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McLaren unlikely to build own engines but not ruling it out

ESPNF1 Staff
March 7, 2011 « HRT still waits on 2011 car | »
Martin Whitmarsh says the business model would have to be right for McLaren to produce its own F1 engine © Sutton Images
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Martin Whitmarsh has refused to rule out McLaren building its own engine to race in Formula One in the future, although he admits it is unlikely.

Alongside Ricardo Engineering, McLaren has produced its own 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 engine for the new MP4-12C production sports car. For F1, McLaren still uses Mercedes' V8, but sweeping new turbo rules will take effect from 2013.

"We are ruling nothing out, because we are an ambitious team," team boss Whitmarsh reportedly told Motor Sport. "Formula One is the third largest sporting event in the world and the best environment for brands to differentiate.

"But if I'm honest, we have no plans to build more than 4,500 (MP4-12C) units per year. Comparing the cost [of producing a F1 engine] with the 4,500, then that's probably not the right business model," Whitmarsh is quoted as saying in German reports.

Whitmarsh, also president of the Formula One Teams Association, is hoping the new regulations for 2013 will bring more big name manufacturers to the sport.

"If it does not attract any new car manufacturers, one of the main goals of the new regulations will have been missed," he said.