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McLaren

Why Brown feels McLaren's full potential won't be seen in 2024

Despite huge steps forward in 2023, the McLaren CEO feels his team needs another season before its maximum potential can be delivered.

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes the full potential of the team will not be seen until the 2025 season, despite huge upgrades both on and off the track.

In development of the 2023 car, McLaren opted to change route late in the process, meaning the launch-spec of the MCL60 was not as competitive as the team hoped - with the first sizeable upgrade coming in Austria.

A second was added in Singapore, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri rallying in what became the second-fastest car to scoop double podiums in Japan and Qatar - with Piastri winning the Qatar Sprint.

As the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari in the early season that opened up was too vast, fourth in the standings was the best the team could hope for, which was secured in Abu Dhabi.

Off-track, McLaren has invested in a brand-new wind-tunnel and simulator in Woking, as well as hiring Adrian Newey-lieutenant Rob Marshall from Red Bull and David Sanchez from Ferrari to work in a re-jigged technical leadership under Team Principal Andrea Stella.

Both Marshall and Sanchez have been on gardening leave in 2023 ahead of starting at McLaren in 2024, with Brown feeling the overall package won't come together until '25.

Brown: Still work to do

"We have everything we need, but we need a little bit more time," Brown told media including RacingNews365.

"The upgrades were not done with some of our latest technology, and we're now in our wind-tunnel, we have our new simulator, our new manufacturing unit so that is quite exciting for us because we haven't benefited from those.

"We've got great people back at McLaren but we do have a couple of big hires that start in early January but of course, our 2024 has already been started.

"We will have everything in place come January but 2024 has already started, so I think it will be 2025 before we've fully maximised everything, but I feel good about the '24 season.

"It’s been an awesome effort by Andrea and the entire team. The upgrades have been fantastic. The drivers are doing a great job, we’ve got great power coming out of our Mercedes power unit, so it’s been a wild ride."

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