Talks between Formula 1 and the Volkswagen Group are well advanced. In 2026, the organization wants to enter the premier class with Audi and Porsche. While it looks like Porsche might be teaming up with Red Bull Racing, Audi’s plans aren’t entirely clear just yet. The company has held talks with McLaren about a full acquisition. This would mean that the McLaren name would disappear completely from Formula 1. But CEO Zak Brown notes that a takeover is not an option. According to the American, McLaren wants to remain active in Formula 1 and not sell the racing team to Audi.
“Absolutely not. Our shareholders support McLaren wholeheartedly,” Brown replied when asked Motorsport.com whether a takeover is possible. “Discussions have been held with Audi, but we are not for sale. The shareholders invest in resources to bring us forward again as a team. We are also doing well economically and the mood is good racing team. We are McLaren F1 and we will stay that way.”
The confidence that Brown has in the future is partly due to the financial situation. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the brand was in heavy weather, but now it’s back on a healthy footing, thanks in part to the $185 million deal with investor MSP Sports Capital. “We are in a good position at the moment, although that wasn’t the case 18 months ago until MSP Sports Capital came on. You all know the situation we are in. It feels like it’s been a long time,” he said. continues the McLaren CEO. “The most important thing in any new collaboration is that we remain owners of the team. If anyone else wants that, we won’t start the conversation.” Although Brown says the racing team won’t be owned by Audi, discussing what engines McLaren will use from 2026 is another story. “We’re not thinking of selling McLaren, but it’s up to Andreas Seidl which engine he wants in the back.”