Over the past few weeks, it has been reported that Audi and BMW have been going back and forth on a McLaren Group purchase. It appeared that over the weekend, BMW bowed out, and Audi was the official purchaser of McLaren. However, McLaren denied these claims early Monday morning. What’s going on exactly?
Audi bought McLaren and might be headed back to Formula 1? Not so fast
Not so fast. As first reported by Autocar UK, a source said that Audi went through with the purchase of the McLaren Group. This deal would give the manufacturer a secure spot for the return to Formula 1. McLaren has been under financial pressure in recent years and recently went through a costly refinancing.
However, McLaren Group posted a statement early Monday morning to deny these claims. The update regarding the news media report said:
“McLaren Group is aware of a news media report stating it has been sold to Audi. This is wholly inaccurate and McLaren is seeking to have the story removed. McLaren’s technology strategy has always involved ongoing discussions and collaboration with relevant partners and suppliers, including other carmakers, however, there has been no change in the ownership structure of the McLaren Group.”McLaren Group Statement
The sale would have given the company access to Lamborghini. This would allow both Audi and Lamborghini to power a McLaren potentially. There has been a lot of back and forth on this deal, both concerning F1 and not. Since the Volkswagen Group now owns Audi, it offers a direct entry back into racing. Volkswagen has already been in discussion about providing a new Formula 1 powertrain.
It would be a good move for Audi and McLaren, but it isn’t a done deal
While it was rumored that two automakers were interested in McLaren, Automotive News says BMW denied these claims over the weekend. It seems that a variety of pandemic-related issues caused the company to reevaluate things. Audi raised around $782 million from investors and another $620 million from a bond issue.
Back in October, McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt abruptly resigned from the company. He joined the company in 2021 and became the CEO just about a year later. “McLaren is controlled by Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat. The company has been repairing its finances after the pandemic halted production and scuppered the Formula One racing franchise,” Automotive News said.
Back in April, the company sold its headquarters near London. It also agreed to sell a third of the racing unit to some U.S.-based investors a year before that. Perhaps the someone is trying to get the upper hand on the news, but the automaker denies the purchase.
There are big changes ahead for 2022 Formula 1 cars
There are a lot of changes coming to the 2022 Formula 1 cars. Due to this, there has been a lot of change happening behind the scenes. The changes will allow more automakers to participate in the sport somehow, which is what Audi is aiming for. It would be a shame to lose another automaker to the sport at this point.
Since McLaren denies this news, it will be interesting to see what happens in the next few days. Hopefully, the automaker can stay in Formula 1 after the dust settles. It would be a shame to lose the manufacturer after so long and just before all the changes. For now, Audi is not the new owner of the brand. If there is a sale in the works, it is not finalized yet.