Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Silverstone, 2020

Drivers to make the difference in teams’ fight for third – Brown

2020 F1 season

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McLaren is leading a four-way fight for third place in the constructors’ championship, and the CEO of its Racing division expects the teams’ drivers will make the difference in which team comes out on top.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have locked out the top three positions in the championship in every season since 2016. But Ferrari’s troubled start to the year has dropped them into the clutches of McLaren and Renault, while Racing Point’s controversial RP20 has put them in contention for third in the points as well.

Lando Norris is the highest-scoring driver among the four teams. Brown is pleased by the partnership he has formed with Carlos Sainz Jnr.

“I think we’re benefiting this year from having two really good drivers,” he said. “We’ve got an outstanding pairing and we’ve got harmony in our garage.

“With how close it is on track, I think driver pairings could end up being what makes the difference between being third, fourth or fifth or sixth in the championship.”

However Sainz will leave the team at the end of the year to join Ferrari. His place will be taken by Daniel Ricciardo.

“Daniel and Lando are our future,” said Brown. “Obviously, Lando’s age means from today forward, he’ll have a longer career in Formula 1 than Daniel, being 31. But I think it’s a combination of the two that’s going to help drive McLaren forward.”

Norris has been with McLaren since joining their junior driver programme in 2017 and scored his first podium for the team in the season-opening race at the Red Bull Ring.

“Lando has been very impressive since his debut in Australia 2019,” said Brown. “I think he’s showing great maturity.

“What I really like just is who he is. What he’s done with the helmet with six-year-old Eva is great. He’s just a good-quality individual, he’s driving extremely well and everyone enjoys working with him inside and outside the car. And I think that’ll continue.

“His fitness is very good. If you look at him, when he first joined us he was a small guys, he’s quite muscular now, so I think he’s growing into Formula 1 quite nicely.”

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9 comments on “Drivers to make the difference in teams’ fight for third – Brown”

  1. I’ll be really impressed if the mclaren duo can pull it off, would be something special.
    I firmly believe that they are (slightly) slower than racing point and Ferrari…

    1. Mclaren have a massive job keeping ferrari behind. Once vettel gets close to leclerc they’ll start getting those p4-5 positions in every race. Racing point seems to struggle with their car more. They have pace but they also seem to have problems unlocking all of it. And while perez can do it I have my doubts where stroll is up to the task. A lot of this revolves around racing point getting the maximum out of car they copied and as such don’t necessarily have a very good understanding of. Not to mention we have had quite a few dnfs which has allowed mclaren to score a lot of points purely on luck.

  2. Is this Brawn saying he doesn’t want Perez to lose his seat over Stroll?

    1. Huh?

      No it isn’t…

  3. F1oSaurus (@)
    6th August 2020, 10:58

    Yes that makes sense. McLaren have two good drivers while Ferrari and Racing Point each have only one. Next year Ferrari should have two decent drivers though and they should be able to improve their engine.

    I wouldn’t dismiss Renault though. They also look like they could be well in the mix.

  4. Unless Binotto picks up the phone and dials Carlito

  5. This is a fight between McLaren and Ferrari. McLaren has best speed on average. Some tracks a bit more, other tracks a bit less, but overall their car runs best. Ferrari is the only one able to out develop them since they got more funds. Maybe they have already done so, seeing how quick Leclerc was last weekend compared to SAI en NOR. Normally, Vettel will be able to match Leclerc.. So keeping the Ferrari’s behind in the WCC will be tough.

    RP and Renault are a different story tho. RP will in no way be able to outdevelop McLaren. And Renault, even if they could, are already too far back in the points to form any threat.

    1. RP will probably beat MC. They just cant find a proper setup for their cars.

  6. I’ve never been a fan of the works Renault, even though one of my favourite drivers (Danny Ric) is on the team, but I’d love for them to get a 3rd or 4th place in the championship. With all the corporate management issues, financial problems and engine development backlash they’ve had lately, a good result this year would be something to cling to and encourage them to not leave F1.

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