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The Reasons McLaren Refuses To Sell Its F1 Team to Audi
Audi is desperate to get into Formula One by buying an existing team, and we all know that talks between the German brand and McLaren were pretty serious for several months.

The Reasons McLaren Refuses To Sell Its F1 Team to Audi

Why McLaren refuses to sell its F1 team to AudiWhy McLaren refuses to sell its F1 team to AudiWhy McLaren refuses to sell its F1 team to AudiWhy McLaren refuses to sell its F1 team to AudiWhy McLaren refuses to sell its F1 team to AudiWhy McLaren refuses to sell its F1 team to AudiWhy McLaren refuses to sell its F1 team to AudiWhy McLaren refuses to sell its F1 team to AudiWhy McLaren refuses to sell its F1 team to Audi
The intention for Audi is to enter F1 by 2026 by developing its own engine, a rumor confirmed months ago by the Volkswagen Group. However, Audi and McLaren and Audi could still collaborate but not with the initial demands of the German brand.

Audi never raced in F1, but that is very likely because the 2026 new engine rules have been specifically framed with the VW Group in mind. Its intention is to take on the development of the F1 spec V6 internal combustion engine that Porsche built and tested a few years ago. Still, you need to find a team for this kind of job.

The German automaker won't start a team from scratch and will not be satisfied to be just an engine supplier like Honda was for Red Bull. And when we combine this with the fact that McLaren has a deal with Mercedes until 2025 and they said they were open to new collaborations, things seemed natural. Talks were indeed held between the two companies, but McLaren was never for sale. Plus, the British brand name could not disappear because it is a significant part of Formula One history. And we know that Audi wants to buy a team and rebrand it (just like Aston Martin did with Racing Point).

And if you wonder how McLaren can dictate terms when a works team wants to invest (which is actually a very rare opportunity), we are here to explain. Formula One and its teams are on a solid financial footing again after the Covid-19 pandemic situation. Out there is a massive appetite for races, and the stakeholders of the championship have agreed to a series of significant changes designed to distribute revenue more square and fair, making all the teams more competitive.

Besides, the grid of F1 is a very private place, where the existing ten teams have priority and protection to increase their value. As a result, buying into one comes at a higher price than before. And at the same time, at the end of 2020, companies like MSP Sports Capital invested a lot of money in the racing department of McLaren.

That means the British company is in a much better place to negotiate than it was 18 months ago, and they can have their own demands, such as keeping ownership. And probably this will be the best thing because handing the UK-based organization to an inexperienced F1 manufacturer whose commitment would forever be at the mercy of a boardroom in Germany it's not the wisest decision.

So, could this mean that Audi will lower its expectations? Well, it's clear McLaren doesn't want a buyout, but they are open to an engine deal. This is a massive opportunity for the German automaker to test the waters of the Formula One world without buying any shares.

Plus, the engine will never be explicitly designed for your chassis when you are a customer team. That's why Mercedes, Ferrari, Alpine, and in some way, Red Bull have an advantage because they make their own engines. Since the introduction of V6 turbo hybrid engines in 2014, only 15 out of 165 races have been won by customer teams.

However, McLaren said many times that they are pleased with the Mercedes engines and are looking forward to the future. As a result, Audi has two choices, to lower their expectations to partner with McLaren or look other ways. The best partnership opportunity will be Williams because it has a heritage and experience as good as McLaren, and the demands will be much lower.

We all want new and influential teams in F1, but at the same time, we don't want to see historic teams leaving.

 
 
 
 
 

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