For the last 30 years, McLaren have been the primary sponsor and operator of what has been called the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award. The program was initiated by McLaren in 1989. In this week's issue, Autosport
magazine announced that McLaren will no longer be involved.
The purpose of the award was to identify and promote the most promising young racing drivers in Britain. The candidates in each year's final round would be tested in a range of different racing cars, including a fairly recent Formula One car.
Previous winners of the award included David Coulthard, Oliver Gavin, Dario Franchitti, Gary Paffett, Anthony Davidson, Paul di Resta, George Russell and Lando Norris. Non-winning finalists included Richard Westbrook, Justin Wilson, Dan Wheldon, Susie Stoddart, Mike Conway, Nick Tandy and Alexander Albon. Quite a list!
The magazine and the BRDC will continue the award, which will be operated by an undisclosed party (one would guess another UK-based F1 team).
The reason for McLaren's departure was not disclosed. I don't know how much it would have cost them annually to operate the thing, but it must have been in the hundreds of thousands, not millions.