November 16, 2021
The McLaren, glory of British Formula 1 (even though Bruce, the founder, was from New Zealand) it could end up in Germany. Conversely, Shell Royal Dutch will lose its Dutch name and component because, in spite of Brexit, it will move its registered office (and tax office) to London. He will only have the passport of Her British Majesty, giving up that of the Dutch Crown. A transfer that is not without significance: the Netherlands, in fact, is considered a tax haven. If an oil giant expatriates even changing its name, it means that it awaits even greater benefits from the move. The change will take place at the shareholders’ meeting in December, closing a more than centennial history.
The group, in fact, was born in 1907 from the merger of the Dutch Royal Dutch and the British Shell. It was controlled by two separate holding companies which merged in 2005 but the shares remained divided into two classes, A and B, which represent the old shares of the two parent companies. Now the integration that will move the headquarters to London. Some strategic divisions including the renewable energy pole remain in The Hague. Much more nebulous, however, is the transfer of McLaren to Germany. The news was launched by the British magazine Autocar according to which Volkswagen, through Audi, would have bought the company founded in 1965 by the New Zealand driver. From the headquarters in Woking they immediately denied: “No change in the ownership structure.” Only normal relationships with suppliers, partners “including other car manufacturers”. Nothing more.
According to Autocar, McLaren should have spun off the Formula 1 division by selling it to Audi. The division that builds supercars would have ended up at BMW, however, which had already denied being interested in the historic brand. It would not be the first time that the two German manufacturers share a London stew. In 1998, BMW took over Rolls Royce and sold Bentley to Volkswagen. Now the script could repeat itself. By taking over the team for which Ricciardo and Norris run, Audi would have another jewel to add to the very Italian Lamborghinis and Ducati that has just won the constructors’ world title in MotoGP. He would also have the opportunity to enter Formula 1. A project that has been talked about for years and never materialized given the technical difficulties and costs. However, there would be a problem that is not easy to solve: the McLaren of Formula 1 uses the Mercedes engine. It’s hard to believe that a major manufacturer like Volkswagen is using the engine of a rival on its racing cars. He should design his own. We might as well do everything at home considering that the McLaren coat of arms is ancient but rather tarnished: it hasn’t won a World Championship since 2008 and the double at Monza was rather lucky considering the mess of Verstappen and Hamilton. The previous victory was in 2012.