McLaren have confirmed talks with the Volkswagen Group, according to team CEO Zak Brown.

The reports linking to a McLaren takeover by Volkswagen-owned company Audi were denied by the team a few weeks ago. However, with Audi planning into enter F1 by 2026, they have multiple roads to reaching their destination.

A partnership between the Woking outfit and their German counterpart is on the cards. That could be in the form of an engine supply deal or outright purchasing of stakes in the British company.

To further fuel the rumours, McLaren confirmed talks with the Volkswagen Group, but insisted that nothing had been finalised yet.

Speaking to reporters outside the McLaren factory as quoted by Reuters, Brown said, “I am hearing they (Volkswagen) are going to do something with Red Bull on the Porsche front.

“I think they’ve spoken with a handful of people on the grid and as you would imagine we have had conversations, but in the short term and medium term we’re very happy where we are.

“I think that’s not been definitively decided and if they do (enter), we have a contract (with Mercedes) through this term.

McLaren team principal Zak Brown, poses for a photograph at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Britain November 21, 2018. REUTERS/Will Russell
Brown (pictured) confirmed McLaren’s discussions with Audi. Source: Reuters

“Naturally we’re going to evaluate where we are and who’s in the sport and take a decision on what we’re going to do in 2026 in due course.”

Focus on the present

McLaren’s current engine partner is Mercedes, with the team gaining a great performance boost from previous years.

In fact, with Mercedes power under their car, the team took their first win in man years when they completed a historic 1-2 at the 2021 Italian GP.

If the Papaya team is indeed going to swap one German engine supplier for another, it would be a gamble. An established dominant competitor in Mercedes versus the new kid on the block would be a key decision to make.

Read more: Audi targets other sports in addition to F1 – “We will see what else comes”

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