Zak Brown believes McLaren have the best driver combination in F1 in Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri – and is hopeful the pair can “knock the winners off their perch” in the coming years.
Red Bull are the team to beat after a record-breaking year in 2023, but McLaren were resurgent after a raft of upgrades were brought to the MCL60 mid-season – scoring more points than any other team besides Red Bull after the summer break.
With Piastri and now Norris tied to long-term deals at the team after Norris signed a contract extension on Friday, McLaren now have the combination of the youngest and most settled driver line-up in Formula 1 for the years ahead.
Zak Brown: ‘I think we have the best driver line-up’ in F1
With the upturn in the team’s form and drivers who are both highly-rated, McLaren are optimistic for what lies ahead this season.
Ahead of Norris’s new deal being confirmed, Brown was hopeful that both his drivers would be driving in papaya for the years to come – and lavished praise on Norris and Piastri for how they go about their work.
“I’m very excited. I think we have the best driver line-up,” Brown said at McLaren’s recent launch of the livery of the MCL38.
“I love their age and their experience and how well they work together, so I’m looking forward to watching them race McLarens for hopefully a long time and we’re working hard to give them the equipment to be able to win races, because no doubt both drivers are very capable of that.
“So as we put together the building blocks, you need to have a great team principal, you need to have a great technical team, a great pit crew, a great finance department, a great marketing team, a great HR department.
“It all comes together and I think we have the people and now it’s just about bringing it all together and trying to knock the winners off their perch.”
Now that Norris has signed a new contract with McLaren – with no length specified and described only as an “extended multi-year” contract beyond the end of his previous deal for 2025 – Brown is looking to the Briton to help spearhead the team’s progress.
“I’m delighted that we’re continuing our relationship with Lando for multiple years to come,” he said after the announcement.
“It’s been a fantastic journey over the last six years, and he has shown fantastic commitment and desire to push the team forward and get McLaren back to the front of the grid.
“Last season we saw the fundamental role Lando played with the impressive turnaround in results and I’m looking forward to continuing this push forward together with lots more podiums.”