McLaren keen for F1 to rev up China return

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 27, 2022
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Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, China on April 14, 2019. (Xinhua)

McLaren Racing's head of commercial technology, Edward Green, hopes that Formula 1 returns to China soon as he hailed the country as a leader in innovation.

The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai has been absent from the F1 calendar since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is not part of the 2022 schedule.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Collision technology conference in Toronto, Green told Xinhua he is keen for the sport to reunite with its Chinese fans as soon as possible.

"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 said, adding that China is "an incredibly important market for us all".

Asked whether McLaren has future business expansion plans in China, Green replied: "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."

Going green

With an acceleration in demand for electric vehicles (EVs), Green said creating a greener racing environment is a priority for McLaren.

"Sustainability is really interesting. Now we've got two EV series, one with Extreme E, the 4x4 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 give us areas to look into and review as a team and see how that inspires other racing series."

Talking tech

Collision, one of the world's largest technology conferences took place in Toronto last week, with some 35,000 people attending, including 900 speakers, 1,500 startups, 1,200 journalists, 850 investors and 100 unicorn companies.

Speaking of the event's relevance for McLaren, 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, where the difference in performance can be milliseconds," he said.

"You need all the data, all the telemetry, every bit of information you can 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 during any given race weekend."

At the most recent stop of the F1 championship, the Canadian Grand Prix on June 19, Red Bull's Max Verstappen extended his lead in the driver standings with victory in Montreal.

Both McLaren drivers finished outside the top 10 in that race, with Australia's Daniel Ricciardo placing 11th and Britain's Lando Norris 15th.

Green, therefore, stressed the need for his team to up its tech game to improve performances.

"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," he said.

"We roughly generate about 11 and a half billion data points per season, which is more than we can look at as a team. So we need to find technology and companies that help us analyze all that."

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