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Zak Brown confirmed as new Executive Director at McLaren

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Zak Brown will add another new title to his ever-expanding portfolio of motorsports projects, as he is set to take on a senior management role with McLaren Technology Group from 2017.

Brown has been confirmed as Executive Director, MTG, starting in a to-be-determined date next year. Figure it will be mid-January though at the earliest, because of his drawdown of one of his existing commitments and with Ron Dennis on gardening leave until the new year.

In a statement, McLaren confirmed Brown’s responsibilities:

In this senior role, Zak’s appointment will be a significant part of a restructuring programme that will align the Group’s commercial and strategic operations relating to achieving success in Formula 1.

Reporting directly to McLaren Technology Group’s Executive Committee, both Jonathan Neale (Chief Operating Officer) and Zak Brown (Executive Director) will jointly lead the businesses as part of the first step in the Group’s transition to a new and strengthened organisational structure. The process of identifying and recruiting a new Group Chief Executive Officer will continue.

“I’m immensely proud to be joining McLaren Technology Group. I have the utmost respect and admiration for what the business has achieved to date, and I look forward to contributing to the next important phase in its development,” Brown said in the release.

“Having worked closely with McLaren for many years, I’ve been struck by the talent and ambition of the entire workforce, and I very much look forward to complementing the business’s many existing strengths, and building on them to drive future success in everything we do.

“As founder of Just Marketing International (JMI) – now the world’s largest motorsport marketing agency – I’ve often worked closely with McLaren as I say, and I’ve developed some excellent relationships across the company. Together we’ve delivered some great sponsorship deals, including Johnnie Walker, GSK, Hilton, Lenovo, Chandon and NTT.

“Best of all, in my new role I’ll be able to combine my absolute passion with my unparalleled area of expertise – respectively motorsport and marketing – while ensuring that the two stay totally aligned.”

The aforementioned combination Brown mentions is linked in his other business roles. He also serves as chairman of Motorsport.com (the website which has acquired a number of extra platforms in recent months, most notably the Autosport & Haymarket Media Group’s motor racing portfolio, and over the weekend, Motors TV, among others), and team co-owner and chairman of United Autosports, now takes on this role with McLaren.

He is founder/CEO of Just Marketing International (JMI), but JMI’s parent company Chime Communications confirmed in September he’d step down from Group CEO there at year’s end.

This latest role for Brown comes in the wake of McLaren’s managerial shakeup, with last week’s announcement Dennis would step down from his senior roles and go on gardening leave.

Formula 1: Recapping the past week’s news

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This past week in Formula 1 was dominated by teams launching their 2018 challengers for the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.

A total of six teams took the covers off their new chassis for the world to see this week, joining Haas F1 Team and Williams Martini Racing in doing so.

The list below contains the teams that launched their 2018 chassis this week and the name of their 2018 chassis:

  • Red Bull Racing – RB14
  • Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team – C37
  • Renault Sport F1 Team – R.S.18
  • Scuderia Ferrari – SJ71H
  • Mercedes AMG Petronas – W09
  • McLaren F1 Team – MCL33

Testing for everyone begins on Monday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, home of the Spanish Grand Prix, beginning a stretch of two weeks of pre-season testing prior to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Sahara Force India and Scuderia Toro Rosso are expected to unveil their 2018 cars the morning of the first day of testing.

Force India Up for Sale?

Rumors about the future of Sahara Force India, already rumored to be changing names soon, took yet another interesting this week as news surfaced about a possible sale of the team to British energy drink firm Rich Energy.

This news also comes as current majority team owner Dr. Vijay Mallya faces developing legal troubles involving money laundering, further adding to the murky environment surrounding a team that has become the “best of the rest” behind Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull in recent years.

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