Zak Brown an option for McLaren?

I’m not completely sure about all of the rumors and politicking at McLaren but suffice it to say, it’s very strange and unfortunate indeed. Will Ron Dennis step down from his role in the Formula 1 team or will he not? I have no way of definitively knowing that but neither do most people.

What we do have are lots of inside hints and rumors in the press and I have no reason to doubt anyone but today’s story at the BBC was quite interesting. As is usual, whenever there is a personnel change, the pundits start piecing together stories and offering up stories about who may replace them. In this case, the case of McLaren and Ron Dennis, I’ve read Ross Brawn, Martin Whitmarsh or Sainsbury’s Justin King. The names just keep coming and today they added a new one…Zak Brown.

Yes, the marketing genius behind Just Marketing International (JMI) who sold that company and just resigned leaving many believing he would take the CMO position for Liberty Media in their acquisition model of F1 early next year. Now they are suggesting that he could replace Ron Dennis at McLaren.

I know Zak and have interviewed him a few times and he’s a really nice guy to chat with but I do find running McLaren’s F1 team a tad odd as I would have thought that being the CMO for F1 would be a much better fit for his incredible talent. I should think ross Brawn or even Martin would be a more likely candidate but I hear Ross doesn’t want to travel and las tI heard, Martin was doing well working with Land Rover.

It’s all a bit of guesswork really but Ron is out voted 75% to 25% if both his partners are allied against him. It’s a shame because I can’t imagine Ron not being at the helm but then again things have been better at McLaren.

They’ve lost their title sponsor and a few others including Exxon Mobile this year to Red Bull (who also poached Tag Heuer) and although that’s bad, they did just pick up BP/Castrol so that’s good news. It’s also good news that they are starting to move forward on the grid.

I would hate to see the hard work not realized by Ron if they jettison him and have someone else come in for the glory…if there is glory. A bit like bringing Tot, Niki and Paddy in to share Ross Brawn’s incredible creation after he left.

I don’t want to sound like Zak c=sin’t up for the role, I think he would succeed in just about anything he will do but it is an interesting candidate nonetheless.

Hat Tip: BBC Sport

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jiji the cat

And Joe saward just tweeted that BP are back in F1 with Mclaren.

Dr T

Beyond Petroleum back in F1????
Can only mean McLaren is going to Formula E…


No Ron, not now!
I find it hard to imagine that the McLaren board would give Ron the heave, but it must be true, after all, when have F1 rumours ever been wrong.

Meine Postma

Also Joe mentioned in comments on his site about Zak Brown:

“I heard his name mentioned for a commercial role at McLaren months ago.”

Don’t know if that is the same as replacing Ron though.

Fred Talmadge

I’m kind of in the dark here, what is actually happening here? Are investors concerned they are not making money? Is this some kind of personality conflict? Or are they just in a panic because McLaren isn’t winning races. Maybe just a hostile takeover?