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McLaren hoping F1 returns to China after COVID-19 disruption – Sports Africa


Asked whether F1 team McLaren has future business expansion plans in China, Edward Green said: “We always look to see what China’s market is doing first. They’re often the leaders and they’re pushing innovation before other parts of the world are. It’s a market that we always follow very closely.”

Green spoke on the sidelines of Collision, one of the world’s largest technology conferences taking place in Toronto from June 20 to 23, featuring some 35,000 attendees including 900 speakers, 1,500 startups, 1,200 journalists, 850 investors and 100 unicorn companies.

The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai has been absent from the calendar since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and isn’t part of the 2022 schedule either.

Green commented on his hopes to re-unite with Chinese fans and bring F1 races back to China:

“We’d love to be back racing in China at some point in the future. It’s really exciting. Always a great race and some amazing fans out there for us as well,” he emphasized, adding that China is “an incredibly important market for us all around.”

DRIVING SUSTAINABILITY

With the acceleration of sustainability and electric vehicles (EVs), Green commented on McLaren’s view and progress with their push for “greener” racing:

“Sustainability is really interesting. Now we’ve got two EV series, one with Extreme E, the four-by-four battery off-roading, and the other one with Formula E just joining the team recently.”

He continued: “We need to review our sustainability and definitely get stronger and better at it. I think we’re doing some great work already, but more is to come.”

“I think they (EVs) help challenge us and they give us areas to look into and review as a team and see how that inspires other racing series.”

TECH PARTNERSHIPS

Green highlighted the importance of technological innovation in motor sports:

“Technology sits right at the very heart of what we do in Formula 1 racing and across all our racing series at McLaren, but no more so do you see that on track with Formula 1, whether the difference in performance can be as much as hundreds of milliseconds.”

“You need all the data, all the telemetry, every bit of information you get your hands on in order to create better strategies, help design the car, and ultimately, make sure you make the right decisions for our drivers to finish as high as possible at any given race weekend.”

On Sunday at the Canadian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen of Formula 1’s Red Bull team extended his lead in the current championship season with a victory in Montreal.

However, both McLaren drivers finished outside the top ten in that race, with Daniel Ricciardo of Australia finishing 11th, while Britain’s Lando Norris ended the race in 15th.

Green therefore stressed the need for more technology partnerships to gain a competitive edge and improve their cars.

“In a nutshell, all our partnerships are there to make us go faster, whether or not that’s on the track or off the track. We need to find technology and companies that help us analyze all that data.”

“On the track, we look for partnerships that can help us analyze all the data coming from the cars, we roughly generate about 11 and a half billion data points per season, which is more than we could look at as a team. So we need to find technology and companies that help us analyze all that data.”

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