McLaren F1 Boss Explains Major Drawback of Switching to Mercedes Power in 2021

Published 01/23/2021, 4:50 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Jorge Guerrero


McLaren had their best season since 2012, finishing in P3 of the championship standing. The team’s new culture and attitude helped their drivers grow and perform better as they finished with 202 points this season.

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This year, McLaren’s car will be powered by Mercedes engines. The two are reuniting after seven years, and during their previous partnership, the Woking-based team won a drivers’ title and three constructors’ championships.

However, the team’s CEO, Zak Brown, doesn’t see a net performance gain in changing their units this year.

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – McLaren’s Lando Norris in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

He said, ” It’s probably the least ideal situation to change power units.

“For one, the reduction in testing is not ideal and then the token system, while we think we’ll be taking a step forward with the Mercedes power unit, that comes in the form of losing our tokens to develop other areas of the car.”

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Brown is still looking forward to McLaren & Mercedes partnership

With Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris as drivers, combined with their previous year’s form, Brown is still confident that McLaren will remain competitive this season. He is hoping for smooth integration and transition to the next season.

On the new Mercedes relationship, he also added, “the work that is being done with Mercedes, they have been excellent. Our team is very happy with the collaboration, communication and Mercedes’ clear customer-centric approach.”

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – McLaren’s Lando Norris during practice Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

McLaren will hope to at least replicate the last season’s result if not improve it. Zak Brown is positive that this year will look a lot like the last one and is confident that they’ll win the midfield battle again.

The team also has the experience of multiple race winner, Daniel Ricciardo this season. The new Mercedes powered car will be an added advantage.

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Considering all that, do you believe McLaren can crack the top-three standing again this season or will it drop back down?

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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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