McLaren CEO Zak Brown has emphasised that McLaren must be wary of its midfield rivals’ potential when Formula 1 introduces revised regulations in 2022.
Formula 1 was poised to welcome overhauled sporting and technical regulations, aimed at reducing disparity between the teams, for next season, but this has been delayed by 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Brown’s McLaren outfit slumped to ninth in the 2017 standings, amid its low ebb with Honda, but a difficult 2018 prompted a restructuring of its organisation, which included the arrival of Andreas Seidl as Team Principal.
It returned to the podium en route to fourth in the Constructors’ Championship last season and this year has taken two top-three finishes, and holds third place in the standings.
But Brown says McLaren must also be aware that opponents such as Racing Point and Renault are well-equipped and are targeting 2022 as their chance to make a breakthrough.
“Ultimately our goal is to catch whoever’s in first place, and that’s been Mercedes for quite some time,” said Brown.
“We’re certainly encouraged that we’re now racing Ferrari, because we weren’t last year and haven’t been for quite some time.
“I think in 2022 with this reset for all of us it gives us a great opportunity.
“That being said, Renault’s coming on strong, Racing Point is quick and just got a four-time World Champion.
“While we want to catch the, currently, two teams in front of us now I think we need to pay a lot of attention and recognise the teams four, five, six and even seven [in the standings] right now are all going to be serious contenders when the budget gap comes in.
“Everyone’s starting on a clean sheet of paper which, I think, then means we’re going to have an awesome era of Formula 1.”
Formula 1 will introduce a budget cap of $145m next year, lowered from the original $175m figure announced in October 2019, which will reduce to $135m by 2023.