McLaren can push ahead at greater speed with new development projects thanks to its latest investment from MSP Sports Capital, according to McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.
During the Abu Dhabi race weekend last month it was announced that US-based MSP would be purchasing an initial 15% — rising to 33% by 2022 — stake that will give McLaren an injection of £185 million ($245m) over the next two years. While Brown insists the race team was not at risk without the investment, he says it will allow work on projects such as the team’s new wind tunnel to resume with many areas he wants McLaren to invest already identified.
“As you know it takes time in Formula 1,” Brown said. “I think now we can run at this very hard. Things like our wind tunnel, those investments that slowed down during this period are now turned back on. That being said, you can only build a wind tunnel so quickly.
“I think it will have an immediate impact in staff morale and enthusiasm and the investment, but that impact will be a journey over time. So we need to continue to push hard but also be patient and recognize it won’t have the total impact overnight.”
As a result of the new investment, Brown says the team will be running at the budget cap — standing at $147.4m this year based on 23 races — and in turn providing it with all of the necessary tools to compete at the front of the grid in the coming years.
“McLaren was always going to continue in Formula 1, but given our rich history of success it was very clear that the shareholders have one goal in mind from a competition standpoint and that’s to get back to competing for the world championship.
“So this investment from MSP Sports Capital gives us those resources and our financial independence, so now myself, Andreas (Seidl, team principal) and the entire racing team are able to compete at the budget cap, spending and investing in the cap ex required — two top-line drivers in Daniel (Ricciardo) and Lando (Norris), the best power unit in Formula 1 with Mercedes-Benz — to give us the resources to meet our ambition to get back to the front and that’s what this means for McLaren Racing.”