‘I’m Confident’ – McLaren CEO Raises Fans’ Hopes With Positive News Regarding Championship Hopes

Published 02/11/2021, 4:43 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren F1 Team MCL34 Renault on track during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)


The midfield competition is expected to be at an all-time high for the 2021 F1 season. However, McLaren are hoping to not only match their last season’s performance, but perhaps even improve on it.

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The Woking-based outfit ended 2020 with a third-placed finish on the Constructors’ Championship table. The team accumulated a total of 202 points and had two podium finishes, one each by Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.

Heading into the new campaign, optimism is at an all-time high. The team has acquired Daniel Ricciardo, a man with immense experience, pace, and seven Grand Prix wins to his name. Moreover, they will be sporting a Mercedes power unit under their hood.

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The team’s CEO Zak Brown believes this will help them bridge the gap to the Silver Arrows. However, he is equally wary of the competitive nature of the midfield.

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BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren F1 Team MCL35 Renault leads Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images)

Brown said, “We could find ourselves closer to [championship winners] Mercedes, which is what we hope to accomplish, but slipping to fifth in the championship, so it’s going to be too close to call.

“Where will we finish? Who knows, but I’m confident we’ll have a good year.”

The American added, “I think 2021 is going to look a lot like 2020. All those teams in third to seventh took a turn at being the third-quickest team at some point over the year, so I think it’s going to be unbelievably competitive.”

McLaren F1 CEO believes his team is well placed for a solid season

Apart from the engine switch, there have been other issues that teams have had to deal with. They have had to make aerodynamic adjustments to the floor of the cars to help reduce the pressure on the new Pirelli tires. There is also the reduced pre-season testing window. Not to mention the brutal calendar which Brown has previously raised concerns about.

BARCELONA, SPAIN Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren F1 Team MCL35 Renault in the Pitlane during Day One of F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Despite all of those obstacles, Brown believes his team has coped with it well.

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Zak said, “Any time you’re making a substantial change, you run the risk of reliability and installation [issues], and just understanding the transition. Compounding that with the reduction in testing, we are excited but also nervous that we’re going into the season with the least amount of time we’re allowed to prepare on track.

“It’s not ideal, but I feel we’re well prepared.”

Fans will be looking forward to see the papaya team take to the track with their exciting driver duo.

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Will they close the gap to the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull? Or will they fall behind the chasing pack? We shall soon find out.

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Ronan Carvalho

1063 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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