McLaren is set to make a decision on a potential 2020 ‘LMP1’ programme by the end of this year, according to CEO Zak Brown, who spoke to DSC earlier today at the ACO’s Press Conference, which he attended with the company’s F1 director Eric Boullier.
Brown has been impressed by the process behind the regulations, in which the ACO has worked with manufacturers to create a roadmap for the future.
The end result is a set of regulations that will see prototype-based cars with styling designed to ensure highly visible relevance to the brand fielding each car, the categories of car mentioned as examples being “super cars, luxury GTs, hypercars and concept cars.”
“I think the regulations are very good,” he said. “We’ve been participating for six plus months, when they’ve been developing them, and they took a very consultative approach with the manufacturers, and I think it’s headed in the right direction.
“(A programme) is something we’re reviewing, being in the front row (of the press conference), and now that the rules are finalised, there are a lot fine details still to come.
“We need to go back and review internally. If we were to move forward, it would be on the basis that nothing compromises our Formula One programme, that it’s commercially viable, and that we think that we can win.
“On the surface it looks like we should be able to tick all those boxes, but it will take us the second half of the year to come to a conclusion.
“There’s a lot of manufacturers around the table. I’m not sure all of them will come, but I get the sense that a handful of them will.”
In order do take this programme on, Brown told DSC that McLaren would have to take on additional resources, esepcially if the brand is involved in both Formula One and IndyCar during the years in question too.
Any sort of tie-in in that regard with Anglo-American prototype team United Autosports, which he co-owns with Richard Dean, looks to be off the table for this potential programme.
“I never mix McLaren and United, other than I’ve had a couple of McLaren drivers in my United cars,” he explained.
“I think it’s going to be hard to beat the manufacturers as a privateer team, but yeah you’d love to race in the top class. I try not to think of United and McLaren colliding in anyway.
“I could see the Rebellions of the world loving to race against McLarens, Astons or Ferraris.”