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Brown sets timeline for when McLaren have 'no excuses'

McLaren have large infrastructure upgrades underway, with boss Zak Brown keen to see the impact of them on the team's fortunes.

Zak Brown believes that McLaren can have "no excuses" once their big Formula 1 infrastructure projects are completed. The Woking-based squad are currently upgrading their wind-tunnel and simulator as they seek a return to regularly contending for wins and titles after just one victory in 10 years and no championships since 2008. Former team principal Andreas Seidl highlighted the need to upgrade the wind-tunnel at the McLaren Technology Centre shortly after taking over in 2019 as the out-dated facility had led to the team using the Toyota tunnel in Cologne. Having restructured McLaren from their nadir of 2015-2018, Brown feels the team will soon be in a position to deliver at the front - and expects success.

'No excuses' for McLaren

"[We won't be challenging in 2023], but starting in '24, I want to be knocking on the door [of podiums, wins and championships]," Brown told RacingNews365.com in an exclusive interview. "Because of our technology infrastructure, we won't will have the full benefit in 2024 as the wind tunnel comes online in the middle of this year which means our '24 car will start development in some of our older technology and the transfer over to the new. "So really it is 2025 [when we will be able to fight], and we've got everything we need. "We have no excuses."

Bright future for McLaren

Brown was appointed CEO of McLaren Racing in 2018 in a reshuffle after the team slipped to the back of the field. Since then, they have developed into regular points scorers and odd podium contenders, with Brown keen to point out the progress made under his stewardship. "If we look at where McLaren has been in the last five years, obviously you'd love to have linear progress," he explained. "When we started this journey and I was put in as CEO, we were coming off our worst ever year in 2017. "We had no sponsorship, big financial issues, big morale issue and were just a Formula 1 team. "If we fast forward, we are now a competitive F1 team that has been on the podium nine times since it got back on it in 2019, we've won a race, had a pole and almost won a second race, and the car has awesome brands on it. "We acquired a good, small, [success] every once in a while IndyCar team (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) and now have a three-car team and are challenging for the championship and almost won the Indy 500 [via Pato O'Ward]. "We're in Formula E and took a brave step of getting into Extreme E, so I think McLaren looks vastly different from what it looked like five years ago in being a ninth place, not sponsored, financially in trouble Formula 1 team. "All the success of the past five years have built a great foundation for the next five years in every series we are in and we are going to be a championship contender every year. "We are still a couple of years from that in Formula 1, but I think we should be there. We are in IndyCar, Formula E, and Extreme E and Formula 1 shouldn't be too far away."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying