(GMM) McLaren supremo Zak Brown insists that expanding into the new electric off-road series Extreme E will not hurt the Formula 1 team.
With the Woking based outfit locked in a tight battle for third place in the constructors’ championship with Ferrari, McLaren announced that it is expanding beyond F1 and IndyCar into Extreme E.
Extreme E is an off-shoot of Alejandro Agag’s Formula E concept, and already features teams owned by Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button.
Brown is quoted by Speed Week as admitting he regrets not taking Formula E more seriously from the outset.
“I heard from Alejandro and this time I wanted to take the opportunity,” said the McLaren CEO.
“When he presented the Formula E concept to me eight or nine years ago, I had my doubts – like many other people in motorsport.
“I had seen a lot of concepts and ideas that never made it past the PowerPoint presentation phase, but I was wrong,” said the American. “It turned out that Formula E was very successful.
“I always tell the people on the team that mistakes are ok as long as you don’t repeat them,” Brown continued. “So, following my own advice, I took the opportunity this time.”
Brown insists, however, that – just like the McLaren IndyCar offshoot – Extreme E will not divert attention from Formula 1.
“We will not be distracted,” he said. “IndyCar and Extreme E are an addition to Formula 1. They are projects that should help to fuel our activities in Formula 1.”