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Friday's Formula 1 news roundup: Zak Brown, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher

Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest Formula 1 news on Friday, September 18.

Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Friday, September 18.

Friday morning's Formula 1 news roundup:


Selling McLaren factory a 'good decision' - Brown

McLaren's Zak Brown pictured in 2019© Reuters

Zak Brown insists that selling McLaren's factory for about $350 million is a "very good decision".

The American, who emerged as the famous brand's supremo in the wake of a power struggle and Ron Dennis' departure some years ago, says the money can be used more wisely.

"I think most companies in the world do not own real estate themselves. They're tenants," Brown told formel.de.

"We are talking about a lot of money, and it's not a very productive use of that when you're investing in your business," he added.

"So we're going to sell it to someone, and then we're going to get an extremely long lease. We'll invest that money in our business to grow it.

"We're not a real estate company, we're a racing team and an automotive company so I think it is a very good decision."

On the face of it, though, selling the factory - on top of laying off some 1200 staff earlier this year - appears to indicate financial trouble at McLaren.

Brown denies that.

"From a cash flow perspective, we are doing well," he insists, although he admits that the corona crisis "drained a lot of cash" from the business.

"We have some debt and now (executive chairman) Paul (Walsh) is making decisions to improve our bottom line."

Brown also clarified that the finances of McLaren's Formula 1 team and the struggling road car division are entirely separate.

"What happens in racing has no impact on automotive, and vice versa," he insists.

However, he does admit that it is "a major concern for everyone" that the current covid-19 pandemic is likely to race into 2021.

"I do expect that Covid will continue to have some impact in 2021, yes," said Brown.



Sponsor exit was 'end of story' - Claire Williams

Claire Williams pictured on April 26, 2019© Reuters

It was the departure of Williams' title sponsor this year that prompted the sale of the team.

That is the admission of Claire Williams, the daughter of founder Sir Frank Williams, as they both depart Formula 1 following the sale to Dorilton Capital.

"I had my chance and I've run out of energy," Claire told the Telegraph.

"I wish for the new owners someone who still has the strength to put everything into it. That's no longer me."

Williams' title sponsor, the British telcom Rokit, pulled out of the deal in May amid the corona crisis.

Claire Williams said that was the final nail in the coffin.

"We had exhausted every possible source," she said. "I thought things would really get better this year. We managed to get a new title sponsor who promised us the world.

"When that fell apart and the coronavirus struck, that was the end of the story. There was no way to recover from that," Williams added. "If those two things hadn't happened, we would have made it."

Williams, 44, said she is now looking forward to life outside of Formula 1 with her young family.

"This sport demands a lot from you," she admitted. "I want to rebuild myself after this difficult time and find out who I am outside Formula 1.

"I have always been Frank Williams' daughter. Now I just want to become my own person - see if I like that."


More news from Formula 1:

Neurologist doubts Michael Schumacher will recover
A neurology specialist doubts Michael Schumacher will ever emerge from his current condition. Read more.

F2 driver opposed to 'young driver test' for Alonso
Formula 2 driver Louis Deletraz admits he is opposed to Fernando Alonso being invited to take part in F1's 'young driver test' in Abu Dhabi later this year. Read more.

Ferrari right to oust Vettel - Massa
Ferrari may have made the best choice to oust Sebastian Vettel, according to the team's former driver Felipe Massa. Read more.

F1 using red flags to spice up show - Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton thinks Formula 1 is deliberately using red flags to spice up the show. Read more.

Shwartzman linked with Haas seat for 2021
Alongside Mick Schumacher, another Formula 2 star is now shaping up as a likely 2021 rookie. Read more.

Vettel move 'great' for F1 and for Toto Wolff
Sebastian Vettel staying in Formula 1 beyond 2020 is "great" not just for Formula 1, but for Toto Wolff as well. Read more.

Briatore says coronavirus 'can be defeated'
Flavio Briatore says the coronavirus pandemic that has wreaked havoc on Formula 1 and the world in 2020 "can be defeated". Read more.

'Doesn't matter' if Albon stays or goes - Verstappen
Max Verstappen says he doesn't mind if Red Bull sticks with Alex Albon - or not. Read more.

Ferrari spending 'millions' on simulator - Binotto
Ferrari is spending "several million euros" to get a brand new simulator up and running at Maranello in the next few months. Read more.

Ferrari slump 'not comparable' to 1993 - Todt
Jean Todt thinks Ferrari should be able to recover from its surprisingly-deep 2020 slump. Read more.

F1's 'ghost race' era finally ending
F1's 'ghost race' trend of 2020 is finally ending. Read more.

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Felipe Massa pictured in June 2018
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