McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says any new ventures for the company will never detract from its Formula 1 operation, following its entrance into Extreme E.
McLaren’s primary project is its Formula 1 team, though it committed to IndyCar – in conjunction with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – for 2020, and has supplied the battery powertrain for Formula E.
On Friday it revealed that it will enter a team into Extreme E from 2022.
McLaren has also been linked with a further expansion into Formula E and, longer term, the World Endurance Championship.
It previously signed an option on an entry for the 2022/23 Formula E season, when the Gen3 package is set to be introduced.
Speaking on Friday Brown described McLaren’s financial situation as “extremely strong” and that it has facilitated its “competitiveness in Formula 1, allowed us to go to IndyCar, and to enter Extreme E.
“What we will never do is distract or detract from out Formula 1 efforts,” Brown added.
“IndyCar, Extreme E, they’re all there to be complementary and to help accelerate our Formula 1 efforts. Arrow, our IndyCar title partner, is now a big partner in our Formula 1 team.”
Brown added that he will be “very cautious” when adding to McLaren’s racing portfolio, pointing to its disastrous one-off Indianapolis 500 effort in 2019 as a valuable lesson.
“It needs to be one step at a time, we need to make sure we can digest what we bite off,” he said.
“It doesn’t take the same workload to go and compete in five [Extreme E] events with seven, eight or nine people on the team [compared to] 70, 80 or 100 [on a larger project], so we want to get this announcement out, settled in, then start to look at make a decision on the other series.
“Certainly we can’t get ourselves in a situation which I got us into in 2019, where I think I did bite off a little bit more than I could chew and we saw the result at Indianapolis.
“As I tell everyone at the factory, mistakes are okay, just don’t make the same one twice.
“I’m certainly going to be very cautious and deliberate when adding to the McLaren racing portfolio that I feel it is something we can digest and do properly.”