McLaren “still have some areas of disadvantage” to top teams – Brown

2022 F1 season

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McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says his team only needs to get its upgraded facilities and technology in place to be able to make the most of the abilities of their team personnel.

Since becoming CEO of McLaren Racing in early 2018, Brown has overseen a major restructuring of McLaren’s motorsport activities that has seen the team expand into IndyCar and Extreme E as well as become more successful in their Formula 1 programme, culminating in their first victory for almost a decade last season.

Brown believes that team principal Andreas Seidl has amassed a team worthy of winning the Formula 1 world championship, but says McLaren still has to ‘catch up’ to its rivals in terms of their facilities and resources.

“I think we have all the people that we need,” Brown said. “Andreas has worked hard to mould the team in a way that he sees as a championship-calibre talent of people and I think we have that.

“But I think we have to recognise and be realistic that we still are catching up on some of the technology infrastructure that we’re behind on – the wind tunnel is under construction and things like the simulator. So I think we have everything here or on order and being built.”

Despite being beaten by Ferrari in last year’s constructors’ championship to third place and finishing last season in fourth, one place lower than in 2020, Brown says that the team have continued to improve in “incremental” ways.

“I think what you’re seeing is that we are going from strength-to-strength-to-strength,” Brown said. “Our pit stops are better, our launch, our reliability – last year we scored more points per race. All the incremental steps that one needs to take to move forward and become a more competitive racing team under Andreas and James and the team – that’s happening.

“We still have a little bit of a way to go, so I think we need to caution against ‘all things are equal sitting here today’, because we still have some areas of disadvantage.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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4 comments on “McLaren “still have some areas of disadvantage” to top teams – Brown”

  1. I was certainly impressed with their starts last year, although I also think their fast starts caused them a bit of trouble too. I think Dan’s fast start in Mexico and Lando’s in Brazil got them both in a bit of trouble but fast starts in the sprint and race at Monza certainly helped seal the race win.

  2. I like the consistent move upwards this team is making. Despite finishing 4th, it felt like 3rd. They have the right people in an outside of the car. Wishing them a stellar 2022 campaign

    1. I don’t understand what it felt like 3rd means. The best part element of the package was the engine and that wasn’t theirs. Mclaren lost a march this year towards getting back to the top, there is hope of course but besides beating ferrari i just can’t picture them fighting for the championship in the forseeable future. They haven’t been a front running team for a full decade now and historically no team has ever come back from something like that. Ferrari whenever hit the bottom it never lasts this long and don’t forget Mclaren whenever they were winning they were basically a factory team. Now I just can’t imagine a way that Mercedes will let them beat their own team, let alone beat RBR. Their only hope is Mercedes quitting and enjoying again the privileges.

  3. They have the drivers.
    The pitstops are getting better al the time.
    They have the fastest engine (not sure about the settings)
    They have the money.
    And a good and solid team all around.
    Now only live up to the teams heritage.

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