McLaren has responded to reports that it is close to striking a deal with Audi for the sale of its Formula 1 team and car brand.
Responding to a request for comment by Formula1News.co.uk on Tuesday, the British car-maker emphasised that there has been no change in the ownership of the McLaren Group and repeated a statement it made in mid-November, when separate reports of a sale of the company surfaced.
“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,” the car-maker said.
Last week, CarMagazine.co.uk reported that McLaren and Audi were edging closer to a deal, with the Mumtalakat Holding Company – Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund – being eager to sell its majority stake in the loss-making supercar brand.
The same publication also reported that Audi and Porsche are set to enter Formula 1 as engine suppliers in 2026, with the German car companies ostensibly poised to power McLaren and Red Bull.
Red Bull have been powered by Honda since 2019, but the Japanese manufacturer last year announced it would be withdrawing from Formula 1 at the end of the 2021 season.
The Milton Keynes-based outfit was able to negotiate a deal to take over the intellectual property of Honda’s power units, and they will effectively use a re-branded Honda engine in 2022.
McLaren, meanwhile, currently use Mercedes power units, with the British team reuniting with the engine supplier after being powered by Honda and Renault from 2015-2020.
Porsche and Audi are both said to be waiting for the arrangement to receive the greenlight from Volkswagen.