Formula E entry will benefit McLaren’s other racing divisions – Brown

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In the round-up: McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says that its purchase of the Mercedes Formula E team will have commercial benefits for its other racing programmes

In brief

McLaren’s Formula E team will bring in more money for other programmes – Brown

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says that its takeover of Mercedes EQ Formula E team will have commercial benefits for its other racing programmes.

McLaren announced yesterday it will purchase the Mercedes Formula E team and rebrand it as McLaren from the 2023 season, the first year for the series’ new ‘Gen3’ car. Asked if the purchase of a Formula E team to join its Formula 1, IndyCar and Extreme E programmes may be spreading McLaren’s resources too thin, Brown said he expects adding Formula E will have commercial benefits to the organisation.

“I think if I look at the Formula 1 team, the impact that Formula E will have on it I think makes McLaren Racing commercially that much more attractive,” Brown explained, “which will mean we’ll bring in more sponsor partners, whether that’s Formula E, IndyCar or Formula 1 – it all kind of ultimately goes into McLaren Racing and vice versa.”

Brown said Mercedes EQ team principal Ian James “has everything he needs to continue winning” after the rebranding. “But now he’s got the incremental bandwidth of McLaren Racing activities – whether that’s driver talent, team talent, commercial partnership – that will expand the fanbase. So they all feed off each other, but they’re all very much their own racing entities with their own leadership that are fully dedicated to the racing programme they’re on.”

“Stream” of upgrades for Alpine over coming rounds

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer says that there will be a “stream” of upgrades for Alpine between the Spanish Grand Prix and the British Grand Prix in early July.

The team lies sixth in the constructors’ championship with 26 points, five behind Alfa Romeo. The y team introduced a new updated floor for Fernando Alonso in Imola, which Esteban Ocon also received in Miami.

“There’s some parts coming for Spain,” Szafnauer said. “We’ve got some coming there, some coming two races after [and] the tenth race [Britain]. So there will be a stream of parts coming.

“So I expect us to be strong in Barcelona. I think Barcelona will suit the car. A lot of people say that if you’re strong in Barcelona, you can be strong everywhere. But because of the porpoising in the way we have to run the car and the stiffness we have to run, it’s sometimes a trade-off between high speed corners and low speed corners. You got to run it really stiff and a little bit higher than we would to stop the porpoising and that’s not great for most people. So it’s that balance that we have to strike”

Power ‘never expected to match Andretti and Foyt for poles’

Will Power says that he never dreamed of one day getting close to Mario Andretti’s pole postions record.

After taking his 64th pole position across ChampCar and IndyCar for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Power admits he never expected to reach the same level as Mario Andretti’s record of 67 career poles.

“It has become incredibly hard to get poles,” said Power. “It’s just a different guy each week who gets it all together, so it is hard.

“It’s hard to get more than two a year. Two or three you would be doing a good job. I just try to do the best I can. I know there’s that record there, but honestly, I feel pretty blessed to have got so close. I never expected to get that close. But yeah, to be amongst Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt in pole records is something I never expected.”

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Comment of the day

With McLaren purchasing Mercedes Formula E team, @qeki believes McLaren should look to emulate the most famous combination from McLaren-Mercedes’ history…

Now they only need to hire one Finn and one Scot and they are basically unbeatable…

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jonny!

On this day in motorsport

  • 25 years ago today the venue of the year’s season finale was changed from Estoril in Portugal to Jerez in Spain. The race eventually proved to be one of the most dramatic championship-deciders in the series’ history

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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11 comments on “Formula E entry will benefit McLaren’s other racing divisions – Brown”

  1. Cautions been too long has been an issue in Indycar for years.

    Been so many cases of something like a car stalled on track after a simple spin or a caution called for a car tapping the wall on an oval resulting in 15 minute caution periods.

    And also even more irritating are cautions that get extended to give NBC time to squeeze in another ad break before going back to green. I get NBC not wanting to miss a restart but it should be on them to ensure they are live for it rather than the series waiting for them to finish one of there 1,000,000 ad-breaks they seem to take every 5 minutes.

    1. Lol. Get used to it, Safety Cars in F1 are getting just as bad!

  2. Yellows too long? Slightly familiar, although more so for something relatively minor.

    I like COTD’s idea.

    Season-finale location changed during the season. Is this the only time such has happened?

    1. In 1955, the season finale was in Monza but it was rumoured there would be an extra race in France later as the original French GP had been cancelled after the Le Mans disaster, meaning (I think), the competitors didn’t know for sure that Monza was the final race at the time. (source – Formula 1: the Knowledge)

      I would be very interested if someone were to provide more information about this, as this is all I know.

      1. @f1frog before the accident at Le Mans, the French GP (Reims-Gueux road circuit) was scheduled for the 3rd July, the German GP (Nurburgring) on the 31st July, the Swiss GP (Bremgarten road circuit) on the 21st August, with the final race of the season intended to be the Spanish GP (Pedralbes road circuit) on the 23rd October.

        In the wake of that accident, the French GP was initially rescheduled to the 25th September, whilst the German and Swiss GPs were both cancelled. That was then followed by the cancellation of the French and Spanish GPs, although it seems that the cancellation of the latter was also over a starting money dispute as well as the Le Mans disaster.

        It is therefore correct to say that the venue for the final race of the season was changed by cancellations, but it is incorrect to say that it was from France to Italy. Even after the attempt to reschedule the French GP to the 25th September, the Spanish GP, in October, would still have been the final race of the season; the venue therefore changed from Spain to Italy.

        I believe it is also incorrect to state that they didn’t know for sure that Monza was the final race at the time. The announcements that both the French and Spanish GPs would be cancelled were made before the Italian GP took place, and I believe Fangio had already been awarded the World Drivers Championship before the Italian GP took place given he had an 11 point gap over Moss, who could only score a maximum of 9 points (8 for a win and 1 for fastest lap) in Italy.

        1. That’s impressive knowledge! Thanks for this.

  3. It is smart to compete in non Liberty owned racing event. Spreading of risk.

    1. Do tell, what is this terrible risk McLaren is running by competing in “Liberty owned racing event”

      1. I am not sure F1 will remain of the same interest level to teams in the future under Liberty ownership. Good to invest in other competitions so you are already there when it becomes the pinnacle of Motorsport. And its a good way to assess the level of talent you have in the company as you see more team members race.

  4. RandomMallard
    15th May 2022, 12:09

    With Indy now starting to move into electronic marshalling (started using electronic flag panels at the Indy GP weekend this week), is it time they look at introducing some kind of FCY or VSC-style system to avoid having to go through the whole “slow down, line up, clear incident, wave through/pit open, catch up” sequence that they have to go through with seemingly every caution, even just for a minor incident?

  5. Thanks for the COTD @willwood

Comments are closed.