Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

McLaren confirms Nicholas Latifi’s father has become a shareholder

2018 F1 season

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McLaren Group has confirmed Canadian businessman Michael Latifi, father of F1 test driver and F2 racer Nicholas Latifi, has bought a substantial shareholding in the team through his Nidala company, as revealed by RaceFans last week.

Latifi has invested £200 million in the group. Its constituent companies include McLaren Racing – which operates the F1 team – McLaren Applied Technologies and McLaren Automotive.

The investment “significantly strengthens the group’s balance sheet and underpins its ambitious growth plans”, said the team in a statement.

“This injection of capital is a vote of confidence in our future strategy and the group remains as focused as ever in positioning for growth,” said group executive chairman Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa. “We are delighted Michael Latifi has joined the McLaren family.”

Latifi said he has “been an admirer of the McLaren brand and its businesses for some time.”

“McLaren is a unique organisation in automotive, racing and technology with exciting long-term growth prospects, which is why I have made this investment. I am proud to be part of McLaren and this incredible brand.”

Nicholas Latifi is an F1 test driver for Force India. The 22-year-old is currently ninth in the Formula Two championship for DAMS.

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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...

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27 comments on “McLaren confirms Nicholas Latifi’s father has become a shareholder”

  1. Sush meerkat
    21st May 2018, 14:27

    McLaren is now my second least favourite Canadian F1 team

    1. So far it’s just a shareholder. If anything, Mclaren is more a Baharini team than anything else. $200m is a lot of money, but it’s still less than 10% of Mclaren’s market cap. As a McLaren fan I’m happy with the injection of cash. Of course, if at any point this means that Latifi, with no credentials whatsoever, gets a chance of Lando Norris or other Mclaren top young talent… I will revolt. But I don’t think that will happen. McLaren has made a lot of mistakes in many areas, but skimping on their drivers hasn’t been one of them. The only one who I thought was very disappointing was Kovalainen. But even Magnussen and Perez were simply put in a bad situation.

      1. I made the same mistake…it’s £200M (~$270M). So it’s still a minority stake in McLaren…but a damn good minority.

  2. Hopefully this will not lead to one more paying driver, because it’s clearly what F1 is lacking

    1. On contrary… paying drivers are thing of the past! Behold new future of “owner” drivers.
      Now saying “Team orders” will have completely new meaning…..

    2. Spoiler alert: it will

      1. @m-bagattini Nicholas Latifi still need to get results before hoping to join F1.
        With 1 point for a P10 in Euro F3 in 2014 (which I think is dropped by now as 3 years have passed) and 20 points for a 5th place in last year’s F2 championship he’s still 19-20 points short. But you’ll say that Stroll has managed to enter the sport so it’s possible and you’d be right unfortunately.

  3. While this is good news in that a Formula One team has had investment and will continue for the foreseeable future; it does make me feel a little uneasy about what that future holds for McLaren.

    Comparisons will naturally be drawn with Williams and the Stroll family, but I’d like to think that McLaren has a stronger footing financially at present and won’t be bent over the barrel by this deal. Currently they have (almost too many) good and great drivers to choose from for the coming seasons, including Alonso, Vandoorne, Norris, de Vries, as well as others potentially becoming available such as Bottas or Ricciardo. Clearly all of these represent a better choice than Nicholas Latifi.

    Hopefully this is about finance and shareholding only and won’t extend to the sporting side of the Group.

  4. Neil (@neilosjames)
    21st May 2018, 16:11

    The thought of someone of Nicholas Latifi’s mediocrity finding his way into a McLaren makes me very sad. Williams have already slipped away, it’d be awful to see it happen to another great, historic team.

    But seeing as none of the other shareholders have yet managed to ramrod one of their kids into the team, and as they own more than he does, my feeling on this is that an F1 drive is out of the question. It’s mostly an investment by a racing fan in a racing team.

    At best, Latifi Jr. might have just jumped the queue for a McLaren drive in Indy or sportscars, whenever that happens.

    1. @neilosjames I only knew Latifi by name, had a look at his results on Wikipedia…wow!

  5. Wow a pay driver at Mclaren, that’s what happens when one chooses the wrong engine supplier and then lose your top sponsors!!

  6. I’m really not that well versed with valuations of various companies, but buying a “substantial” share in a company of McLaren’s statue for $200 million seems a bit cheap.
    Substantial would mean something like, at least 20%, and that would mean that McLaren isn’t worth much more than 1 billion dollars, which is a bit strange.

    1. The Mclaren Group was valued at £2.4Billion around this time last year when Ron Dennis sold his 25% stake in the tech group & 11% stake in the automotive sector which occurred before it became the Group under one banner. Going off that, Latifi is nowhere near a 20% shareholder with “just” £200million invested. Looking more around the 5-10% mark.

      1. I have read 10%, which values the team at £2 Billion

  7. im done with Mclaren (as if that matters lol).. adios… they will forever be midfield.. balance sheet gimmicks taking over a racing team.

    1. Be sensible

  8. Not another rich kid. We need more hard working talented real drivers than some nobody.

    1. It seems it doesn’t really matter. Drivers who relatively at least come from very little: Hamilton, Vettel, Räikkönen etc. seem to get as much flack as the billion $ kids. Some more (Hamilton) some less (Räikkönen).

  9. Latifi is not in 6th place but only 9th in the F2 standings and has been utterly dominated by his teammate Alvon so far.

  10. The cost cap can’t come soon enough!

  11. The once mighty teams of Williams and McLaren have been reduced to finding wannabee drivers with billionaire fathers. What has F1 come to?

  12. Michael Latifi has become a shareholder at Mclaren. Unlike Lawrence Stroll, he isn’t buying a race seat for his son. I think this is pretty obvious. Not sure why everyone is up in arms.

    He now owns part of the team, which means he’d want them to succeed, to make good on his investment. Being a businessman, I’m pretty sure he’s clever enough to know by now that shoehorning his son into the race seat at Mclaren F1 will not be a good return on his investment.

    We’ll probably get Fletcher’s bacon logo’s on the cars though..haha

    1. Yeh people are jumping the gun on this one, mclaren have lots of money and are on the way up the grid, perhaps this guy just bought in as a real investment, hoping to double his money in mclaren become top 3 material.

  13. He bought into the group, not the race team, and he bought a minority stake which means he has no control over board-level decisions, never mind the operating decisions of one of the operating groups.
    So, relax.
    That said, I can’t resist: ₦i¢ho£д$ £д₮iƒI

  14. Move over Lando.

  15. wow, if that kids get a race seat because of this, it will be virtually impossible for Mclaren to convince anyone that they are not reduced to taking pay drivers now.

    Alonso needs to get out of that toxic team asap, he is never going to win the WDC with them, it´s time to cut those losses and leave, even if that means going to another series where at least he can enjoy success again.

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