McLaren takes up seat on Formula 1 board

McLaren takes up seat on Formula 1 board

McLaren has taken a seat on the Formula 1 board for the first time, potentially giving the team a bigger say in the future of the sport.

The Woking team joins Ferrari and Mercedes as the only entrants represented on the F1 board.

McLaren was first offered a seat by Bernie Ecclestone as part of past Concorde Agreement negotiations, but it did not take up the opportunity until now.

The team is represented by its executive chairman, Shaikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al-Khalifa, reflecting the influence of McLaren's biggest shareholder and Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund, the Mumtalakat Holding Company.

"McLaren has long had the right to a board seat," McLarenboss Zak Brown told Motorsport.com. "Because I wasn't there I don't know why they didn't take it up historically.

"But moving forward there are lots of changes coming in the future, and we have lots of opinions.

"We think we can help to shape that future, and we wanted to have a seat at the table in order to do so. So we took it up.

"Shaikh Mohammed is our executive chairman and my boss, and he's definitely the right person for the role. He knows the sport inside out.

"Like any other board their responsibilities are the strategic direction, governance and the big decisions, and ultimately they are the custodians of the sport."

The board of Formula One Topco Limited – the newly-registered UK arm of a company originally based in Jersey as Delta Topco Limited – currently reflects a mixture of the old and new eras of the sport's management.

Liberty Media is represented by F1 bosses Ross Brawn and Chase Carey, plus from the US its president and CEO Greg Maffei, chief legal officer Richard Baer, and chief corporate development officer Albert Rosenthaler.

Still present from the "Ecclestone era" are CVC boss Donald McKenzie, plus F1 financial chief Duncan Llowarch, legal head Sacha Woodward-Hill, and former chairman Peter Brabeck-Lamethe.

On the team side, Ferrari is represented by its president Sergio Marchionne, and Mercedes by Daimler's head of finance and board member Bodo Uebber.

On Monday, Maffei gave some insight into the workings of the F1 board, and how it relates to the sport's other stakeholders.

"We were a Jersey company, so literally we had to have all the board meetings in Jersey," he said. "Not New Jersey – Jersey. That's not the easiest place to get to have board meetings!

"The board has membership from some of the teams, yet we Liberty have what's called the 'I Director,' which says basically that we can outvote everybody.

"The reality is it's a shared governance model. You need to make the fans happy, you need to make the promoters happy, you need to make the broadcasters happy. That will make the shareholders win.

"There's an element of shared governance across all that, whether you have them on board or not.

"And the FIA, the regulator, that's another one not to be dismissed. There's an interplay here that takes a lot of work, there's a lot of overhead on this. It's probably more complicated than most businesses because of the complicated nature of what we have."

Source: https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/mclaren-takes-up-seat-on-formula-1-board-1011748/

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