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Brown signs new deal to remain as McLaren F1 CEO until 2030

Zak Brown has signed a new contract to remain as the CEO of McLaren Racing, giving him overall control of the Formula 1 team, until 2030.

Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing at the Press Conference

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

The American joined the Woking outfit in 2016, initially as the executive director of the McLaren Technology Group before moving into his current position as the CEO in the middle of 2018.

Under his leadership, McLaren has massively expanded its racing activities to add an IndyCar programme plus a Formula E and Extreme E operation alongside its historic F1 team.

Brown said: "I am thrilled to continue leading McLaren Racing and to be a part of such a historic race team.

"It is a privilege to work alongside the talented men and women across McLaren Racing's different race series.

"Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of motorsport and strive for the highest performance on and off the track."

McLaren Group's executive chairman Paul Walsh added: "Zak has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities and has been instrumental in driving McLaren Racing forward.

"His extension reflects our confidence in his ability to lead the team to even greater success in the years to come."

Brown steered the McLaren Racing division through a period of major financial uncertainty for the wider McLaren company during the COVID pandemic. It sought a £150million loan with the National Bank of Bahrain, agreed a sale and leaseback of its F1 and automotive factory, plus sold a stake in its grand prix team.

McLaren was in a period of decline when long-time F1 fan Brown entered the organisation.

Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31

Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The team, in the second year of its turbulent works engine partnership with Honda, finished sixth in the 2016 championship before dropping to ninth the year after.

But as Brown - co-founder of sportscar, Australian Supercars and Extreme E team United Autosports - took the position of CEO, McLaren began its climb back up the championship.

Having appointed Porsche LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl to run the day-to-day operation of the F1 outfit, McLaren scored a third-place finish in Brazil in 2019.

That result for Carlos Sainz marked the team’s first podium since the 2014 season-opening Australian Grand Prix before Daniel Ricciardo led a McLaren 1-2 in the 2021 Italian GP.

The squad’s competitive fortunes stumbled upon the return of ground effects in 2022, with Ricciardo ultimately being bought out of his contract a year early and Seidl moving to Sauber.

Subsequently, Brown promoted Andrea Stella to team principal. The pair conducted a review of the F1 technical structure, which led to a new three-way structure and the departure of technical director James Key.

A string of major upgrades allowed the team to emerge as the nearest challenger to Red Bull in the latter half of 2023. It currently sits third in the 2024 standings ahead of this weekend’s Australian GP.

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