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Brown excited by challenge of McLaren resurgence

  • Published on 23 Aug 2019 13:48
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  • By: Fergal Walsh

McLaren CEO Zak Brown says that handling taking the team out of its "most difficult period" is an exciting part of his job.

Brown joined the Woking squad at the end of 2016 following the ousting of Ron Dennis, after a difficult start to the turbo-hybrid era. 

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Another handful of turbulent years followed, however it has been a strong opening start to the 2019 season for McLaren, who currently sits fourth in the constructors' standings. 

"I definitely joined in probably the most difficult period in the team’s history, but to me that’s the exciting part," Brown said in a McLaren Q&A. "That’s the challenge.

"What we needed to do was provide clear leadership and direction, and ensure the right people were in the right places. I think we’re now going in the right direction. The decisions we have made are paying off, but there’s still a long way to go."

IndyCar important for McLaren

Next year, McLaren will compete in the IndyCar Series, forming an alliance with the current Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team.

Brown says that the move to the North American championship is an important opportunity for McLaren, as it increases its reach in the US. 

"Returning to IndyCar enables us to offer more commercial opportunities to our partners, in a very important market which F1 does not yet penetrate to the level I ultimately think it will do," Brown said.

"This is about commercially differentiating ourselves from our competitors to help bring additional resources to our F1 team. It will have, and already has had, an impact. It means we’re better positioned for partners coming into the sport.

"Take Arrow Electronics for example, it’s title sponsor of our IndyCar team and a very important partner of our F1 team.

"F1 will always be the pinnacle of motorsport and the pinnacle for McLaren Racing. That being said, racing is in our DNA and we have a long history of competing in other forms of motorsport.

"We’ve got a great GT programme with McLaren Automotive, we’re now in IndyCar, and we see sports car racing as a possibility in the future. We’ll enter other forms of racing when we think it fits with our brand, complements our F1 team, and will result in success both commercially and on the track."

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