Brown all but rules out top-three fight

Michelle Foster

New era of Formula 1 in the "sweet spot" for McLaren.

Zak Brown has all but ruled out McLaren entering the battle for a top-three spot in the championship, saying the grid order won’t change much in 2020.

This season is the last before Formula 1 adopts a host of new regulations, switching to ground effect aerodynamics.

As such the rules are staying pretty much as they were in 2019 with Brown saying that will likely mean the pecking order remains the same.

He told Spanish sport daily Marca: “I do not think we will take another equal step between 2019 and 2020.

“The regulations are really similar, so I do not think that the grid will be very different to how it was.”

Last season McLaren finished fourth in the Constructors’ Championship with Carlos Sainz taking the team’s first podium in five years.

Brown is hoping McLaren can produce further surprises in 2020, the first year in which new tech boss James Key will have an input in the car.

“There may be some surprises here and there,” he said. “We are still a young team.

“James Key was not involved in the development of the car last year, but he is now.

“We will see how it is.

“We have to be more prepared for the races, start the season well.

“We feel good with the car we have made for 2020.

“We will have good and bad weekends, but I hope we continue moving forward.”

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.