‘McLaren benefitting from clear direction’

Michelle Foster


Zak Brown has applauded McLaren’s recent progress, saying the right people heading in the right direction is paying off.

Brown joined McLaren in late 2016 before taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Racing in 2018.

Under his guidance the team brought in former Porsche man Andreas Seidl and signed Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz as its 2019 drivers.

The relationship between the team-mates coupled with McLaren’s behind the scene signing paid dividends last season when Sainz bagged the team’s first podium in five years.

He finished third at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Norris followed that up with a podium result at this year’s season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.

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Scoring points in every race this season, McLaren is third in the Constructors’ Championship on 51 points.

“It’s been really good,” Brown told Channel 4.

“Andreas [Seidl] has done a great job leading our team and getting the right people in the right places.

“It’s coming together and we still have a long way to go, but the drivers are doing a great job so it’s a good start to the year.

“When I joined there was a lot of leadership changes within McLaren and I think in any race team or business, if you don’t have a clear vision and a consistent leadership then the team doesn’t know which direction to head in.

“We lacked direction. We maybe didn’t invest in some of the right areas so the first thing I tried to do was to tackle getting great people around me and fortunately I think we have recruited those great people.

“They needed direction and I think we have brought that. Now everyone is going the same way you are starting to see the results.”

Lando Norris champagne Austrian GP.jpg

Next season McLaren will run a Mercedes engine having announced last year that 2020 would be the team’s last with Renault power.

That, though, is not the only change that awaits the team as Sainz will be saying goodbye at the end of this year, his place going to Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Brown reckons those changes will help McLaren take yet another leap forward.

“We think the [Mercedes] power unit will be a further step forward for us,” he said. “Mercedes has been the class of the field in this hybrid era so that’s exciting.

“Then with Daniel, who we missed out on a couple of years ago, I think we have got the combination that makes for the most exciting driver line-up with him and Lando both on and off the track.”

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