McLaren's base - problems

THE saga of McLaren's new factory continues. The team has been intending to move from Woking for the last six years and in November 1990 agreed a deal to buy the Lydden Hill racing circuit near Dover. There followed a legal fight over shareholdings until mid-1993 when McLaren won complete control of the track. The move was then canceled because the team risked losing a lot of staff who did not want to move. The search resumed and last year the team bought a chunk of land outside Woking - but in a protected "green belt" where building is restricted. The plans for a factory will be studied in July by a public inquiry, after which the British secretary of state for the environment will decide if the building can go ahead. The final decision is expected at the end of the year which means that even if the team gets the go-ahead work will not be finished in time for the construction of the 1998 F1 car.

McLaren has been unwilling to invest in upgrading its windtunnelling facilities at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington because it intends to build a 50% rolling road tunnel in the new factory - if it ever gets built.

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