Brown not overfaced by increasing McLaren commitments
McLaren CEO Zak Brown is not worried about the ever-increasing racing operation the team is putting together, after confirming their entry into Formula E.
McLaren will take over the departing Mercedes EQ squad at the end of the season, which in turn will become the fourth major series in which the team will have a presence and will coincide with the arrival of the ‘Gen 3’ FE cars.
Formula 1, Extreme E and IndyCar are also in the McLaren portfolio, and Brown believes that the decision to enter the all-electric series was a “no-brainer” for them.
A host of Mercedes EQ staff members are expected to carry on under their new ownership next season, with team principal Ian James set to continue leading the team.
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But despite the added time commitments placed on the McLaren CEO, he’s confident that he has the personnel in place to be able to get the most out of each individual organisation.
“I certainly have a few more weekends at the track now,” Brown said, as quoted by Motorsport-Total in Germany. “I like being at the track, and my job is to install the right managers [in each team].
“Andreas, Taylor [Kiel, Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar boss] and Ian certainly like to work autonomously, and my job is to make sure they have the right resources and support.
“The Formula 1 team can manage quite well without me if I’m not there on race weekends.”
The entries in other series could lead to thoughts that the team would be spreading its resources thinly, but significant investment has been made into the racing branch of the company in the past few years, and adding to that through Formula E will only make the brand stronger – and everything is in place to make that team successful under the McLaren moniker.
“It makes McLaren Racing much more commercially attractive,” Brown explained.
“We get more sponsors and partners, whether it’s through Formula E, IndyCar or Formula 1, and that goes into McLaren Racing and vice versa.
“Ian has all the ingredients to go on and win, but now he has the more extensive range of McLaren Racing, whether it’s driver talent, team talent, commercial partnerships, extended fanbase.”
The additional entries in global series will inevitably put more strain on several departments away from the track, such as the company’s human resources, commercial and financial staff. “But they welcome that,” Brown stated. “And we’re adding a few staff accordingly to make sure we can support all our racing activities accordingly.”
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