Brown expects McLaren to ‘maximise everything’ in 2025

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McLaren enjoyed a solid upward trajectory in 2023, yet Zak Brown believes his team will need another season to “maximize” its capabilities.

McLaren's transformation has been two-fold, encompassing both significant infrastructure upgrades, initiated by former team principal Andreas Seidl, and the acquisition of high-profile engineering talent overseen by the German’s successor, Andrea Stella.

This dual approach has been instrumental in revitalizing the team and propelling it towards a resurgence in Formula 1.

On the infrastructure front, McLaren's commitment to innovation is evident in its investment in a state-of-the-art wind tunnel and a sophisticated simulator.

These cutting-edge facilities will empower the team's engineers to design and develop more competitive cars, optimizing aerodynamic performance and driver preparation.

The strategic acquisition of top-tier engineering talent, such as Rob Marshall and David Sanchez, further reinforces McLaren's commitment to excellence.

Marshall's aerodynamic expertise, honed at Red Bull under the tutelage of legendary designer Adrian Newey, will undoubtedly enhance McLaren's car design capabilities.

Similarly, Sanchez's proficiency in vehicle dynamics, which was put to good use most recently at Ferrari, adds another layer of expertise to the team's technical arsenal.

The positive effects of McLaren’s transformation produced a solid year for team papaya whose performance level was boosted by the early summer upgrades implemented on its MCL60 contender.

Sustained development allowed McLaren to become Red Bull’s closest adversary in the second half of the season, with the team scoring nine podiums overall in 2023 and a sprint win in Qatar, courtesy of Oscar Piastri.

While the team is certainly heading in the right direction, Brown sees 2025 as the first year in which McLaren will function with the full potential of its assets.

"We have everything we need, but we need a little bit more time," Brown said last month in Abu Dhabi.

"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."


Regarding the future, McLaren confirmed in Abu Dhabi its decision to extend its partnership with Mercedes for five more seasons, meaning from 2026 until 2030.

“We were always going to continue with Mercedes," Brown told Sky F1 at Yas Marina.

"Of course, you do due diligence and see what everyone else is up to, to make a final decision. We’ve got a long history with Mercedes, we got back to our winning ways with Mercedes, they’ve done an outstanding job.

"We’ve got a really close collaboration and I think we'll be even closer now. It was pretty much a no-brainer but they just had to work through the details.

"We’re really happy to announce it and have a real focus for the team that we know what we’re doing moving forward.”

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