Last Updated: February 14, 2023, 09:49 IST
Zak Brown claims McLaren Racing are financially healthy. (AFP Photo)
McLaren chief executive Zak Brown says they are now a “profitable Formula One team”
The McLaren Formula One team are back in the black financially and cashflow positive, chief executive Zak Brown said on Monday as the team launched a 2023 car celebrating their 60 years of existence.
Asked whether the former world champions were “potentially a money-making machine” as Formula One surges in popularity, particularly with U.S. audiences, the American offered a qualified reply.
“I don’t know about money-making machine but we are now a profitable Formula One team,” he said. “We were losing well north of 100 million pounds ($121.25 million) when we got started on our (latest) journey.
“(We are) very fortunate that we brought in new shareholders that enabled us to do things like the wind tunnel and the simulator. We’re cashflow positive, we’ve got I think the greatest set of corporate partners in all of motorsports.
“From that standpoint we’re financially very, very healthy and have all the resources we need to get back to the front.”
Brown became chief executive of McLaren Racing in 2018 as part of a major restructuring of the second most successful team in the sport in terms of wins.
A new wind tunnel is due to become operational mid-year, with the team expecting that to bring a step-change in performance.
McLaren Racing are part of the McLaren Group, which includes the supercar manufacturer and is majority-owned by Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat.
The team finished fifth overall last season, after fourth in 2021, and have set a target of returning to the top four this year with Australian rookie Oscar Piastri, 21, replacing compatriot Daniel Ricciardo alongside Britain’s Lando Norris.
The lineup is the youngest on the grid with 23-year-old Norris, about to start his fifth season despite his youth, expected to take on more of a leading role both on and off the track.
“Certainly Lando is now ready to take this responsibility,” said new team principal Andrea Stella, promoted from within the team after the departure of Andreas Seidl to Sauber.
Norris, who has yet to win a grand prix, said he was ready to step up.
“I definitely have more responsibility to uphold this season, simply because I am just a bit more experienced both in Formula One but also with McLaren as a team so I can use that a little more than Oscar will be able to,” he said.
“I’m the one who probably feels a bit more at home at the minute.”
The papaya orange and blue car has been designated the MCL60, a break from previous naming convention, to mark the anniversary of the founding of McLaren Racing by New Zealander Bruce McLaren in 1963.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)
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