There are no doubts over McLaren’s future in Formula 1, despite the financial difficulties the company has found itself in this year.
The McLaren Group, which consists of the F1 team, its automotive brand and its Applied Technologies business, have been desperately seeking financial support after the coronavirus pandemic hit the automotive side particularly hard.
It’d led to a massive fall in sales, a huge reduction in staff and even concerns the group could collapse if help wasn’t found in the next fortnight after the British government refused a loan and McLaren’s shareholders refused to inject further capital.
However a last-minute loan agreement with the National Bank of Bahrain for £150 million has provided some welcome financial relief, but even without that, team boss Andreas Seidl says there was never any doubt about the team’s future.
“With me and Zak [Brown] having detailed knowledge of what was going on, there was never a doubt of McLaren not being on the grid next year,” he told select media including MotorsportWeek.com.
“I was worried about the financial situation of McLaren” he added. “Of course, it was a tough period, but at the same time I am in permanent exchange with Zak and I knew what was ongoing on the financial side.
“In the end, Paul Walsh our chairman together with the shareholders, were simply looking for the best possible option in terms of finding the right funding, which will not only get us through this crisis but will put us in the best possible position to be competitive in the future, so I’m very happy with the [funding] news.”
Seidl believes McLaren and F1 itself are now in better financial shape following the agreement of a new budget cap and other financial measures, which were a “positive” result of the pandemic.
“I think this break that we have had through the last few months, there have been positive aspects as well. I think with all the actions we took together with the leadership of Formula 1 and the FIA and all the other teams coming together and putting all these changes in place now – the technical and sporting regulations – it’s something that is very positive, not just for us at McLaren, but the entirety of Formula 1 and for our fans.
“We are absolutely convinced it will put us all in a much healthier financial position in the future, and for a team like McLaren, an independent team, it will also allow us to be competitive and on a level playing field on the financial side. So I’m very happy with that.”