File picture: Mike Segar / Reuters.

London - Tech giant Apple’s bid for the McLaren Formula One team appears to be dead in the water after talks broke down some months ago.

The iPhone producer looked into buying a major stake in the Woking-based company, which has a range of technological sidelines as well as its motor racing and high-end road car businesses.

Negotiations went on for some time, with Apple believing McLaren’s engineering expertise could help them develop a self-driving electric car.

But Sportsmail understands that the opportunity has now passed and that McLaren chairman Ron Dennis will look for investment elsewhere.

Dennis, who owns 25 percent of the McLaren Technology Group, is believed to be keen to find partners to help him take a majority share in the company he has led since 1981.

Saudi Arabian businessman Mansour Ojjeh and the Bahrain royal family are the other owners of the group.

A McLaren spokesman said: “We can confirm that McLaren is not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment.”

Apple’s interest followed negotiations with a range of other suitors, including potential Chinese investors.

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