Mike Stevens | Oct 5, 2009

MCLAREN F1 BOSS Martin Whitmarsh has moved to dismiss rumours his team are interested in purchasing BMW F1’s Munich manufacturing plant.

With Mercedes-Benz believed to have purchased a stake in Brawn GP in preparation for launching a factory team from 2012, the Suzuka paddock was alight with talk that McLaren is keen to build its own engines at the end of its current agreement with the German manufacturer.

However, Whitmarsh has since rubbished such claims, saying: “We have no plans to buy BMW's engines.”

Mercedes’ relationship McLaren has become increasingly strained in recent times, with parent company Daimler reportedly concerned at the Woking-based team’s involvement in the 2007 industrial espionage scandal and Liegate earlier this year.

The duo has also come into conflict over Mercedes’ constantly rebuffed attempts to increase its control at McLaren, which prompted the rumoured purchase of Brawn GP.

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For McLaren, the prospect of building its own engine and chassis would help further the company’s ambitions and the vision of former team principal Ron Dennis, who hoped the British manufacturer could eventually grow to rival Ferrari.

“I have believed passionately in the need for a grand prix team to diversify,” he said last year.

"It's not by accident that McLaren is a group of companies. We do intend to try and match the success of Ferrari and to do that we can't just be a grand prix team.

"My role will broaden in some aspects and reduce in others. We want the broadest possible base for the company, and what I mean by that is not just racing but also making sports cars."

Meanwhile, Australian star Mark Webber has ventured into team ownership after launching a racing outfit with his Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

The team, MW Arden Racing, will compete in the recently launched GP3 series, which will act as a feeder category to GP2 and support event on Formula One’s European calendar.

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