F1 2021 changes can play to McLaren strengths - Zak Brown

Norris in action for McLaren F1 in Spain

McLaren can use the planned 2021 Formula 1 regulations to its advantage, according to CEO Zak Brown, in the wake of the organisation’s changes in the past few years.

McLaren has had a tumultuous few seasons behind-the-scenes with various managerial departures and recruitments.

The highest-profile signings have been Andreas Seidl, who joined as Team Principal at the start of the month, and technical boss James Key, who was able to start work at the Bahrain Grand Prix, following his protracted departure from Toro Rosso.

Formula 1 is set to overhaul its sporting and technical regulations for 2021 – though the exact rules have yet to be defined – and Brown believes McLaren’s recent changes will stand the team in good stead to profit from the new cycle.

“We in the short term are battling some teams with very large budgets,” said Brown.

“We all know the issues that sit in Formula 1 today, and that I think will be fixed from 2021 onwards.

“I think as Formula 1 moves into its next phase, I think that plays to McLaren’s strengths, and so we needed to start the rebuilding process, starting with Andreas and James Key and Gil [de Ferran] and all the other individuals and promoting within, and just generally working as a better team.

“And we need to build a better race car, which I think we’ve done this year.

“We’ve got started with two new drivers, which is the first time we’ve had two new drivers in quite some time, and I think they’ve done an excellent job.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time for that to all come together. I do think it will be in that window, hopefully somewhere more in the middle, but I have no doubt we’ll get back to winning races.”

In explaining McLaren’s new management set-up, in the wake of recent changes, Brown said: “Ultimately I’m the CEO of McLaren Racing, so everything and anything around racing, the buck stops with me. But it’s a team effort. So ultimately I’ve got total accountability.

“Andreas has total responsibility for the Formula 1 team, so the buck stops with Andreas when it comes to Formula 1.

“And then underneath and reporting to Andreas is James Key, etc.

“Then we’ve got the Indianapolis 500 that we’re doing, so we’ve got a separate team on that which ultimately Gil is responsible for our Indy 500 programme, but again, the buck stops with me ultimately in making sure that McLaren Racing is competitive and is a healthy business.”