Brown to drive Andretti’s Lotus 79 at Silverstone

Finley Crebolder
Zak Brown

Zak Brown targets F1, IndyCar and Le Mans titles with McLaren in next 20 years.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown is going to drive the Lotus 79 that Mario Andretti won the 1979 title in at Silverstone this weekend.

Brown has a huge collection of historic cars which includes gems such as Ayrton Senna’s 1991 McLaren MP/6 and Nigel Mansell’s 1987 Williams FW11B. 

Also amongst them is Andretti’s famous black and gold Lotus, which the American sees as one of the most well-known cars in motor racing for both its success and its looks.

“There are so many cool things about the Lotus 79,” he said as per

“One, it won the championship; two, it won the championship in the hands of Mario Andretti.

“I don’t think there was a more iconic livery than the JPS Lotus. And then there’s Colin Chapman, who with this and the preceding Lotus 78 became the first to properly harness ground effects in F1.

“It’s one of the most famous cars in grand prix racing.”

He’s not just letting the car go to waste in his garage though.

The McLaren boss has recently had it fully restored and it was on show at Goodwood last weekend in all its glory where it did the famous hill climb.

Brown himself will be in at Silverstone, driving in as part of a special exhibition celebrating classic cars from the first F1 race to take place at Silverstone back in 1951.

“It’s going to be an amazing event at the British Grand Prix this year,” he added.

“To be involved in the Historic Cars 70th Anniversary demonstration is a real honour and to have a full circuit of fans is going to make it a mega weekend.

“I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of my Lotus 79 around the amazing Silverstone circuit.”

Ferrari are also getting in on the act when it comes to classic cars, with Charles Leclerc driving the team’s 1951 challenger, the 375 F1, to mark the 70th anniversary of their first win in Formula 1, which came courtesy of Jose Froilan Gonzalez at Silverstone.

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