McLaren’s 2019 driver line-up a ‘jackpot’

Date published: February 17 2018

The 2018 season isn’t even underway and already McLaren are being asked about next year’s line-up, which Zak Brown says is like “flicking the jackpot.”

This year McLaren will race Fernando Alonso, after the Spaniard re-signed in a multi-year contract, and Stoffel Vandoorne while Lando Norris is their official reserve driver.

Norris is keen to prove to McLaren this season that he deserves a race-seat, however, acknowledges that his path may be determined by Alonso and what he wants to do in 2019.

Either way, Brown reckons it is a “luxury situation” for McLaren to be in.

“There are a variety of different scenarios and it is like flicking the jackpot – it could be this, or this or that,” Crash.net quotes Brown as having said.

“We know what the scenarios are but we haven’t set any expectations yet because you would be predicting too early what you think might happen.

“We’re in a great position where we have three great drivers and two seats which is a luxury situation to be in so we will see how things go before figuring out what the future looks like.”

Last season Alonso won McLaren’s intra-team battle by 17 points to 13.

It was, however, in qualifying where he was most dominant as he put his MCL32 ahead of Vandoorne on 16 Saturdays.

Brown, though, reckons Vandoorne did well taking on the challenge that of Alonso’s ‘superstar’ status.

“They get equal treatment. Alonso gets a lot more of the publicity that doesn’t translate into any different effort in the garage from the engineers.

“Sometimes when you’ve got one part it will go to your more experienced driver. I don’t think that is any different to any other team. They have equal chance.

“I try to move around from garage to garage because I am sensitive to Fernando being such a superstar that you want Stoffel to know he’s got every bit as much support, which he does, but he handles it really well as he is very mature and never shows any signs or comments of that.

“I think he’s in a good place and is very headstrong.”