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McLaren F1 Podium Ambitions

McLaren F1 Aims High for 2024 Podium Success

25/02/2024

Following a robust 2023 comeback, McLaren F1 is set to start strong in 2024, with ambitions for podiums and race wins, fueled by off-season progress and strategic planning.

Making a strong comeback in the second half of the 2023 season, to the point of regularly being the second strongest team on the grid behind the untouchable Red Bulls, McLaren F1 is now determined to hit the ground running this year, aiming for podium finishes right from the start.

Even better? That’s certainly the intention and hope of the team’s CEO, Zak Brown, who shared his ambitions for the squad in Bahrain.

“It’s going to be a big year,” the American executive stated.

“I believe we’ll start the season much better than last year. The men and women at McLaren have done an excellent job over the winter. There are nine other teams in the sport, all with similar budgets and infrastructures, so the competition will be tighter than ever, but we feel we’re in a good position.”

Brown couldn’t be clearer about his team’s goal: “Winning races this year.”

“We definitely want to pick up where we left off last year and make progress throughout the season. I don’t see why, if we continue to develop as we have since last summer, we wouldn’t be able to climb to the top step of the podium.”

However, Andrea Stella, the team principal of the Woking-based squad, is far less effusive than his president, adopting a more measured tone.

“I think some weaknesses have been improved,” the Italian said regarding the MCL38.

“For example, we are, I would say, more satisfied with the rear grip, which was one of the aspects we wanted to work on. Overall, the car has more grip. But we still need to improve in certain areas.”

“The main performance opportunity remains the overall grip. It’s not about correcting characteristics; it’s simply about giving the car more grip, but we still have room for improvement from a mechanical standpoint, and also in terms of interaction with the tires.”

“So, in these three aspects, aerodynamics, mechanical grip, and tire management, we plan to bring developments throughout the season.”

McLaren’s Gradual Rise Challenges Red Bull

Stella has already made it clear that some innovations were not included in the launch specifications of the car running this week, but he emphasized that when they hit the track, they won’t be on the scale of what Red Bull brought with the RB20.

“Some areas of the car in this launch specification have significantly evolved from last year. Some of them are very visible. There are other areas that have only improved gradually.”

“But we see in the background of development that there is actually significant potential, which we haven’t tapped into in time to make it available for the launch car.”

“We are confident in our development. We believe in the concepts we have in the car, but what matters most is ultimately a question of distance covered.”

“And it’s clear that Red Bull has been ahead in this journey. And with their new F1, they somewhat retain that margin in terms of position in their development path.”

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