McLaren insist they won’t be undue pressure on Lando Norris with Zak Brown saying it is up to McLaren to take responsibility for the team’s recovery.
Swapping to Renault power in 2018, much was expected from McLaren.
Although the team scored double the points from the previous season, they fell short of the podium, never mind race wins.
This season the team will continue with Renault engines, however, they have an all-new line up in Norris and Carlos Sainz.
But while Sainz comes to the team with years of experience under his belt, 2019 will be Norris’ rookie season.
And Brown insists the pressure is not on the 19-year-old to ensure a McLaren recovery.
“Obviously Lewis (Hamilton) came into McLaren but we were winning races at that point,” the team boss told RACER.
“So I think there’s certainly been rookie drivers that have come into teams in high-pressure environments, whether that was pressure to continue to deliver because the team’s already winning races or pressure to help us on the journey of recovery, (but) I think it’s first and foremost the responsibility of McLaren to get us back to our winning ways.”
Brown added that McLaren, and Formula 1 as a whole, should wait to judge Norris and not do so based on his first few races in the sport.
“I do think Formula 1 can be a pretty cruel environment,” he said.
“If you look at Leclerc, I remember there was commentary I think after the first two or three races of whether he should still be in Formula 1. And now he’s driving for Ferrari.
“So I think what we need to do is manage expectations, not after three races pass judgment — which we as a sport are always pretty quick to do.
“(Norris) clearly is extremely talented. We’ve seen him in our race car a good amount now and what we need to do is nurture him, manage expectations internally and externally, and give him the equipment to show his talent.”