Zak Brown denies possible Latifi drive: “Never part of the conversation”

Nicholas Latifi's father buys 10% stake in McLaren

Monaco Grand Prix – McLaren team boss Zak Brown says that the possibility of F1’s Nicholas Latifi getting a drive with the team after his dad bought shares has never come up as part of the discussions.

As reported during the week, McLaren have sold 10% of stake in their team to NiDaLa, a company owned by Canadian businessman Michael Latifi, father of F2 driver Nicholas.

Speculation immediately began that the buyout may have been in order to put in place an agreement to place Nicholas in some form of driving role within the team, a rumour that Zak Brown immediately refuted during Thursday’s press conference: “It’s never been a discussion. He’s doing quite well in Formula 2. At McLaren we’re always looking for the best drivers we can get. He’s doing a good job but it’s never been part of the conversation.”

Asked about what influence over the team Latifi’s 10% share will buy him, Brown replied: “His investment goes into McLaren Group, so the board and the shareholder will ultimately decide where they want to invest that money. I presume it will ultimately be sprinkled into all three business in some way, shape or form and Formula 1 obviously has a big thirst for expenditure to try to keep up with the teams here to the left of me that have a larger budget, so I’m sure some will go towards investing in our racing team but also developing our road car and our technology business.”

Latifi’s new status within McLaren means he joins Mansour Ojjeh’s TAG group and Bahrain’s Mumtalakat as owners of the team, with both McLaren Technology & McLaren Automotive falling under the main Group’s umbrella.

McLaren signed a new sponsor in the form of FXPro on Wednesday, and Brown says that the team have made other sponsorship signings recently which are yet to be announced.

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Thomas Maher

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website.

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