Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren F1, aims for the year 2025 to see his team re-enter the fight for the world championship in Formula 1.
The Woking team didn’t start the new era of Formula 1 control in 2022 very well, as well as being behind in the construction of their new infrastructure. It therefore slipped back into the lead by finishing fifth in the constructors’ championship last year, while it had finished fourth in 2021 and third in 2020.
But according to the American leader, the efforts being made now, and the quality of the workers and drivers, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, will soon allow them to play leading roles on the national grid again.
“I think we’re two or three years away,” Brown tells ESPN. “I would like this year to be like this year 2021, so that we can join in fighting for the top 3. But we still don’t have our technological infrastructure.”
“They will be by 2024, but not with all the car development for that year. So I would like to think that 2024 will be a good step forward, and then we can join the battle from time to time.”
“Then, in 2025, we will have everything we need: pilots, personnel, resources, a wind tunnel, a simulator. So there will be no reason why, on paper, we will not be able to fight regularly. The front line in 2025. This is certainly our desires.”
“There are certain investments that we chose not to make, because we made them in our wind tunnel. So it hasn’t been a good operational situation, but that will change in the middle of the year. ‘year.”
McLaren is the “best” team after the 2022 season
If we were to talk about McLaren’s decline in the leadership of the team, Brown does not see 2022 as a failure of his team, on the contrary: it has made more progress in the midst of the difficulties encountered.
“In a good year there is training and failures along the way. I think we are a better racing team today than we were a year ago. The way we started 2022 with our brake problem in Bahrain, we weren’t even sure we could race, so I was pleased with how the team responded and how quickly he solved the problem.”
“When I took over as CEO in 2016, McLaren were coming off the worst year in their history by finishing ninth in the championship, our fans were disappointed with us, the morale of the factory was low, we had five years later, we won. one race, we almost won another, we got a pole position, we got nine podiums, we were third, fourth, fifth, we fought at the front.
New sponsors and presence in several championships
The American leader also highlights the nature of his team outside the circuit: since his arrival as CEO, many business partners have arrived. Additionally, McLaren’s sporting activities now extend beyond Formula 1.
“We have a car full of sponsors and Google, Goldman Sachs, Coca-Cola, Dell, Cisco, some of the biggest companies in the world are supporting us. We were losing more than 100 million dollars a year, now we are profitable. Our infrastructure will be launched this year.”
“We didn’t have an IndyCar team, now we have three cars all capable of winning races, championships and the Indy 500. We got a Formula E team and we had our first Extreme E podium. We’ll always have the ups and downs of that period, but if you look at where we were as McLaren Racing in 2018 and where we are now, we have made great progress.
“But we are only halfway there, aren’t we? We want to win the race and the championship. I feel we have the foundation, the people, the technology, the financial support, to be able to see that light at the end of the tunnel. But it will be very difficult.”