McLaren not expecting 2019-style "huge step" in 2020

Zak Brown says he does not anticipate McLaren making the same "huge step" with its 2020 Formula 1 challenger as it did last season.

McLaren not expecting 2019-style "huge step" in 2020

McLaren was a subdued sixth in its first season with Renault engines in 2018, following a turbulent three years with Honda, but was one of the surprises of last season as it finished fourth in the constructors' championship.

That included beating its supplier Renault, and Carlos Sainz recording McLaren's first podium finish since 2014 when he was promoted to third in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Brown said at Autosport International last year that McLaren anticipated a "good" 2019 car, and speaking on stage at this year's show said the team felt "pretty good" about its 2020 challenger but knows challenging regularly at the front will not "happen overnight".

"We need to keep going forward," said Brown. "We had a huge step, obviously, from 2018 to 2019.

"Part of that was we were so poor in 2018 that it was hard not to take a big step in 2019. So I don't see that same step coming from 2019 to 2020.

"The regulations are very, very similar, so I don't think the grid's going to look a lot different. There'll probably be a little bit of surprise here and there.

"Hopefully Williams gets a little bit stronger, that's not good to see them have the year that they had. So hopefully they'll pick up the pace a bit.

"For us, we're still a young team. James Key didn't develop last year's car, this year's [he] did. So let's see what that looks like. Andreas Seidl only joined in the middle of the year.

"Really, what we need to do is just get tidier, more race fit, get a good head-start, the 2021 car's already in the wind tunnel, we feel pretty good about the 2020 car.

"And we just need to kind of keep head down and know that it's not going to happen overnight.

"We're going to have some great weekends and we're going to have some bad weekends. But let's just hope that we keep moving forward."

Read Also:

McLaren has retained Sainz and Lando Norris for 2020, and Brown said the relationship between the two was "the best part" of 2019.

"They didn't know each other before and when we first introduced them, I think as Carlos said in one of his interviews, Lando was a bit shy, but they get along really well when they're on the track with each other," said Brown.

"I'm not nervous, unlike maybe the Haas duo; when they're around the track or anybody, I get nervous. They've got a real respect, but they they race each other really hard.

"And they they've been very great to work with and the sponsors and I think all the fans really enjoy them. It's great in this kind of new era of Formula 1 to expose what goes on in Formula 1 in a more natural way."

shares
comments
How Mercedes fooled 'naive' rivals in 2019

Previous article

How Mercedes fooled 'naive' rivals in 2019

Next article

How Herbert drove “beyond the pain threshold” on F1 debut

How Herbert drove “beyond the pain threshold” on F1 debut
Load comments
Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021