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Zak Brown

McLaren deliver verdict on title fight chances with Red Bull

McLaren sit just 78 points behind Red Bull after 12 F1 races this season.

To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes "there's clearly a chance" the Woking-based outfit can fight Red Bull for the F1 constructors' title this season. 

The British team sits third in the standings, 78 points adrift of Red Bull following a strong run of performances. 

With 12 races remaining this season, and 485 points up for grabs, that is a margin that can be overcome, especially as Sergio Perez is continuing to underperform for the Milton Keynes-based team.

McLaren would be ahead of Ferrari and in second place had Max Verstappen and Lando Norris not collided recently in the Austrian Grand Prix as the clash resulted in the Briton retiring and missing out on at least 18 points.

Brown recognises McLaren has a chance to defeat Red Bull to the crown this year and that Norris' clash with Verstappen was costly.

"We're just trying to do the best we can every weekend," added Brown, speaking to media, including RacingNews365. "I don't know if I would describe our chance at winning the constructors’ strong.

"But I think there's clearly a chance there if we continue with the points we've been picking up the last five, six races, then we would close that gap by the end of the year. 

"But you just got to do that one race at a time, as does Lando. And I'm not going to give Lando any coaching on how to drive. 

"It was a very small touch that could have ended in nothing other than maybe a few tyre marks and unfortunately cost the race. 

"So when you're going for the win and you're battling a world champion, these things happen."

Austria costly

Norris, though, was furious with Verstappen after their clash, only to downplay everything he had said ahead of last weekend's British Grand Prix, raising questions over whether he can be too nice in F1. 

Brown has rubbished those claims, stressing Norris is, like every driver, a different person when in the car.

"I'm very happy with Lando," said Brown.

"I think there's a difference between what a racing driver's like when the helmet goes on and the visor goes down and what they're like Monday through Thursday and how they communicate and carry themselves and the relationships that they have. 

"So I think if you look, a lot of world champions, sweethearts outside of the race car, but pretty fierce once the helmet goes on. And Lando's no different."

Also interesting:

In the latest podcast, Ian, Sam and Nick discuss the British GP and Hamilton's emotional return to winning ways. Hamilton's journey since 2021 is discussed, as is Lando Norris' BIGGEST hurdle and Sergio Perez entering the Red Bull danger zone!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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