McLaren’s Upward Trajectory: CEO Zak Brown’s Optimism for F1 Future

With investments and third-place in the 2020 Constructors' Championship, McLaren CEO Zak Brown is confident about the team's future in F1.


By Ben Bush
Updated on February 5, 2024

Zak Brown on 2021 Season

Zak Brown, the CEO of McLaren, expresses confidence in the team’s resurgence as a dominant force in Formula 1. He sees the team as possessing all the necessary elements to achieve success, emphasising the need to integrate these resources strategically.

This optimism comes after McLaren’s significant progress, having climbed to third in the 2020 Constructors’ Championship, marking their best performance since 2012. This achievement is a remarkable turnaround from their ninth-place finish three years prior. The team’s advancement was further bolstered by the announcement of substantial investment from MSP Sports Capital, a deal that will result in the US investors acquiring a 33% stake in McLaren by the end of 2022.

On the track, McLaren is set to partner again with Mercedes as their engine supplier in the upcoming 2021 season. Additionally, the team welcomes Daniel Ricciardo, a seven-time race winner, as a new member, replacing Carlos Sainz who is moving to Ferrari. Ricciardo will be racing alongside the promising young talent Lando Norris.

In an interview with Sky Sports News at the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when questioned about McLaren’s readiness to ascend to the forefront, Chief Executive Zak Brown responded: “I think we do have everything that we need.

“It’ll take time. Andreas Seidl has done an unbelievable job leading the Formula 1 team. We’ve got two great drivers. We’ve got the Mercedes power plant. We’ve got fantastic men and women at the racetrack and back at the factory all building towards this race car to make it go as fast as possible.

“So, I think we need some time for it all to come together, but I don’t think there are any pieces to the puzzle missing now. We’ve just got to put the puzzle together.”

With the introduction of a budget cap in Formula 1, set initially at $145 million starting from 2021, McLaren, a strong advocate for significant spending reductions in the sport to equalise competition, is hopeful that they are on the correct trajectory to compete at the front once again.

“We’ll run at the cost cap now, so I think we’ll be back being one of the ‘big’ teams,” added Brown when asked about the impact of the investment.

“So it’s great. We’re turning on our wind tunnel project, all of our CapEx [capital expenditure].

“We have some catching up so do so it’s going to take some time, but I like the journey we’re on.”

Source: Sky Sports F1

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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