McLaren Racing have acquired a majority share in Arrow McLaren IndyCar team with the deal to be completed by end of 2021.
The team began as Sam Schmidt Motorsport in 2001 before Davey Hamilton became a joint partner from 2011 under Schmidt Hamilton Motorsport, when Hamilton was replaced by Ric Peterson in 2013 to form Schmidt Peterson Motorsport until Arrow Electronics became title sponsor in 2019,
McLaren came along in August 2019 to form a joint entry named Arrow McLaren and have now completed a takeover, which will see them become majority shareholder after buying a 75% stake with the financial details confirmed as ‘not being disclosed.’
McLaren Racing CEO, Zak Brown has hailed this announcement as “… a strong signal of our long-term commitment to IndyCar as both a racing series and a marketing platform for McLaren Racing and our sponsor partners.”
Brown also paid tribute to Schmidt and Peterson for their efforts over the years to create this ‘formidable’ team, which he has vowed to ensure will “keep growing and fulfil our common ambition of consistently challenging for wins, Indy 500s and series titles.”
Schmidt and Peterson will stay involved with the team as part of a new five-member board alongside three McLaren members, with Brown staying on as chairman.
McLaren have also confirmed that Taylor Kiel will stay on as President and continue to lead and oversee the operations of the team, which will involve reporting directly to the board with Brown describing Kiel as “instrumental” to the team’s progress across the last two seasons.
Brown also praised IndyCar for producing high-quality action, commenting: “The racing is second-to-none, with world-class competitors in both drivers and teams and a passionate, highly engaged fanbase.”
On why McLaren have decided to buy a 75% majority stake, Brown added that there is major potential for the sport’s progress and has vowed “… to play an active role supporting the sport’s success, growing the global fan base and implementing our sustainability agenda to deliver on environmental and social commitments, including progressing diversity and inclusion in the industry.”
Schmidt also commented on this huge announcement which marks the start of a new era for his team, praising Brown and McLaren for their efforts in an impressive partnership, which has claimed eight podiums through Pato O’Ward.
The 56 year-old also spoke on what this announcement means for the team in the future, saying: ““With McLaren we’re moving forward again. As we’ve seen we’re now a regular contender and ultimately for Ric and I, we are here to win races, win 500s and win championships.
“This next step ensures the resources to do that for a long time ahead.”
Peterson also added that McLaren’s partnership since 2020 formed a “key strategy” in their ambition to make strides in their progress as an IndyCar team, ultimately proving successful with McLaren now set to take the lead moving forward in the hope of creating “something truly special.”
Reflecting on his time working with Schmidt, Peterson said: “Sam and I are immensely proud of what we have built together through our partnership over the past nine years, and look forward to continue being part of this team as a partner with McLaren Racing to see Arrow McLaren SP go from strength to strength.”
This announcement marks a further expansion for McLaren Racing after signing for Extreme E in 2022, to go alongside their current F1 team of which O’Ward is due to drive for in the end of season Young Drivers’ Test after taking his maiden IndyCar win in May 2021.