McLaren now in profit again after £100m losses when Zak Brown arrived

Jamie Woodhouse
Lando Norris with the slippery patch on the McLaren pit box. Abu Dhabi November 2022

Lando Norris heading towards the slippery patch on the McLaren pit box. Abu Dhabi November 2022

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown revealed the stark turnaround of the team’s financial situation since his arrival as the F1 boom rolls on.

As Brown went on to highlight, viewing figures, attendances and social media interactions are all sky high for Formula 1 right now, the series expanding to a record 23-race calendar for 2023 as Las Vegas debuts, while Qatar returns at the start of a 10-year deal after first appearing on the 2021 calendar.

But it is not only these factors which are making Formula 1 a profitable business now for teams, as the budget cap now heads into its third season of operation for 2023, set at $135 million.

And Brown would highlight just how much McLaren have benefitted from the direction which Formula 1 has gone in.

Becoming CEO of McLaren Racing in April 2018, Brown said there were documented losses of £100m when he arrived, which has now morphed into the team making a profit.

“I have never seen Formula 1 more popular than it is today,” said Brown in an in-house McLaren interview. “I’ve never seen the teams healthier than they are today. I’ve never seen the amount of corporate partners in the sport.

“And certainly the journey that McLaren has been on, TV ratings up, record number of races, record number of attendees, digital through the roof, it’s awesome.

“I think what I’m most excited about is that we’re actually just getting started. I think now with the cost cap, over time we’re going to see a levelling of the playing field, so you’re going to go from one or two dominant teams to hopefully five or six that can win races, three or four fighting for the championship. I think that will make the sport even more exciting, which will draw more fans.

“The sport has taken off in North America, we haven’t been to Las Vegas yet, that’s going to be another shot in the arm. They’ve just announced a very substantial television agreement with ESPN, ABC, it will be the best broadcast coverage, and that’s just in America, and we’ve got new races in the Middle East, so the sport is unbelievably healthy.

“And now you have with the cost cap, all these teams can afford to be in Formula 1. We were losing £100 million when I started, which is a documented number, to where now we’re cashflow positive and going to be turning a profit.”

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