Formula 1 | Brown provides information about the new McLaren wind tunnel

Good things take time: In 2019, McLaren made the decision to build a new wind tunnel at its headquarters in Woking. This was originally supposed to have been completed in 2021. In fact, after a series of delays, the wind tunnel only went into operation in August 2023, as McLaren CEO Zak Brown has now revealed.

“In the first week after the summer break,” the wind tunnel was “100 percent up and running,” says Brown in an interview that will be published in full on “” on Sunday morning.

The wind tunnel project was one of the first infrastructure measures under the leadership of the then team boss Andreas Seidl. Its goal was actually to have the 2024 car built entirely in the new facility. However, this could not be realized as planned for various reasons.

Brown explains: “We had COVID and construction came to a halt. Then we had financial problems and nothing continued. And then the supply chain difficulties as a result of the pandemic. What should have taken two years ended up taking four years.”

And it cost 25 million British pounds (the equivalent of around 29 million euros). A relatively cheap price. A completely new wind tunnel, Brown calculates, will cost 60 or 70 million pounds. Because McLaren can continue to use existing components from the old wind tunnel, the project was significantly cheaper than building a new one.

A new era begins for McLaren under the new team boss Andrea Stella. Until now, people were forced to use the Toyota wind tunnel in Cologne. Thanks to teleworking in 2023, it will no longer be a problem, but it is anything but ideal. Being able to use the wind tunnel in your own four walls at any time without having to transport parts back and forth accelerates development.

In total, says Brown, McLaren has invested around 70 million euros in new infrastructure since 2019; So around 40 million even outside the wind tunnel. This includes, for example, “the production department, which is quite important, the simulator, and new CFD software”.

Despite these investments, McLaren is in an “extremely healthy” financial position, assures Brown. The company will make a healthy profit in 2023 “for the first time since I took over the job. So for the first time in almost ten years,” he reveals.

The complete interview with McLaren CEO Zak Brown about the future of Lando Norris, the reasons why an Andretti team would be a financial asset to Formula 1, and the farewell to Andreas Seidl and James Key, for whom he doesn’t seem to be particularly mourning, can be found on Sunday morning on the Motorsport Network Germany portals (, & Germany).