Mclaren today is to the original team of the 60’s.

  3. 💪🏽

  4. Yes it will be a loss to loose the McLaren name. Audi can come in as an exclusive Engine Supplier. Something like a McLaren-Honda or McLaren-Mercedes.
    Porsche is doing something similar with Redbull. That team will eventually become Redbull Porsche.

  5. It also depends on what Mercedes does.

  6. Chris Horton
    7th May 2022, 10:33

    Great news, it’d be a tragedy to lose the McLaren name.

  7. When an F1 team denies something like this- it normally means its going to happen.

Comments are closed.