McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has vowed to push Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari “even harder” in F1 2024, the team working “around the clock” to make that happen.
McLaren’s rapid rise through the ranks during the F1 2023 was arguably the best feel-good story of the year as they went from misery to merriment to finish a respectable P4 in the Constructors’ Championship.
But, with that, comes some even greater expectation with many already tipping McLaren to emerge as the nearest contender to the dominant Red Bull team in 2024.
A “formidable” task awaits McLaren in 2024
Brown has warned, though, that despite a tremendous amount of working going on at McLaren’s HQ in Woking, it still may not be enough to topple F1’s established top three order.
“As we work around the clock on our 2024 challenger, we intend to build on this year’s progress and push our rivals even harder next year,” Brown said.
“We face a formidable challenge next season in continuing to close the gap to the front.
“All teams are locked in a quest for car development and greater pace that is just as fierce off the track as it is on it, but our team will rise to the challenge with its usual determination and relentless dedication.
“Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin didn’t make it easy for us, but we pushed at every race on each and every lap, resulting in a thrilling finish where the final positions in the FIA Formula 1 Constructors’ World Championship were only decided at the 23rd — and last round — of the season.
“Never before have five different teams scored seven podiums in the same season, which just goes to underscore the competitive nature of the grid this year.”
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Brown’s assessment comes after some extremely positive words from Lando Norris at the Abu Dhabi season finale, teasing that even “bigger changes” will coming to the car next year.
“I expect some bigger changes than we’ve had over the last year,” he told media including PlanetF1.com. “I feel like we’ve been in a place, now more than ever, where we can tackle more things at once.
“If you’re still last, you kind of try to focus a little more on one thing, just making the car a little bit quicker.
“Now I think we’re in a much better position. Now we can focus on some of the finer details, but details we’ve not really been able to improve much at all over the last five years. Things that I would love to have more of as a driver and I think suited me more as a driver.
“I think now we’re more capable than everyone trying to focus on them and improve them. That will help with qualifying, that will help with race pace, help with racing.
“Some small things can make a big difference so if we can work on that, then I’m confident we can have a very good car next year and a more consistent car. That’s really the main thing that we want to have.”