Zak Brown to take charge at McLaren?


There is mounting speculation that marketing guru Zak Brown is on pole position to take over as Ron Dennis' replacement at McLaren.

Less than 24-hours after the board meeting which saw Dennis' 36-year reign at McLaren come to an end - though he has vowed to fight on - Brown is said to be favourite to replace him.

The American, who quit his role as CEO at CSM Sport & Entertainment weeks after Liberty Media began the process of buying Formula One, was widely tipped to take a senior role in the sport under its new owner, some lining him up as 'replacement' for Bernie Ecclestone.

As if the choice between the role of boss of one of the sport's most iconic teams or a senior management role in the sport itself wasn't enough, Brown already has his hands fairly full as chairman of Motorsport Network, the increasingly powerful media giant which recently bought Autosport and is owned by Miami-based Russian Mike Zoi.

On leaving CSM, a marketing services company whose services include sports marketing, public relations, advertising, digital, marketing, research, corporate responsibility and healthcare communications for companies such as HSBC, Unilever, Fujitsu, Easyjet, Verizon Wireless and McLaren, Brown admitted: "I will take this experience forward to my next chapter in the arena I know best, motorsport."

While most believed this referred to a senior role in the sport itself, it may well have well referred to the role at McLaren, the feud between Ron Dennis and his partners Mansour Ojjeh and Mumtalakat Holding Company having simmered for some time now.

A racer, whose career took in Toyota Atlantics, F3, ALMS and numerous other series, as recently as 2013 Brown was contesting the British GT Championship in a McLaren MP4-12C GT3 with United Autosports, the team he founded in 2009 with British racer Richard Dean.

He is highly popular and respected within the F1 paddock, most notably by the two men he is said to be 'replacing', Dennis and Ecclestone.

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Published: 16/11/2016
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