McLaren Expects Difficult Start to 2023 F1 Season Due to Missed Development Targets
McLaren is anticipating a challenging beginning to the 2023 F1 season as they have acknowledged that they have not met their development expectations before the first race next week.
During the unveiling of their new MCL60, the team acknowledged that they fell short of meeting all their targets and are planning to introduce an update shortly after the commencement of the season. McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown stated that it’s difficult to determine their level of competitiveness until the start of the season.
In a media briefing at Bahrain today, which was attended by RaceFans, Zak Brown stated, “We recognize that we had set certain development objectives that we didn’t achieve, and we believed that it was more prudent to be truthful about it.” He added that there is a lot of development work in progress, which gives them hope about what is coming up.
Zak Brown also mentioned that, based on their projections, they are likely to start the first race below their intended targets, making it difficult to estimate their position on the starting grid.
During the first day of the test on Thursday, McLaren had the least number of laps covered in comparison to other teams. The MCL60 had to be taken to the garage to reinforce certain parts as a preventive measure against possible failures.
Zak Brown acknowledged that the team encountered some initial issues during the testing, saying, “We experienced some teething problems yesterday. Oscar was mainly responsible for fine-tuning the car in the morning, and we encountered the usual testing bugs, which are not unusual and shouldn’t be cause for concern.”
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Zak Brown further added that Lando Norris was concentrating on longer runs on the second day of testing, implying that the team is still in the process of comprehending the car’s behavior. He mentioned that they have another day and a half of testing left to perform before they can switch to race set-up preparations.
Last year, during the testing in Bahrain, the team encountered significant braking issues that restricted their ability to complete laps, negatively impacting their preparations for the new season. Zak Brown emphasized that having a more productive test this year is “extremely important” for the team.
Zak Brown explained that last year, the brake issue prevented the team from focusing on other developments, which had to be put on hold until the brake problem was resolved. As a result, they arrived in Bahrain without optimal preparation, and their performance suffered as they had to focus on completing the race.
Zak Brown expressed pride in the team’s swift response to the brake issue last year, which was resolved in about a week. However, he believed that the incident had a negative impact on the team’s performance at the start of the year. He emphasized the importance of having a regular testing session at the beginning of the season to avoid any setbacks.
McLaren slipped to fifth place in the constructors championship in 2022. Zak Brown acknowledged that the team needs to make a quick recovery from their slow start to the new season if they are to have any chance of moving back up in the rankings.
Zak Brown confirmed that the team’s goal is to be among the top four teams by the end of the 2023 season. He acknowledged that last year’s results were disappointing and that the team aims to return to the front of the grid. However, he also recognized that achieving this goal will require more time and effort.
Zak Brown shared some positive news, stating that the team has almost completed its technology infrastructure or will complete it this year, which is an exciting development. He also mentioned that the team has some good developments in the pipeline.
Zak Brown acknowledged that every other team in Formula 1 also has developments in progress. Therefore, he stressed the importance of the team picking up the pace and remaining competitive.
McLaren Tough Start 2023 McLaren Tough Start 2023 McLaren Tough Start 2023
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