Zak Brown: McLaren must stay humble, not feel P4 is safe

McLaren's Carlos Sainz Jr. in action

McLaren boss Zak Brown says the team must retain its humble attitude across the remainder of the 2019 Formula 1 season, stressing it cannot yet feel secure in fourth place.

McLaren entered last year buoyant that its divorce from Honda would lead to a recovery, but instead a lack of performance resulted in a series of internal reviews and personnel changes.

This season McLaren has not always had the fourth-fastest car but holds fourth overall in the Constructors’ Championship on 83 points, 39 clear of nearest opponent Toro Rosso.

But Brown believes the closely-contested nature of the midfield means McLaren cannot approach each grand prix expecting to be at the front of that pack.

“I’m not sure we’re solidly the best team in the midfield, because it’s so close, so I think that’s why we need to keep our head down,” he said.

“We’re still early enough in the season that you can go from fourth to eighth in no time.

“We wanted to improve. Our goal was let’s just improve on last year, which in reality we were seventh, not sixth, because of the whole points situation.

“I’m pleased with how we’re doing, and just want to keep our head down and stay focused, because a bad weekend by us and a good weekend by someone else, and you can just fall down the order quickly. But everyone is doing a good job.”

Brown believes that a substantial portion of the credit can be attributed to the team’s drivers, Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris, who replaced Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.

“They’re both very quick, they get along very well, they drive for the team which I think is what I’m most pleased with,” said Brown.

“If you look at our competitors, I think one of the reasons why we’re currently fourth in the championship is a lot of credit to our drivers, both bringing it home.

“When you look at some of our competitors, I think their cars are as quick as ours, if not quicker at times, but they have one driver that’s strong or no drivers that are strong.

“But I think our driver combination, they deserve a lot of the credit for where we are right now.”