Zak Brown provides update on McLaren’s potential move into the World Endurance Championship

Sam Cooper
McLaren CEO Zak Brown. Spa August 2022.

Zak Brown smiles while walking through the paddock. Belgium August 2022.

Zak Brown confirmed McLaren’s entry into the World Endurance Championship is a “matter of when not if” and is near the top of his to-do list.

Of all the current Formula 1 teams, it is McLaren who have their fingers in the most pies in terms of the series they compete in.

As well as their Formula 1 venture, they compete in IndyCar, Extreme E, Formula E, Esports and are looking to add a sixth series to that list.

Speaking on the Speedcafe podcast, CEO Brown said McLaren’s entry into the World Endurance Championship was a “matter of when not if.”

“It continues to sit on my desk near the top,” the American said. “It’s something we definitely want to do so I think it’s a matter of when, not if, but there’s a lot that goes into a big decision.

“We’ve just bought the Formula E team, we’re new in owning our IndyCar team, Extreme E, we’ve got a lot going on in Formula 1. So we need to make sure the timing is right to where we can take on another big project because it’s very competitive.

“I got the Indianapolis 500 wrong in 2019 by not coming in as prepared as I thought so those wounds still hurt. That desire is there to get into sportscar racing, for sure, and it’s just a function of when we can fit it in a way that we feel we’re ready to take on the challenge and not compromise our other activities.”

McLaren are also one of the many F1 teams that also produce roadcars with the automotive division housed under the same roof at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking but there has been persistent rumours that the automotive side is looking to raise money. Brown said any restructuring of the automotive branch would not impact McLaren Racing.

“If we go to Le Mans, we would do it with our automotive brother if you’d like,” Brown said. “The [McLaren Automotive] CEO sits right over there. Michael Leiters, he just joined us from Ferrari.

“He’s passionate about racing and what sports car racing can do for our automotive brands. So there’s definitely an element of not only McLaren Racing being ready but McLaren Automotive being ready.

“We’re going through some economic restructure on the automotive business [but] the racing business is all set. So that definitely factors into our timing and our decision making.”

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