McLaren quizzed on upgrades after ‘eyebrows raised’ in F1 paddock

Sam Cooper
McLaren's Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri at the British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2023.

McLaren's Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri at the British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2023.

Zak Brown praised the McLaren team for producing eyebrow-raising levels of improvement with their new upgrades.

Silverstone marked a turning point in McLaren’s season with the team coming so close to their first double podium in two years.

It is a far cry from where they were at the start of the season and came as a result of an upgrade package that was forced through for Lando Norris’ car in Austria and then both cars at Silverstone.

McLaren show their rivals what is possible

Such a turnaround in performance raised a few eyebrows in other teams as they too hoped for their great improvement and McLaren CEO Brown took time to praise the staff at the MTC.

“I think everyone at McLaren did a great job,” he told Sky Sports F1. “We’re coming from a pretty low base from where we were at the start of the year. So I think now is where we should have been and we recognised that early on.

“Everyone at McLaren has just done a fantastic job, [now] head down and we continue to push.”

For all its improvements, the MCL60 is still a car that is very track dependent and shares some of the problems of its predecessors particularly in relation to low speed circuits.

Brown was cautious ahead of the race in Hungary but was hopeful the upgrade would work as well in Budapest as it did in Silverstone and Spielberg.

“We know our car’s really good in high speed,” Brown said. “So Austria we were strong, Silverstone we were strong.

“That’s why we’re a little bit more cautious here in Hungary but we think the upgrade will work well here as well.

“Some of the slower tracks will probably be a bit more challenging for us but it was also good to see Oscar [Piastri] when he got the upgrades to perform on the same level as Lando [Norris].

“So let’s see if we get through Hungary, we will start to get a little bit more comfortable.” recommends

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Zak Brown’s praise for Oscar Piastri

As well as praising the car and team at base, Brown also made a point to praise rookie Piastri who despite trailing 9-1 in qualifying so far, does not look too far away his his experienced team-mate.

“He doesn’t really lack much, even though the qualifying stats are nine to one, I think when you look at the actual lap times they’re very close,” Brown suggested. “I mean in Silverstone there was less than a tenth.

“They’ve raced each other earlier in the year. They raced each other hard but raced each other so he’s not off by that much and I think that’s just going to come with a little bit more time. We need to remember he didn’t even race last year and then some of these tracks are brand new too so he’s exactly where we want him to be at this point.”

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