McLaren plan second F1 team?

With Red Bull apparently contemplating a 'junior' formula one team, so too – it is reported – is McLaren.

'Auto, Motor Und Sport' claims this week that, with the support of Mercedes, the silver marque could race onto the 2007 grid with a 'b' team.

McLaren was involved in the stillborn 'Dubai F1' project, but seemingly has decided that supplying another outfit with year-old cars and engines might not be a bad idea.

FIA president Max Mosley revealed at Monza that the regulations will soon allow teams to sell previously exclusive cars and parts to other teams. ''Entry level people will simply be able to buy a car from a big team,'' Mosley explained. ''That will help new teams come in.'' The mandatory $48m 'new team bond' is also set for the chop.

A Tokyo-based investment company, 'Directive' – already a sponsor in the GP2 and GT categories – is thought involved in the backing of the McLaren junior team, and may already have signed contracts for five years.

One of the reasons for the rumors about Minardi being up for sale is that with the emergence of B teams fielded by the big teams, the smaller less competitive operations will slip behind the new operations and gradually be forced out of F1. So it is better to sell now for a profit then be forced out by bankruptcy later. Now that Williams has lost BMW backing, they may soon fall into that B team category and be absorbed someday by a factory backed team.

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