It was announced on January 9th that the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain, has agreed to acquire a 30% stake of the McLaren Group, currently owned by Chairman and F1 team principal Ron Dennis, TAG Group and DaimlerChrysler. The future structure will be that DaimlerChrysler will own 40%, Bahrain Mumtalakat 30%, and Dennis and TAG 15% each.
A statement said that "As is required, an application is currently being made for the necessary competition law clearances which are expected to be received within a period of six weeks." The only other information provided was that the McLaren Group will continue under its existing management team. A full statement will be issued on completion, once the regulatory clearances are obtained.
Dennis and TAG, who own 60% between them, have, or will have, sold half of their combined stake to Bahrain Mumtalakat, while DaimlerChrysler holds steady with its 40%. The McLaren Group comprises of a number of companies that operate in various areas aside from Formula One -- electronics, marketing, road cars and composite structures are also some of the interests.
Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso made his first visit as an official McLaren driver to the F1 team's Technology Centre at the beginning of the week. The world champion, who had a single day behind the wheel of the McLaren during December, had a final seat fitting, worked with engineers and took part in a simulation programme in preparation for the recommencement of testing.
McLaren will launch the MP4-22 at Valencia on Monday 15th, where it will introduce new title sponsor Vodafone and race drivers Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, along with continuing testers Gary Paffett and Pedro de la Rosa. Alonso will shakedown the new car at the circuit on the Wednesday, then McLaren will commence its test schedule on the 24th, also at Valencia.