McLaren acquire majority stake in IndyCar team

Henry Valantine
McLaren announce takeover of Arrow McLaren SP, August 2021.

McLaren have announced they will be taking on an increased 75% stake in IndyCar team Arrow McLaren SP at the end of 2020.

McLaren have announced they will be taking on an increased 75% stake in IndyCar team Arrow McLaren SP at the end of 2021.

This announcement means McLaren Racing outfits will be running in Formula 1 as well as IndyCar as they look to broaden their influence in wider motorsport alongside their McLaren Extreme E team and McLaren Shadow esports and gaming squad.

There have also been reports of the team looking at branching out into racing in Formula E in the future, but CEO Zak Brown admitted this is now in doubt due to the imminent departures of Audi and BMW from the series.

McLaren have been running in IndyCar in partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports since last year, and young talent Patricio O’Ward is currently running second in this season’s IndyCar Championship in his Arrow McLaren SP.

The team say a new five-person board will be running the operation, chaired by Brown, which includes team founder Sam Schmidt and business partner Ric Peterson, and Brown is excited to be involved as IndyCar continues to grow in popularity.

Stand out from the crowd with McLaren merchandise via the official Formula 1 store

“Today’s announcement is a strong signal of our long-term commitment to IndyCar as both a racing series and a marketing platform for McLaren Racing and our sponsor partners,” Brown said.

“I want to pay tribute to Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson who, together with the commitment and support of Arrow Electronics, have built a formidable team for us to keep growing and fulfil our common ambition of consistently challenging for wins, Indy 500s and series titles. Key to this is the continued leadership of Taylor Kiel as president of the team, who has been instrumental to the progress of the partnership so far.

“McLaren Racing believe IndyCar will continue to build our brand in North America and serve our expanding US fan and partner base across our racing portfolio and drive long-term value. The racing is second to none, with world-class competitors in both drivers and teams and a passionate, highly-engaged fanbase.

“We see real potential for the series’ continued growth under the stewardship of Penske Entertainment and will continue to play an active role supporting the sport’s success, growing the global fanbase and implementing our sustainability agenda to deliver on environmental and social commitments, including progressing diversity and inclusion in the industry.”

Team founder and co-owner Schmidt is also excited by the investment in the team, adding: “I’ve known Zak for 25 years. He’s a racer and this is a group of hardcore racers.

“We started our partnership two years ago and it’s gone extremely well, both technically and commercially. Ric came in 2013 and moved the bar of the team up. Arrow came in a couple of years later and again we moved the bar up.

“With McLaren, we are moving forward again. As we’ve seen, we are now a regular contender and ultimately for Ric and I, we are here to win races, win 500s and win championships. This next step ensures the resources to do that for a long time ahead.

“I want to say we couldn’t have done this without Arrow and Lucas Oil. They really were the foundational sponsors this team was built on and we wouldn’t be here without them.

“McLaren is an iconic brand and we are proud to be with them. We are doing this to make the team better and ensure long-term success.”