Technology giant Apple has been linked with a takeover of McLaren, according to a report in the respected newspaper the Financial Times.

The story suggests that Apple has approached the McLaren Technology Group, which encompasses the McLaren Formula 1 team, McLaren Automotive and McLaren Applied Technology.

Citing three people briefed on the negotiations as its source for the story, the Financial Times claims that negotiations have begun about a deal that could result in either a full takeover or a strategic investment.

Apple's interest in McLaren would be likely linked to its plans to transform the automotive industry in the same way that it has changed the smartphone market.

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It has been working on a self-driving electric cars for several years now, with recent speculation suggesting that it would enter the industry segment in partnership with a current car manufacturer rather than going it alone.

The Financial Times suggested that McLaren Technology Group could be valued at between £1 billion and £1.5 billion – with McLaren Automotive having generated revenues of £450 million last year.

McLaren was not immediately available for comment regarding the Apple story.

Gallery: Apple linked with McLaren takeover