Apple has approached McLaren with an offer to buy the supercar manufacturer and Formula One team owner. Apple have been hovering around the automotive industry in recent months and this is the latest link.
— Stephan Dörner ?? (@Doener) September 21, 2016
A few months back, rumors circulated that Apple were considering purchasing a majority stake in Formula One. Their own Apple automotive venture called “Project Titan” still remains in the background as they look to buyout a pre-existing luxury manufacturer. The news of interest comes at a time that McLaren are vying to become the Ferrari of the UK.
With the news that McLaren Automotive have pledged to invest £1bn into R&D over the next six years, the infrastructure is set to take engineering research to the next level for the manufacturer. If Apple are attracted to this clear-cut package, what implications will their acquisition have on the McLaren Formula One team?
We doubt Apple will go so far to bring in Siri as the sport’s first artificial intelligence racing driver. Nor do we think that they will force an all-white livery so the McLaren F1 cars of the future look like aerodynamically sound iPads.
One interesting aspect is that Apple have poached key personnel from the Tesla electric vehicle company. As Formula One is set to advance its current preference for the hybrid power-units as opposed to more conventional combustion, the team and in particular Honda, might benefit from such a takeover.
Outgoing McLaren driver Jenson Button sums up the recurring sense of missed opportunity at McLaren, so maybe a change in approach is needed. The British 2009 World Champion said,
“There’s a lot of work needed before we’re competitive. We’ve struggled this weekend so far, strangely, but it just feels like very low grip.
The balance isn’t too bad, it’s just really low grip compared to the people we thought we’d be racing. Cars like the Toro Rosso on long-run pace are just phenomenally quick compared to us. It’s a big surprise. It’s a big pace gain and it’s going to be tricky.”
– Jenson Button