Motorsport Week  |    |   0  |  19 May 2018

McLaren F1 boss Zak Brown says 2020/21 Le Mans entry 'compelling'

McLaren F1 chief Zak Brown says the marque finds the direction the WEC is potentially taking for 2020/21 “compelling”, hinting at a return to Le Mans for the team.

McLaren claimed victory in the 1995 running of the event but its cars have not competed at the event since 1998, when they did so under a privateer team.

McLaren has already expanded its horizons under Brown, fielding a car for Fernando Alonso at last year’s Indianapolis 500 with Andretti, who has sportscar links through his co-ownership of United Autosports.

McLaren has been participating in meetings over the future WEC regulations, which have yet to be revealed, and says the squad can envisage a future in the series.

“McLaren has a long history in additional forms of motorsport whether that was CanAm, IndyCar, we’ve won Le Mans,” said Brown.

“We’re a fan of the Le Mans brand. We did the Indy 500 last year. That’s something that in the right circumstances…

“North America is an important market for us and we’re a fan of IndyCar racing so as we look at the budget cap and how do you manage that, looking at additional forms of racing is something that we’re considering.”

“The rules [in WEC] as they’re being proposed we find compelling.

“We would consider running the new whatever they’re going to call it - GTP, Silhouette, LMP1 - I’ve heard various phrases. But I think what’s exciting is trying to go to Le Mans to win outright. That’s the highest value for a racing team.”

Brown added that McLaren’s shareholders would have no issue supporting an additional programme.

“They like [it], so long as what we do is financially viable, makes sense for our brand and is a brand fit, and we can be competitive,” he said.

“Our shareholders are a group of racers, which makes it a lot of fun to work for them.

“The Indianapolis 500 project last year, when I brought that forward and told them that I thought it was commercially viable and that we would be competitive, it didn’t take them very long to say ‘great idea, let’s go do it’. From that standpoint, they’re great to work for.”

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