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McLaren takes a seat on Formula One's board

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McLaren has been given a seat on Formula One's board of directors, becoming the third team after Mercedes and Ferrari to enjoy the privilege.

The Woking-based outfit will be represented by its executive chairman and biggest shareholder, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al-Khalifa.

F1's second most successful team, behind Ferrari, was offered a seat on the sport's board in the past by Bernie Ecclestone. While the Scuderia and Mercedes readily accepted the proposition, for an unknown reason McLaren did not exercise its right at the time.

"Shaikh Mohammed is our executive chairman and my boss, and he's definitely the right person for the role. He knows the sport inside out," McLaren executive Zak Brown told Motorsport.com.

"Like any other board their responsibilities are the strategic direction, governance and the big decisions, and ultimately they are the custodians of the sport.

"We think we can help to shape that future, and we wanted to have a seat at the table in order to do so. So we took it up."

While the three teams will indeed have a seat at F1's table to convey their ideas or grievances, their voting rights shall be limited by a provision in F1's statutes.

"The board has membership from some of the teams, yet we Liberty have what's called the 'I Director,' which says basically that we can outvote everybody," explained Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei.

"The reality is it's a shared governance model. You need to make the fans happy, you need to make the promoters happy, you need to make the broadcasters happy. That will make the shareholders win.

"There's an element of shared governance across all that, whether you have them on board or not," he added.

"And the FIA, the regulator, that's another one not to be dismissed. There's an interplay here that takes a lot of work, there's a lot of overhead on this.

"It's probably more complicated than most businesses because of the complicated nature of what we have."

Liberty's interests on F1's board are represented by Maffei, Chase Chase and Ross Brawn, F1 legal officer Richard Baer, and chief Corporate development officer Albert Rosenthaler.

Additional board members include CVC's Donald McKenzie, F1 financial chief Duncan Llowarch, legal head Sacha Woodward-Hill, former chairman Peter Brabeck-Lamethe, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne, and Daimler's head of finance and board member Bodo Uebber.

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