BIRMINGHAM, UK – McLaren executive director Zak Brown says the team is set to continue using ‘MP4′ as part of its Formula 1 car name following long-standing chairman Ron Dennis’ departure late last year.
Dennis announced in November that he would be stepping down as chairman and CEO of McLaren at the end of 2016, citing “entirely spurious grounds” for his departure.
Dennis was instrumental in McLaren’s success during his tenure from 1981 until 2016, and started the tradition of its F1 cars carrying the ‘MP4’ moniker.
MP4 stands for ‘McLaren Project Four’, with Dennis running a racing team called Project Four Racing prior to his arrival at McLaren.
It had been suggested that McLaren could drop or alter the ‘MP4′ part of its car name for 2017 following Dennis’ exit, but there are no plans to do so.
When asked by NBC Sports if the team was going to change the name of its car, Brown said: “No, I think we’re going to stay where we are.”
As a result, McLaren’s 2017 car is poised to be called the MP4-32, following on from the MP4-31 that raced in 2016.
Brown was also questioned about plans for McLaren to become involved in other racing categories with a racing team such as Formula E, which the company will supply with batteries from 2019.
“Maybe,” Brown said, remaining coy.
“We’ve won the Indy 500. We’ve won Le Mans. We’re not just a Formula 1 team. We have our technology deployed in IndyCar through our electronics and NASCAR with the batteries.
“Part of my job is to see where else we should go racing. So I would say all forms of motorsport are under review at this point.”
When asked if this could include a return to Le Mans, a race McLaren famously won in 1995, Brown said: “Perhaps.”