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Zak Brown McLaren Must Be 'Complete' to Top Red Bull

McLaren’s Quest to Outclass Red Bull, Says Zak Brown

18/06/2024

Zak Brown asserts that McLaren F1 must become a holistic force to surpass Red Bull in the championship race.

As last year, the updates implemented by McLaren F1 have propelled the Woking team forward, as evidenced by Lando Norris’ victory in Miami, and the recent second-place finishes by Piastri and Norris in Monaco and Canada.

Is McLaren F1 thus capable of contending for victory at every Grand Prix? Of outpacing Red Bull in both qualifying and race pace?

In reality, as McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown reminds us, success is not solely a matter of vehicle performance and aerodynamic downforce. Excellence is required across all departments if McLaren is to overtake the Milton Keynes-based team.

“If you look at Red Bull in recent years, and Mercedes before them, the championship-winning teams are generally the best in all areas,” Brown notes.

“Red Bull recently had the fastest car, with the least tyre degradation.”

“They also had the best pit stops. They had everything necessary for regular victories.”

Thus, McLaren F1 is also on the path to becoming a complete team, and there is no reason, according to the American, for this trend to reverse.

“We have two great drivers. We clearly have a very fast race car. We have very good pit stops, but we can still improve.”

“Our reliability has greatly improved. We are therefore knocking at Red Bull’s door. It’s just about performing a little better everywhere.”

“Because we must continue to develop our race car and our racing team at the same rate as we have recently.”

However, McLaren F1 is not the only team to have declared the hunt for Red Bull open. Ferrari is also deeply engaged in the battle, while even Mercedes F1 has shown significant improvements since Monaco.

“The three teams are very close to one another today,” continues Zak Brown regarding Red Bull, Ferrari, and McLaren F1.

“We have been very strong, but Ferrari was very strong in Monaco, and Red Bull began to dominate once again.”

“So, if the championship were starting today, it would be a three-way fight, but I think there is still a long way to go.”

“If you consider the turnaround we experienced last year, it would be naive for anyone to write off Mercedes for the remainder of the year. It may be too late for them to win the constructor’s title at this stage, but we reversed our season’s trend in the middle of 2023 and closed a larger points gap with Aston Martin—larger than the current gap between us and Mercedes F1.”

Norris-Piastri, the best driver line-up according to Zak Brown

Of course, it’s not just about the car, but also the drivers.

In this respect, Zak Brown is delighted to rely on a highly competitive pair, with Lando Norris on one side and Oscar Piastri on the other—who continues to gain strength.

“This is the best driver pair.”

“Lando, he’s always very focused and extremely quick. It’s good that he got his win and got that over with… I’m sure he didn’t like the statistic of the most podiums without a win, but he never mentioned it. I never saw it bother him.”

“But of course, getting that first win… it’s what he’s aimed for all his life, so it must boost his confidence and relax him a bit, though I haven’t noticed it.”

“And what’s extremely impressive about Oscar is that he’s driving better than ever. He had a fantastic rookie season, but he carries such maturity on his shoulders.”

“He doesn’t act differently today than he did last year. You know, he didn’t behave like a rookie last year. Clearly. We see a continual improvement in his driving.”

Zak Brown McLaren Must Be 'Complete' to Top Red Bull

Zak Brown: McLaren Must Be ‘Complete’ to Top Red Bull. Zak Brown: McLaren Must Be ‘Complete’ to Top Red Bull

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